awkward shower designs #1

This is my first in a series of posts about everyday objects and design. These are inspired by my first-time clutzy experiences with new things, my engineering roots, and my explorations of books like Dan Pink‘s A Whole New Mind and Donald Norman‘s The Design of Everyday Things.

My problem with the below is that the faucet-to-shower head toggle valve* is awkward to push. It’s a super-narrow cylinder that you have to push inwards. And in the hotel where I encounter these (a Four Points Sheraton in central Cali), the toggle-device is often stuck. Which makes me wonder – why wasn’t this designed to be easy to use? e.g., with a knob on the end or something? And why would a hotel chain (or the manager who oversaw this particular hotel’s plumbing / construction) ever choose this design for its customers?

*yes, I don’t actually know what this is called. (And searched a bunch of faucet sites). does anyone know?




  1. vocab maven · · Reply

    “diverter” is my favorite name for the toggle, but it is often simply called a “stem.”


  2. Sweet – thanks, vocab maven!


  3. […] vents of my 98 Sable so I’m reviving the post series on designs I officially kicked off here. To get right to it, here’s a photo of the vent on the top of my […]


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