This year, the mandate has expanded to forgotten spaces. You know the ones we mean -- the foyers, the parking lots, the change rooms, and every other space where the customer is theoretically "off-stage", except they aren't.
Water, water everywhere
Well I saw something recently that was really clever. My new gym folds a towel and puts it in front of the sink. It's not for your hands, it's clearly a drip catcher. And it works like a charm. The towel catches all the big drips as you sweep your hands towards the paper towel dispenser / air dryer.
I'm guessing the entrepreneurs that run this place got tired of cleaning up, so they figured out this expedient solution. So while we wait for the designers to come up with something, you might want to try this.
Other blogfesters have brought their own unique take to the topic. All great, but here are a few that caught my attention today:
Maria Palma at Customers Are Always likes this interactive bathroom wall
David Polinchock at Experience Economist has always been an honorary blogfester. Stopping by his blog this week I saw the funniest video about what would happen if a client/agency were charged with designing a stop sign. He has also discovered SitorSquat.com, a site that lets you locate a decent bathroom wherever you are (in USA and UK that is), and lets you upload or comment on bathrooms. Like a travel community site, just really focused on bathrooms. And on mobile access, which of course is a necessity for something like this.
Stephanie Weaver at Experienceology has some excellent posts about airports, and how public art can take a cavern and make it inviting.
C.B. Whittemore at Flooring The Consumer reminds us that the forgotten spaces are frequently a buffer zone between the personal and the public. In a shopping environment, the foyer, for example, is a transition zone. It sets the whole tone and pace, and can get you to slow down or speed up. Intead of being an afterthought, these spaces need a plan. CB is also pretty much the energizer bunny as far as this blogfest is concerned, and deserves the credit for this year's successes.
Kate Rutter at Adaptive Path has a wonderful analysis of the bathroom experience from a designer's perspective. Well worth the read.
Other blogs that are part of the blogfest:
Katia Adams at Transcultural Marketing
Shannon Bilby at Floor Talk!
Laurence Borel at Blog Till You Drop
Jo Brown and the blogging team at Kohler Talk
Lisbeth Calandrino at Lisbeth Calandrino
Sara Cantor at The Curious Shopper
Becky Carroll at Customers Rock!
Katie Clark at Practical Katie
Iris Shreve Garrott at Circulating
Ann Handley at Annarchy
Marianna Hayes at Results Revolution
Elizabeth Hise and C.B. Whittemore at The Carpetology Blog
Claudia Schiepers at Life and its little pleasures
Carolyn Townes at Becoming a Woman of Purpose
Sandra Renshaw at Purple Wren
Kudos to everyone for taking the bathroom out of the closet.