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 in the built environment.
This peculiar design problem is part of what motivated Don Norman (hence: Norman Door) to write his now-classic book The Design of Everyday Things. Similar issues can be found in other everyday objects as well, from light switches and sink handles, which frequently feature counter-intuitive functions or modes of operation.
An advocate of user-centric (or: people-oriented) design, Norman offers insights that bring together aspects of usability, engineering, and cognitive science. His book provides an enlightening look into the intersection of these disciplines and design, informative and educational for users and designers alike.