Posts tagged ‘Design’

.. The Great British Public Toilet Map

The Great British Public Toilet Map launched last Wednesday 19th November on World Toilet Day*

The GB Public Toilet Map shown on iPhone

Previous versions of the map have existed since 2011, but this is now the largest publicly accessible toilet database in the UK by some way. It has over 9500 toilets, and I’d be confident of saying that the map will help you to find toilets no matter where you live.

If for some inexplicable reason it doesn’t, you can add, edit and remove toilets until it does! We’ve had over 1000 toilets added this week.

There are also a tiny minority of locations where the data has gone a bit loopy with duplicate loos or inaccurate locations. Don’t be shy about removing those that you think are wrong, or telling us at about parts of the country that may need a little attention. You’ll be doing us a huge favour.

You can read more about the map in The Mirror, The Guardian or The Telegraph. Or view our press release.

*As well as World Toilet Day, it was also GIS Day (Geographic Information System). They might as well name it Toilet Map Day.


November 25, 2014 at 1:53 pm 1 comment

… User-Centred Design – Urinal Games

An article was published yesterday about a company who are installing games for men to play whilst at the urinal. The game is controlled by peeing.

I’m recoiling already.

Not at the concept. I just hate talking about urinals. I don’t know anything about them. There is no more mysterious public space to a woman than the men’s toilets, and vice-versa (although I have been in the men’s at the RCA once for research purposes and was aghast at how much cleaner they were. What on earth are you all complaining about?)

The BBC’s article about the pee-game is very thorough.

Entitled ‘Toilet gaming technology targets urinal boredom’..

 (‘boredom’? Are people really bored by peeing? I’m very understanding of different views, but if you pee enough to be bored by it, you should probably see a doctor)

..the game “sits above the normal oval ceramic urinal bowl, opening up a whole new world of entertainment…The user is presented with three generous targets to aim for in the urinal: stickers in the unit that read “Start”, “Left” and “Right”.”
Keep reading…

November 29, 2011 at 3:02 pm 2 comments

… Oxford Street

There are new public toilets planned for Oxford Street!


Or is it?

Public toilet blocks don’t get built that often nowadays, but this is different. They’re not really ‘new’ but a replacement, because the last set of public toilets on London’s busiest shopping street were filled in with concrete.

You see there was a set of public toilets underneath Oxford Circus. Access was via a set of steps on a pedestrian traffic island in the middle of the crossing with Regent Street (with men’s and women’s on the opposite sides of the junction).

There was never anyone in them (well, not in the Ladies…). I always thought that this was because of their awful location; maybe no one noticed that they were there?!

Inside they were alright, much like most of Westminster Council’s toilets, as they’d been refurbished in 2005 for £300 000. When I visited the toilets in 2006 and took photos, as-you-do, there was also a plant. I liked that.
Read more…

April 27, 2011 at 5:13 pm 1 comment

Idea #7: What Community Toilet Scheme?

Another day, and another council announces it might close some public toilets and pay businesses to let the public use theirs instead (Tendring Council, in case you’re keeping score).

Not necessarily a bad thing. 10 public toilets can become 100 community toilets for the same price. But whilst public toilets are visible in the street, recognisable, and permanent; community toilets are hidden within businesses, not well understood by the public, and the participants frequently change.

So how do you communicate a Community Toilet Scheme?

There’s the slightly inadequate sticker in the window, which you have to know to look for and which some shops are reluctant to display.

Other than that you’ve got three options: Signposts – today’s topic, Maps – tomorrow’s topic, maybe…, and Apps – see ‘Open Data’ – a whole other topic! *dramatic sigh*
Keep reading…

February 9, 2011 at 5:54 pm Leave a comment

… Answers

For those that don’t know: when you have a WordPress blog you’re told the Google search terms that led someone here.

For example, today I’ve had:

  • children toilet layout
  • charging for public conveniences
  • queue for ladies loo
  • eu law and charging to use mens urinals
  • london map toilet
  • using public toilets
  • sanitary bins for lady’s toilets

These have begun to make me feel guilty.

You’ll never find what you’re looking for in a rambling blog, and yet generally I either think I could help, or know someone or something else that could.

So click here for a link to a range of publications and websites etc. that covers:

  • Design
  • Provision
  • Community Toilet Schemes
  • Building Regulations
  • British Standards
  • Government & Academic Research
  • Further Reading

Hope it helps!

Alternatively email me at

Any question answered! Even if I don’t know…

January 24, 2011 at 4:13 pm Leave a comment

… Money, Cost & Value – Part II

As the old saying goes, there’s more than one way to fund a toilet.

Having just exhausted the subject of charging the public to use the loos in “…Money, Cost & Value“, I’m going to move on to other ways of generate money, and more importantly, other ways of adding value. (Personally I’d skip the Money part…)
Keep reading…

December 10, 2010 at 4:14 pm 1 comment

… Council Websites

Public Toilets are run by the council. So if you want to know where they are you’ll find the information on the council website.

I’m not suggesting that this is a particularly convenient way to find out where the toilet is if you need the toilet, but you might be planning ahead or particularly concerned about finding facilities (which you would be if you have problems with incontinence, or if  you’re caring for someone else, or responsible for a group trip, to give some examples).

And with more councils starting and promoting their community toilet schemes, the information for residents and visitors on which businesses are participating is also to be found online. (Some also make printed maps. I love them.)

A few months ago I was on a committee looking at ways to design out crime in public toilets. One thing that we decided to do was to each look at the council websites of Hertfordshire and report back.

It wasn’t a particularly scientific experiment but just the act of being forced to look at and compare 10 different neighbouring councils’ websites threw up more examples of some basic problems regarding public toilet provision. And council websites.
Keep reading…

November 22, 2010 at 1:49 pm 4 comments

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