Why Do British People Have Everything Backwards?

May 22, 2023

Or do they? From driving on the other side of the road to ridiculous design decisions in the bathroom. Join me on my travel to Windsor and London to learn more about it.

Red London bus in front of Big Ben, London.
Have you tried walking around London without bumping into anyone? The hardest task in the world - Photo by Aron Van de Pol on Unsplash

Oh, hello dear! *insert a British accent*, and welcome to another of my Monday stories! Currently, I am writing this draft article from my friend's flat in Windsor (Thank you, Emil, if you are reading my story) and enjoying my workation in England by balancing between work and sightseeing. Shh, don't tell anybody, but I haven’t seen a raindrop since I came.

Five days in and the user experience is bursting from everywhere! 😄I kid you not. The first user experience was already at the airport where we as passengers needed to self-checkout. Yes, convenient I know. What happened also is that I realised how much British people love to queue. Zig-zag lines (or belt barriers; yes I googled the term) everywhere!

After getting to the end of the line I was supposed to scan my passport and be filmed by a self-adjusting camera. It was quite the experience. The user journey was also smooth, thanks to the help of another traveller that give me more helpful instructions than the designated employee. When approaching the gates you should remove your mask and glasses, and prepare your passport with the photo page open and facing down. And one of the most important details, when you slide your passport make sure to keep it firmly on the top of the screen and to reach the end of the hole. If doesn't register it try again and eventually should.

This is how the gates look like at Stansted airport for example  -  Source futuretravelexperience.com

After I did some thinking I have some curious questions for British designers and non-designers:

  • To any British people out there: why some of your bus stops don't face the street? What is the logic behind this design decision? Please let me know if you know the reason.
  • Why do your sink tap handles rotate in different directions?
  • Why do your sliding windows require gym strength?
  • Defibrillators around the cities? How this started?

But still, I have way more to explore until 23.05.23! Stay posted for more on my Instagram! 😊 Until next time, wishing you a great and successful week!

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