Privacy please

I recently visited the newly opened Mandarin Oriental in Taipei, and the smallest detail in the bathroom caught my attention.

There, right next to the WC, was a discreet little “privacy” button.

The idea struck me immediately as nouveau but also very clever. How many times have we been busy in the bathroom — even if only for a few minutes — and the doorbell rings?

“Innovation” and “user experience” are terms used so often in design, yet more often than not these concepts become complicated and involve a myriad of new systems and technology.

Why not just come up with a simple great idea — one that not only gains the appreciation of guests but also gets other designers wondering why they didn’t think of it first?

This privacy button is one of these thoughtful gestures, for those times when you just might be unavailable for a few moments.

In short, a perfect example of a small idea that impacts in a bigger way.