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The parable of the DIY Store Toilet Brush - why good signage matters

This is the parable of the DIY Store Toilet Brush

The Scene:

The Toilet Brush is the much-looked down upon member of the Brush Family: at the top of the family, you have the muscular outdoorsy Yard Brush (Broom); other members include the supple flexible mop. At the bottom you have the Toilet Brush that performs the crappiest of jobs.

Where do you expect to find our unloved friend? In the DIY stores I've been to, the Brush section contains all Brush family members and hangers on such as cloths and sponges .. except for our unloved friend. Our friend is actually found cowering in the least favourable part of the bathroom section.

And this is useful for good design??

How would you feel if you've gone to the brush section to find a Loo Brush?

  • You walk up and down the aisle and nearby ones hunting. No luck!!

  • Now you have to find the nearest assistant. They tell tell you its in the bathroom section .. which is usually at the other end of the store.

  • You traipse down the store to Bathrooms. Up and down the aisles, getting a sore neck looking down .. eventually you find aforesaid desired item cowering below the other, sexier items such as soap dispensers.

Now imagine you've gone to a website or an app to find something and the designer's put it somewhere they think is the best place, but for a lot of users its not where they want it!!

Fundamentally, this is a failure of User Research (UX) testing!

What to do?

  1. Signage, signage and more signage (or links).

    1. Putting a clear, eye-height notice in the Brush section "Toilet Brushes in Bathroomware" would redirect the customer to our unloved friend.

    2. In Bathroomware, put a sign to steer customers to our friend!

Would you go to Brushes or Bathrooms first to get your Loo Brush?


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