New Hand Dryers Cause Hygiene Hysteria


When brainstorming ideas for this weeks blog post, I came upon an article that discussed several issues with modern hand dryers. These dryers are meant to reduce the amount of bacteria spread between users by releasing bursts of hot air onto users hands. However, several studies show that these new bathroom gadgets are causing more harm than good.

Researchers got a real surprise when they counted the bacteria left on the fingertips after using these new drying methods. When washing hands with conventional methods by using paper towels or continuous-loop cotton towels, researchers found that bacterial count was reduced by about 45–60 per cent. But when washing, and then using a warm-air dryer actually increased the bacterial count by an average of 255 per cent. This then lead me to question, “How could drying your hands increase the number of bacteria on your skin?” When examined more thoroughly the researchers found out the answer to my question. The solution was that the bacteria that was already inside the warm-air dryers, due to the warm moist environment, is spread when the air passes through the nozzle onto the user’s hands or arms.

Along with this information, I too became critical of these air hand dryers f0r several other reasons. First of all, these machines are loud, really loud, and after your ear drums have ruptured you are often left with moisture still on your hands, which requires you to enter round two with this ear deafening machine. Secondly, there is often a single air hand dryer located in bathrooms and this can lead to awkward lines which nobody enjoys. Finally, these dryers are expensive. Infact, a new Dyson Airblade Hand Dryer(pictured above) retails at $1,199.

Overall, I personally am unable to discern who would fund the purchase, use, or installment of these new air hand dryers. Not only do they lack functionality, they also have several deficiencies that cannot convince me that they are worth the lofty price tag that they are paired with.


Bathroom Layout Is “Crap”

One of the most irritating systems that I use is one that I encounter almost every day. Whenever I go to the Lynch bathroom, located outside of our Digital Communications classroom, to wash my hands I encounter an issue. When I reach for the knobs on the sink, the automated soap dispenser located on the wall will release soap on to my arm. With a few modifications I feel that it would be very easy to resolve the issues with the current layout.

When reconstructing this interface it is important utilized the basic laws and rules related to interaction design to build a more affective system. Several solutions that are both plausible and effective include, repositioning the soap dispensers and designing new types of soap dispensers.

With a few modifications, the results of a poorly designed layout could be greatly reduced. These modifications would lead to a more pleasant and efficient experience for users.