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Is that not a drawer?

The Norman reading discusses how many objects are designed with too few visual cues, causing said objects to be confusing to use. One of his examples was how some modern doors do not have any visual cues to tell the user which side of the door to push on. The image above illustrates an opposing situation. The ‘drawer’ ┬áhas a handle & through experience and feedback most people have been trained to see that as an object that can be pulled open. However, when trying to pull this drawer open, the user receives feedback that the drawer does not slide. It is only then that the user comes to a realization that the handle is not attached to a drawer at all.




These visual cues are tricky. As Normal mentions, the designer, in this case the designer of the cabinet setup, must meet the requirements of the purchaser, who indicates that they want consistency throughout the unit. It seems counter-intuitive to anyone who uses a kitchen setup like this one, where a handle signifies a drawer, but from the perspective of the contractor/interior designer/homeowner that requested the continuity, the designer did their job. It may not be functional, but it makes things look “pretty”. This prettiness allows interior designers to win awards, which seems to perpetuate the uselessness of things like handles on fake drawers, as other contractors and interior designers attempt to mimic the award-winning designs. In all honesty it does seem foolish. I’d rather have no handle on the fake drawer under my sink than have a handle that does nothing simply for the look of continuity.


I totally agree with Liz on this one, in search of maintaining a aesthetic balance designers add unnecessary things to their designs, however, i don’t approve when it comes to a point of making something seem functional when its not. I feel that giving it the same look of the functional drawers but removing the handle would not affect the aesthetics at all and it wouldn’t cause a sense of frustration every time someone went to the kitchen looking for a fork or knife and was tricked by the fake drawer.


I agree, Why to frustrate ourselves with nonfunctional Items? We need simple things to make life easier. I am having a hard time with my door because it is more fancy than functional.


I know this is frustrating as I have encountered this and other falsely identified objects. That does not stop me from laughing when I fall for these tricks though. I am just glad I don’t have one of these in my kitchen or it would probably have been ripped off the drawer after about the second time it got me. Funny the first time frustration after that.

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