Some doors require printed instructions to operate, while others are so poorly designed that they lead people to do the exact opposite of what they need to in order to open them. Their shapes or details may suggest that pushing should work, when in fact pulling is required (or the other way around). Roman Mars teamed up with Joe Posner of Vox to bring you this story of bad doors:
There is no reason for these backward designs to persist, since various working solutions to the problem already exist, and yet these horrible doors are still all around us.
This peculiar design problem, which finds manifestations in other designed objects as well (think: light switches and sink handles), is part of what motivated Don Norman to write his now-classic book The Design of Everyday Things (hence: Norman Door). An advocate of user-centric (or: people-oriented) design, his insights bring together aspects of usability, engineering, and cognitive science. The book provides an enlightening look into the intersection of these disciplines and design.