If this is an Automatic Door, Why do I need to Press to Open?


Why indeed?

Or perhaps, wanting it open is a manual activity, while the physical movement of the opening door is an automatic activity. Regardless, more design consideration is required to make this a much better and more intuitive user experience.

  • Jackson Chin

    August 20, 2014 at 2:04 pm Reply

    With regards to the Automatic Press to Open Door Switch, do you know the suppliers that we can get it from?

  • Brian (Design Sojourn)

    April 16, 2012 at 10:03 pm Reply

    Hi everyone! What a great discussion, sorry for coming late to my own party. Most of you are indeed right, you don’t want people walking by and accidentally triggering the door and wasting cool air.
    So in my mind, functionally this automatic door and lock works perfectly. The problem is in the labeling. My suggestion would be to drop the “Auto” word and just amend press to “Press to Open”. That should sort it all. There is no need to say that it is automatic as that is implied, when you tell the user to “Press to open”.

  • Justin

    March 16, 2012 at 11:21 am Reply

    This is *the* standard for automatic doors in Japan when the door is positioned right up to the footpath. It looks like this is a Japanese made button for the international English market. For the reasons already stated — foot traffic close to door causing the sensor to open the door to people who are simply passing by — it makes good sense. In this application I see the door as automatic with the command to open the door being a manual one. In most Japanese shopping malls and supermarkets they use the more expected automatic sensor, automatic door system. They’ll automate just about anything so I have to side with the designers on this one and believe that it was a reasonable compromise for the requirement.
    The other option is to have the sensor set in such a narrow way that you must approach the door just short of pressing your nose against it before the door opens. I personally would find that frustrating compared to reaching my arm out to press a button. Perhaps the ultimate design would be a sensor that doesn’t just use proximity but uses a camera and recognizes body position and intent to enter to decide to open.

  • MishMash

    February 12, 2012 at 9:38 pm Reply

    Let’s not forget about the energy consumption. If the automatic door was trigger via a sensor, in a high volume pedestrian area this would cause alot of unnecessary power usage for the owner (anti-green concept). These type of designs are seen frequently in countries and cities of hi-density population (eg. south-east asia).
    Coupled with everyone else’s comments regarding air-con and the holistic view (other customers, users, bystanders) the pros of a semi-automatic door would outweigh that of the full-automatic.

  • Megan

    February 7, 2012 at 10:12 pm Reply

    I kind of get a kick out of this design.
    It’s a bit counter-intuitive, but also a little meta. It’s like the Stairs in the Musee des Beaux Arts in Montreal which are significantly wider and shorter than stairs usually are so that all you can think when you’re walking up or down is: “I’m climbing stairs, I’m climbing stairs.” I can imagine opening this automatic door and thinking: “I’m opening the door. Opening the door.”

  • Shen

    January 29, 2012 at 12:20 am Reply

    I believe this is to help with preventing air conditioning “flowing” out with accidental opening of doors.
    I’ve seen this used a lot in countries with cold seasons, to keep heating in, otherwise if the doors open (because someone walks past it, instead of wanting to go through it) the heating escapes…

  • Linda vR

    January 27, 2012 at 10:46 pm Reply

    I agree with DK that automatic sliding doors should not open for those people that are accidentally passing by too close to the door sensor. Do you know how annoying it would be for customers and others in the store to have the door open and close and nobody enters?
    It’s important not to forget the “other” users that are interacting with the doors, such as personnel that need to keep track of their merchandise etc. and are alerted by doors opening and closing.
    My only recommendation to improve this door would be to add a vague arrow to indicate that this is in fact a sliding door and will open to the left (I presume).

  • Vincent

    January 26, 2012 at 11:09 pm Reply

    This design is pretty odd. The whole purpose of a door being automatic (open and close) is for it to be fully automatic. It a bit silly to need to press the door panel or a button to have the door open. No one likes a semi-automatic door, this is the age of technology people, and lets face it, we’re lazy 🙂 lol

  • DK

    January 26, 2012 at 10:57 pm Reply

    I notice that these doors are usually found at place where there is a high volume of traffic near the door. And most of these people aren’t going through the door. So if they use a sensor, the door will be kept open most of the time.

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