My Octopress Blog

A blogging framework for hackers.

A Good Place for the Kitchen Sink

Improving negative activities

I was up visiting my parents recently, and my mother said something that stuck with me.

“Doing the dishes wouldn’t be so bad if the sink wasn’t up against a wall.”

I looked at the kitchen of her place and realized that she was right. The sink in this house was in the corner of the kitchen. If she was to stand at the sink to do the dishes, it would be akin to sending a kid into the corner with a dunce hat.

Somewhere along the line, some architect was trying to fit all the necessary items into the kitchen and, although he succeeded, he forgot to think about the people. This is a mistake I’m sure a lot of us web developers, programmers, and techies do on a regular basis.

Just think of how limiting it is to have a double sink in the corner of the room. If my parents have guests over, my mom can’t interact with them at the same time as she does the dishes. If my parents want to talk, they can’t do so over the dishes. In fact, a person could do nothing more while doing the dishes than focus on how crappy it is to do the dishes.

Simple ways to improve this?

  • Build the sink on an island in the middle of the kitchen
  • Build the sink overlooking a window with a view
  • Hire a maid. ;)

How can these simple ideas be translated to the web? Are there things that are usable, but that don’t help take the pain away? Have you ever had to use a signup form and just loathed all the filling out you had to do?

When you’re building your next app, or even your next house, just think about what it would be like to do a 15 person dinner’s worth of dishes while staring at the corner of a room.