Bad Design #44 – emergencies don’t kill people, instructions do

If you are ever in an emergency situation where you need to escape the bus through the ceiling hatch, the last thing you want to do is read instructions on how to do that. First of all, if you happen to be facing the wrong direction, which is highly likely if you are in a situation where the only possible exit is through the ceiling, then this particular emergency exit does not take that into account. Can you imagine, in an emergency, where stress levels are at their highest, patience does not exist, and there is a sea of people behind you

with only one thing on their mind, survive! and you need to read this:

Good luck with that.

Secondly, as I have mentioned in other posts, instructions are a sign of bad design. But instructions for emergency situations are the worst when you consider that lives could be lost. This particular exit has far too many instructions. In an emergency nobody has time, nor are they mentally in a state to pause to read instructions. This is bad design.

And thirdly, to put it simply, this exit is just over engineered. Do we have these complex instructions on building emergency doors? No, so why do we have them here? What balance were the designers trying to achieve here?

The only balance I can think of is, make it super easy to use in an emergency, and keep it closed during non-emergencies to maintain the air-conditioned environment and keep the rain out… that’s it.

Why are there multiple steps to release this hatch?
Why are either ends of this hatch different?
Which end do I use to get out?
Which end do the instructions refer to?
Is the left most “exit” lever a push or pull mechanism?
Why is the right most “push” lever so small?
Why are all the mechanical parts coloured black? I have no chance of understanding how it functions if I can’t see it.

This is a badly designed exit, but it doesn’t need to be.

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