How to Use a Revolving Door

Trust me: you may NOT know how to use the revolving door properly. Let’s just review a few relevant points first.

You Are A Revolving Door User

A revolving door is a product or service, depending on how you regard it. When you go through the door, pushing one of its wings in order to move forward, you become a user of that door.

Users Crave Control

They crave control when using products and services:

“Similar to backseat drivers, users want to feel in control. Feelings of control can only occur when… it clearly tells the user what the state of the system is and how to manipulate the interface to change that state.”

As a revolving door user, you always want it to be under your control — when you push the door it should move smoothly and forward; push harder and it should move faster; pull it a bit and it should slow down or stop.

Duh? But let’s come to the main topic—

The Disruption of User Experience

Then how about this—

You enter a revolving door and start to push it to go through. That’s all fine even subconsciously. Now imagine someone, say, a handsome man in suits, who’s just entered the revolving door after you. He suddenly pushes hard and the whole door immediately starts to swing faster. You instantly become cautious, not only because the door swings faster now, but also because it is out of your complete control — you’re sharing the control with Handsome Henry.

Imagine you are driving, and someone in the backseat also has a steering wheel to co-control the car with you. Wouldn’t that make you more cautious and nervous? And think about what that old granny would feel if you enter the door after her and suddenly start push forward.

In general, people are forced to become more cautious and even more nervous by your pushing (if you’re entering behind them) – an outside force that’s out of their control. And vice versa.

So the key insight from the above elaboration is this:

You don’t want your door-using experience to be disrupted when using the revolving door, and you shouldn’t disrupt other people’s using experience.

Revolving Door User Guide

Get Started

Upon approaching a revolving door, look around to see if there are people who are about to enter or are already entering the door in front of you, and if there are people behind who are to enter after you.


If there are already people in the process of going through the door, enter the door carefully and DO NOT push the door. Follow through and only start pushing the door when the people before you have left it.

If there are people behind you, push the door slowly and smoothly. DO NOT surprise people with a sudden change of speed. If the people after you start pushing the door, push less or stop pushing so as to hand over the control to them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What if the person before me is pushing the door really hard and fast? I can’t just follow through because it’s just too fast to me.

A: Pull the door to let the person know you want it slower.

Q: If someone before me is ridiculously slow and I’m in a real hurry, what do I do?

A: You follow through. Try not to disrupt other people’s pace. You wouldn’t want your own comfortable pace to be disrupted, would you?

Q: The guy behind me is pushing the door like crazy, how do I keep safe?

A: Stop suddenly to make the impact. Yes, your back may hurt, but it’s very likely that guy would realize something and you’d be doing a great favor to a handsome many people who would go through a revolving door before the guy.

Q: Hey, it’s just a revolving door. People get through in any way, anyway. Why bother?

A: By the time your 90 year old mother and/or your 5 year old daughter was hurt, physically or psychologically, due to the disruption of their own pace, you wouldn’t ask that question. For now, show some respect to people.

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