August 18, 2011 at 8:22 PM by Dr. Drang
When you hear “user interface” or “user experience,” you probably think of computers, but these are terms that apply to physical devices, too. As part of my well-loved series of posts exploring hotel shower design, I present to you the shower caddy at the Louisville SpringHill Suites:
The caddy is a simple wire basket mounted on the tile wall. Using a basket instead of a shelf or tray is a good idea because it lets the water fall through, but this particular basket doesn’t quite work. It’s mounted at a slight angle, so the soap and shampoo tend to slide toward the front. This in itself wouldn’t be a problem, but the front of the basket has just one guard wire, and both the soap and the shampoo bottle that come with the room are small enough to slip under it.
I learned this not through examination or measurement, but through experience. Both of them slid out onto the floor during my shower this morning.
There were actually two bathrooms in the suite1. One had the shower and a normal counter and sink, and the other had the toilet and this:
My hands are not the size of Shaq’s, so if your initial impression of this photo was “Wow, that’s a tiny sink!” you had the same reaction I did. It looks great, but there’s barely room to get both hands under the spigot without splashing water out onto the floor.
The SpringHill chain seems to have scaling problems. Last year, my family stayed at one during part of our vacation, and we wanted to use the foldout sofabed in the “living room” area. The layout was just like the room I had last night:
The problem, which I didn’t try to recreate for the photograph, was that the unfolded bed didn’t fit in the space between the wall and the little desk. We could do the initial lift of the bed out of the sofa, but when we did the final unfolding, the bed frame would crash into the desk. Move the desk? Fixed to the back wall. Turn the bed 90°? Tried it, but it was too wide.
Despite the out-of-scale items, I enjoyed my short stay at the SpringHill. I’ve always had a preference for CamelCase.
The “suite” was really just one big room, but hotel-speak tends to be, shall we say, expansive. I don’t necessarily expect an actual suite any more than I expect an actual queen-sized bed. ↩︎