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Train toilets are perceived to be dirty and as a consequence train travelers rate the toilet as insufficient. While the train toilet is mainly used to urinate it is for men impossible to keep the train toilet clean without spilling urine outside the bowl while standing. This causes women to hover while urinating and as a result they add to the soiling of the train toilet, by spilling drips over the seat. A 'hygienic train toilet' will make train travel more attractive, and it can remove one of the obstacles to travelling by train, particularly for the elderly and families with young children. A possible solution to improve hygiene in the train toilet is splitting its interior based on the posture while urinating. Accordingly, a toilet with two modules was designed: One for urinating standing and the other for the seated or hovered toilet use which was 'inclusively designed', thus the interior is enhanced with adaptations such as toddler platforms, a diaper changing table, extra support and enough space for wheel-chair manipulation. The observation and questionnaire both with 26 users of 3-68 years old (some wheel chair users) showed that the mock-up of the train toilet indirectly scored a 7.1 on a 10 point scale (1= very bad, 10= very good), but there is room for improvement, for instance a sanitary waste bin, an extra support bar on the left side of the toilet and a toddler platform under the urinal were lacking.
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Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics AHFE 2014, Kraków, Poland 19-23 July 2014
Edited by T. Ahram, W. Karwowski and T. Marek
Mock-up test of two train toilet modules
Marian Loth, Daan van Eijk, and Johan Molenbroek
Delft University of Technology, Faculty Industrial Design Engineering, Landbergstraat 15, 2628 CE
Delft The Netherlands
ABSTRACT
Train toilets are perceived to be dirty and as a consequence train travelers rate the toilet as insufficient. While the
train toilet is mainly used to urinate it is for men impossible to keep the train toilet clean without spilling urine
outside the bowl while standing. This causes women to hover while urinating and as a result they add to the soiling
of the train toilet, by spilling drips over the seat.
A ‘hygienic train toilet’ will make train travel more attractive, and it can remove one of the obstacles to travelling by
train, particularly for the elderly and families with young children.
A possible solution to improve hygiene in the train toilet is splitting its interior based on the posture while urinating.
Accordingly, a toilet with two modules was designed: One for urinating standing and the other for the seated or
hovered toilet use which was ‘inclusively designed’, thus the interior is enhanced with adaptations such as toddler
platforms, a diaper changing table, extra support and enough space for wheel-chair manipulation.
The observation and questionnaire both with 26 users of 3-68 years old (some wheel chair users) showed that the
mock-up of the train toilet indirectly scored a 7.1 on a 10 point scale (1= very bad, 10= very good), but there is room
for improvement, for instance a sanitary waste bin, an extra support bar on the left side of the toilet and a toddler
platform under the urinal were lacking.
Keywords: Train toilet, Hygiene, Inclusive Design, Mock-up testing, Observational research.
INTRODUCTION
Public toilets are a necessity and perceived to be dirty (Kira, 1976; Greed, 2003; Barcan, 2005; Greed, 2006;
George, 2008, Williams, 2009). Train travelers also complain about dirty toilets and that is the main reason why
83% of the train travelers avoid them (Omnibus survey, 2009, Loth & Molenbroek, 2011). The presence of a train
toilet seems to be very important to the train travelers and 5 to 8% of the train travelers, actually use it (Louts, 2011,
Loth et al., 2014). Particularly for the elderly and families with young children the dirty train toilet can even be a
reason to avoid train travel (Buzink et al., 2008; Molenbroek et al., 2011; Loth et al, 2014).
In addition, this group of train travelers appears to travel by train more often during off-peak hours, the time when
there are plenty of seats available in the train as the average occupancy during off-peak- hours is merely 30%
making them a potentially interesting customer group for the NS (Boer et al., 2008).
In an attempt to change this undesirable situation, the project ‘Hygienic Train Toilet’ was started which is a
cooperation between Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering and the NS (Dutch
national Railways). The project encompasses the research and product development of toilets with a focus on the
perception of (un) hygienic train toilets. The main purpose of the project is to significantly improve train toilet
hygiene so that ‘taking the train’ becomes more attractive, or more specifically that the train traveler will rate the
train toilet as sufficient.
It will not be straightforward to improve and make train toilets more hygienic as they should be suitable for a wide
variety of users (Molenbroek and De Bruin, 2011). These users vary in age, physical capacities and in gender (Loth
et al., 2014).
The design challenge is to research through design a train toilet that is accessible and suitable for everyone who is
able to travel by train (Hekkert et al., 2009).
Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics AHFE 2014, Kraków, Poland 19-23 July 2014
Edited by T. Ahram, W. Karwowski and T. Marek
From our earlier research (Loth & Molenbroek, 2011, Loth et al, 2014) we concluded that the train toilet is mainly
used to urinate and that the vast majority of men use a standing position while urinating. For them it is probably
impossible to keep the train toilet clean without spilling urine outside the bowl. In addition, more than half of the
women hover over the toilet because the toilet (seat) is perceived to be dirty. This hovering position can also cause a
significant soiling of the toilet seat and floor (Kira, 1976; Greed, 2003).
Since people use toilets in different ways, this variety in usages may not be compatible with one physical design.
More effective is to have two different designs of collecting urine and faeces and therefore we propose to split the
toilet interior into two modules: one for urinating in a standing position and one for the seated or hovered toilet use.
As a consequence one module serves as a train urinal, see figure 1 and another module reflects a family sit toilet, see
figure 2 to improve the hygienic and ergonomical wishes of its users. Consequently, the design of the family sit
toilet is enhanced with small adaptations, such as toddler platforms, a baby changing table, enough space for wheel
chair manipulation and extra bars at strategic places to be stable in a moving train (Molenbroek et al., 2011;
Anthony and Dufresne, 2007; BTA; DTO; WTO; Inclusive Design Toolkit; Greed, 2003).
Figure 1. Interior of train urinal Figure 2. Interior of Family sit toilet
As part of larger studies this present paper demonstrates the assessment of two train toilet modules including the
train urinal and some aspects of the family sit toilet based on observational research (Kanis and Rooden, 2005;
Kumar, 2005).
DESIGN OF THE MOCKUP
The design challenge is that the train toilet should be suitable and accessible to everyone who is able to travel by
train. Accordingly, the train urinal is designed for men and boys who urinate standing up whereas the family sit
toilet is designed for other usage.
Three important characteristics can be distinguished in the design of the two mock-ups as a unity presenting a train
toilet:
1. Separate urinal for males facilitating a reduction in distance to the bowl for them when using the toilet.
The effect should be that the other toilet seat should stay clean.
2. Inclusive design of the family sit toilet module: wheelchair access guaranteed, both sexes of every age can use
it. There is enough space for wheelchair manipulation. A toddler platform and a baby diaper-changing table are
at hand, see figure 2.
3. Extra support. Extra bars will be positioned at strategic places in the interior enhancing stability in a riding train.
(Buzink et al., 2011). An extra broad toilet seat is available for toddlers and the transfer of wheelchair users
(van Dijk, 2010; McClelland and I.L.Ward, 1982), see figure 2 and figure 6.
Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics AHFE 2014, Kraków, Poland 19-23 July 2014
Edited by T. Ahram, W. Karwowski and T. Marek
Figure 3. Inclusion of specific user groups in the design: Inclusive design of the train toilet.
The next three steps were followed in the design of the train toilet:
1. Differentiation of the train toilet interior into two separate modules.
2. Outline of the basic form of the interiors.
3. Integration of the key-elements and the adaptations into the interior.
The design of the two different modules is described below.
1. Train urinal and washbasin combination.
The starting point for the design of the urinal, see figure 1 and 4 is to create a certain visible and physical distance
between the urinal and the washbasin, however both are combined and connected. Firstly, the visible distance is
created by designing the washbasin next to the urinal and not above the urinal which is already an existing product
idea (Cijffers, 1996, Kim, 2010). Secondly, according to the physical distance, the man has to take an extra step to
use the washbasin. Reason for this is to involve somehow a distinction in seemingly contradictory activities. Namely
using a urinal is to ‘relieve’ yourself in contrast to using a washbasin what is used to clean yourself.
Thus it is important in the design to create a certain distance between a ‘clean’ activity (washing the hands) and a
‘dirty’ activity (urinating in an urinal).
According the design of the urinal a round separation wall has been chosen to have a same form integration with the
family sit toilet module. Thus although the two separate train toilet modules have a different design approach, they
still belong together as their function is a train toilet. Therefore they belong to each other and this is translated in a
roughly same round form characteristic.
The urinal is designed for men and boys who urinate standing up, see figure 1. The urinal is combined with a
washbasin reminding the man or boy to wash his hands. The space is partially open, there is no door, but the
visitors’ privacy is guaranteed. The same idea is shown in the current street urinal of Amsterdam ‘the krul’ and in
the design of a ‘hygienic train urinal’ (Van den Meiracker, 2011). The range of facilities nearby is fairly basic: a
‘waterfall’ faucet, a soap dispenser and an electric hand dryer are available. Because of the presence of a hand dryer
it is presumed that a waste bin would not be necessary. The absence of paper towels will provide a cleaner
impression, as they cannot be disposed of on the floor.
