Proximity is a key indicator of function

by @edent | # # # | 2 comments

I walked into an unfamiliar toilet recently. You’ve probably done the same, looking around to find the stalls, work out whether the driers are near the sinks, if there’s soap available. I was completely taken aback when I saw this monstrosity of a sink.

A bathroom sink. The taps are on the opposite site of the sink to the faucet

It’s well known that we Brits love our separate hot and cold taps – but I’d never seen anything like this before! Why are the taps so far away from the spigot?

This is the Principle of Proximity.

One of the oldest principles of human-computer interaction is that things that are close together on the screen are seen as related. (Similarly, users view as related those things that are the same color or shape, that move or change together, or that reside within an enclosure, such as a box.)
Closeness of Actions and Objects in GUI Design

It applies to websites and sinks!

2 thoughts on “Proximity is a key indicator of function

  1. Someone actually thought “this is definitely the best way to do this.”


  2. If this were back in the nineties, we could have had one of those webring things for people weird enough to write about the affordance of taps. I’m in…

    publicstrategist.com/2012/10/turnin…


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