Perchè alla Mercedes i bagni sono senza lavandini?

Sinks are so redundant. Counter sink ftw.

NOTA AICEX: un divertente articolo sulla user experience – 

With all the automated things happening in the restrooms these days — faucet, soap, and toilet engage automatically — this sink threw me for a loop.

My experiences at Honda and Toyota dealerships didn’t prepare me for the fanciness of Mercedes. Honda and Toyota had normal sinks, you know, the ones with actual holes. In the Mercedes dealership in Rocklin, CA, sinks don’t exist. Just wash your hands at the counter and the water flows backward. Pretty cool, except for the soap situation. Everything is automated, except soap, which also isn’t located near the middle faucet. I had to walk my dripping wet hands over to the dispenser and then back again. Otherwise, a lovely concept. I’d feel weird brushing my teeth here though. This restroom actually had a chandelier and a giant piece of artwork with lips all over it. Definitely Las Vegas caliber pampering and style.

As a general rule, if you have to give instructions for your user interface (UI), then you have failed as a designer. This restroom is so modern with the sinkless sink that they had to install a sign that tells you to hold your hands out for the sensor. I had to do a few wizardly gestures to get the thing going, but it worked.

On a related note, am I the only one who gets confused when 90% of the bathroom tasks are automated? In this Mercedes restroom, the water, toilet and dryer work automatically, but you have to get all analog and manual for the soap. More than once I’ve been lulled into the mindlessness of automated bathrooms, holding my hands under a soap dispenser and expecting it to sense me and do all the work. Meanwhile I’m standing there like an idiot and nothing happens.

I’m definitely not a fan of the automated toilets, however. They flush at all the wrong times. I read that the act of flushing sends germs into the environment. So if the toilet decides it wants to flush and you’re not ready, that’s no fun at all, and actually can become germtastic. Why hasn’t Dateline covered the auto flushing germ risk like they did for hotel rooms?

My first Mercedes: a Roadtrek camper van (note the plate: we really LOVE UX!)


Company Name: Mercedes Benz
Company Website:
Attempted Interaction: Wash hands in the Rocklin, CA dealership’s restroom
Rating: 4 Heart Paws/Excellent UX — Task was completed and it was a positive experience
Date of Usability Test: August 6, 2014

4 Heart Paws: Good UX

Usability Pros:

  • Easier to clean — no different cleansers for counter versus sink
  • Very streamlined

Usability Cons:

  • If your product UI requires instructions, it’s not intuitive (or maybe it’s just education we heathens who are used to analog sinks and faucets)
  • Soap dispenser placement requires you to sidestep to get foamy

How to Improve:

  • Add a soap dispenser for the middle sink

AICEX Customer Experience Italian Association


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