I am a huge fan of Seth Godin’s This is Broken TED talk. He gives several examples of “broken” design, and talks about the different reasons things are broken.
In that spirit, I offer a morning observation of brokenness.
This sign is posted on an office door in the building in which I work. Here’s a transcription:
A closed door means that at this moment the reception desk is not staffed.
Thus, knocking will serve no purpose.
We apologize for the lack of a phone or a buzzer at the door.
Your options are:
Contact the person you are supposed to meet with to ask them to let you in, or
Wait a minute for someone to come in or out.
I think Godin would classify this as “not my job” – someone felt they could make the sign, but didn’t feel that they could order a door buzzer installed (or just unlock the door). In any case, a locked door invites knocking, and this sign is an indication that knocking serves “no purpose.” Broken.