Monday, 28 July 2008

Keeping your hand in

I don’t usually take photos in loos, but …








Here is the new Dyson hand drier. So good, it needs instructions. And endorsements. In fact, the endorsements are bigger than the instructions. I think I understand the endorsements (‘British Skin Foundation validates Dyson’s skincare research’ = ‘This is really good, it’s scientific). I don't think I understand the instructions. Two unattached mitts are inserted in the drier. Something (waiting time? drying time?) takes 10 seconds (or mustn’t exceed 10 seconds?). The mitts pop out like toast from a toaster. The instructions are white on silver. But hey, Mr Dyson is an engineer, not a designer. Except, aren’t engineers designers?

The University of Reading is, I am told, planning a full-size wall graphic to explain how you use these machines – which are very quick and efficient – no more turning round from the sink with wet hands, seeing the hand-driers, calculating the minutes it will take to dry your hands, and opting for a quick wipe on the jeans instead.

PS. I dried my hands perfectly well by rapidly moving them up and down in the blade-like airstream. It worked. I am told this is the wrong way to do it. You insert and slowly draw them out through the airstream – presumably taking 10 seconds to do this. That's the trouble with instructions. If you try, there’s usually another way to do it.

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