Serial entrepreneur and blogger Seth Goden has a 10 year old video on TED which still makes me smile called ‘This is broken’. The idea is to highlight the broken things that we put up with and to think about why they are broken. It helps to question why things are the way the are.
Here’s this week’s tribute to “it’s broken”.
While catching the train back from London yesterday, an american lady asked me to open the door as she couldn’t reach. On the high speed trains in the UK the doors aren’t automatic. Called ‘slam doors’, you are required to reach your arm out the window and pull the handle down from the outside. What is even more alarming is that the instructions (pictured) are directly above a red danger notice telling you not to stick you hands or head out the window.
Strangely on the inside there is even a metal plate where they could have put a handle. It’s broken.
Why is it broken
This is a case where the world moved on. I imagine back in the golden steam age train doors didn’t lock and it was safer to put the handles on the outside to prevent little Timmy doing a spectacular fall from a moving train. Trains now have centrally locked doors but this outside handle thing has hung around.
Some times things are designed at a point in time but then they end up being used outside of that time. The world moved on but no one has stopped to fix it.