It’s not you. Bad doors are everywhere.

It’s not you. Bad doors are everywhere.

This video is about doors. Joe Posner investigates, with some help from 99% invisible, a wonderful podcast. Check them out here: Subscribe to our channel here:

There’s a door on the 10th floor in the Vox Media office I hate so much. You probably know one of these too. But it’s not our fault.

And luckily, Roman Mars of 99% Invisible magically arrived in my cellphone to send me on a cross-country journey to find out the incredible surprises behind this common complaint:

Don Norman started complaining about doors over 25 years ago. Doors shouldn’t need instructions – the shape of them can guide you through just fine. So why do so many doors need instruction manuals right on the side of them?

When most people complain about something, nothing happens. Don Norman is not most people – he’s a psychologist and cognitive scientist. Don Norman thought about, and wrote about his complaints so incredibly thoroughly that he changed the world. 99% Invisible’s Roman Mars helps tell the story. is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what’s really driving the events in the headlines. Check out to get up to speed on everything from Kurdistan to the Kim Kardashian app.

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20 Responses

  1. Dwalk22 boss says:

    All public doors open outdoors because in a emergency people can not open
    doors when they have a crowed behind them….

  2. Shane Rooney says:

    This was far better than expected.
    I thought they would just show a few funny clips of people getting the
    doors wrong.

  3. Jack Crawford says:


  4. ali par. says:

    or you just push hard, then pull every door. you cant really go wrong

  5. atl richard77 says:

    What is vox voting for? Im genuinely curious.

  6. Sebastian Scholten says:

    What is the movie called at the end of the video?

  7. Doping1234 says:

    Y not make it open on both sides?

  8. Vassilis Asteriou says:

    There is something that is absolutely necessary when putting a door in a
    place where many people go around, it should open outwards so in the case
    of an earthquake when people rush to the door it opens naturally and the
    people aren’t blocked

  9. jojojorisjhjosef says:

    “vertical bars could go either way” 4:06. Yet here you are 0:00 with
    vertical bars, wtf? 4:35 jeah…

  10. James Thompson says:

    Every door should be a saloon door

  11. Chad Newton says:

    You know what would be an even better door? If it opened automatically so
    you didn’t have to think about it.

  12. Dusty OldBones says:

    fuck I HATE millennial hipsters.Worst generation ever.

  13. Caleb Geizer says:

    Please! Don’t put a sign on it, just get rid of the handles.

  14. spookypen says:

    Also the door seam will give you a visual indication of whether it’s push
    or pull no matter what type of handle it has. That glass door is shit on
    two levels because it has pull handles on the push side AND because it has
    no seam to visually indicate which way the door will go.

  15. Al-Karim Jiwani says:

    Pretty sure this is the correct link:

  16. Ben K says:

    This video is cancer.

  17. asspounderify says:

    the best doors are the ones that are just automatically opened by standing
    in front of it…

  18. John F says:

    SMFH Vox, no black folks in this entire video about enjineering and design
    except for robbers in the end? Y’all some ugly ass old racists. Trying to
    lose your black viewers or say we cant design????

  19. offsuit57 says:

    I have always said never put a pull handle on a push door. I have a
    customer that I visit monthly and I can never remember which way to open
    the stupid door. Multi-Million dollar company and they get a door handle

  20. snip3r416 says:

    The dark voice i love