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Toilet Flies

Andrew McGlinchey writes about a Fly UI: ‘I have seen one of the finest instances of user interface design ever, and I saw it in the men’s room at Schipol airport in Amsterdam. In each of the urinals, there is a little printed blue fly. It looks a lot like a real fly, but it’s definitely iconic – you’re not supposed to believe it’s a real fly. It’s printed near the drain, and slightly to the left.’

I’ve heard of this one before, and yes, it is an aiming-improvement UI. It started in France around the turn of the century, if I recall correctly. One important fact: it’s not a fly — it’s a bee. You see, it’s also a visual pun — the french for ‘bee’ is ‘apis’, geddit?

(I’d have commented on the blog, itself, but it’s one of those ‘create an account to comment’ places — too much trouble!)

He’s also spot-on about why tea is big in Ireland: ‘The climate is cool, grey and damp. Steady doses of warm drink with a nice gentle caffeine push really keeps you going.’ Hey, works in the Himalayas too ;)

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