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Where's the flusher?

By Donna McKeown

(Flusher button on floor) I recently went on vacation to Europe. In a restroom in Holland, I had difficulty figuring out how to flush the toilet! Luckily, there was a big yellow homemade sign with an arrow pointing to a flusher button on the floor! I appreciated the sign and noted that I had probably not been the only visitor who had encountered difficulty finding the flusher.

This design reduces germ transmission since you don't have to touch the flusher with your hand. However, it isn't easy to see the button on the floor and it isn't obvious that the button is for flushing the toilet.

Design Suggestion

To improve this design, the flushing mechanism could be made more visible so that a sign would not be necessary. People are generally inclined to associate a control (the flusher) with the object it controls (the toilet), so they look first at the object itself for the control.

One solution might be a foot pedal that is attached to the toilet itself, provided that the foot pedal is visible to the user.

In the case of the current design with the flusher button on the floor, the flusher button could be made the same color as the toilet to show that the two are associated.

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