The room is designed as a touch free area meaning that a man doesn’t need to touch any button or tap. Hand
washing and the urinal facility are combined in one product to encourage hand washing and therefore hygienic
behavior after the use of the urinal. It is stated that upon hearing and seeing the flowing water, the user is
encouraged to wash his hands.
This positive hygienic behavior seems to be triggered by means of a sensor. This sensor activates the discharge of
the water from the tap as soon as the man steps away from the urinal. The sight and sound of water flowing into the
basin along with the passage to the urinal reminds a user to wash his hands and the same ‘grey’ water will also flush
the urinal (Loth, 2011, 2013).
Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics AHFE 2014, Kraków, Poland 19-23 July 2014
Edited by T. Ahram, W. Karwowski and T. Marek
Figure 4. Exterior of train urinal module Figure 5. Interior Family Sit Toilet’ module
2. Family sit toilet module
The starting point for this design, see figure 2 and 5 was to make it accessible for many types of users. It is a
spacious, wheelchair accessible train toilet that accommodates anyone wanting to use the toilet in a sitting or
hovering position. It offers additional facilities for the elderly (extra support bars), parents with small children
(toddler platform) and babies (baby changing table) and an extra broad toilet seat is available.
The design of the toilet seat has the following characteristics, see figure 6: Firstly, the broad rim supports toddlers
while climbing on the toilet and assists wheel chair users with the transfer to the toilet. Men can sit comfortably on it
as well, as the wider opening of the seat prevents contact between the penis and the toilet while sitting on the seat
(van Dijk, 2010; McClelland and I.L.Ward, 1982).
Figure 6. Extra broad toilet seat with larger opening compared to current toilet seat.
The question for the mock-up testing was how this new mockup is assessed by the passengers using the toilet.
METHODS
Subjects and procedure.
26 subjects with a large variation in age (3-68 years), gender and physical capacity (elderly walker/rollator (2) and
wheelchair users (5) participated in testing the effect of the designed mockup consisting of two modules. During
their ‘dry’ usage they were recorded by four cameras, which were later observed and tapped and interviewed,
whereby a man interviewed a man and a woman interviewed a woman. This procedure was chosen because of the
private nature of a visit to the toilet. It is quite comprehensible, for example, that a participant would not be pleased
to discuss issues as wiping with a representative of another sexe.
The participants are asked to sign a confidentiality agreement and a consent form in advance. Fortunately and
remarkably, the signing did not lead to discussions or problems with any single participant in contrary to what was
stated by (Rauhala M, 2011).
Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics AHFE 2014, Kraków, Poland 19-23 July 2014
Edited by T. Ahram, W. Karwowski and T. Marek
The location of the mock-up test
The mock-up testing is conducted in three steps in two different rooms. The first room serves to receive the
participants and inform them about the research method.
In the second room the actual mock-up testing takes place.
The rooms are situated close to one another in the same corridor. The first room is called the ‘hospitality lab’
because of its function of receiving the participants. As the name seemingly mentions it has a relaxing atmosphere
and a homely interior. There is a television, for example, a couch and domestic lighting.
The other spacious room in which the mock-up testing is executed houses the two different mock-ups. The train
urinal is situated on one side, on the other side the family toilet. Consistent with the participants’ answer to the
introduction question in the hospitality lab which option they will choose to urinate in the train –either the urinal or
the family toilet-, a researcher covers one of the mock-ups so as to make only the chosen mock-up visible and usable
for the participant, see figure 7.
Figure 7. Mock-up testing in Family sit toilet module with toddler girl and her father, the train urinal is covered with a curtain
and therefore not visible for the participant. She uses the platform to climb on the toilet.
The three steps of the mock-up test
The research is carried out in three steps:
1/
The first step is completing a questionnaire about general issues of the train trip connected with the train toilet. For
example, how often they travel by train, whether they use the toilet in the train, how they rate the toilet in the train
and questions about age, gender, length and weight.
2/
The next step of the mock-up testing comprehends passing through the research protocol of the observations during
which procedure a personal conversation with the participant takes place. The consent form is signed in which they
give permission to be videotaped whilst the researchers guarantee their privacy. They also sign a confidentiality
agreement in order to exclude issues concerning the patent application of the urinal.
In the personal conversation the use of cameras is explained and the researcher emphasizes that the participant does
not do anything wrong by taking part in the experiment, thus making sure that the participant will feel at ease.
3/
Finally the participant is brought to the mock-up testing room and a next researcher asks the participant to use the
train toilet mock-up in the usual way, fully clothed. During the ‘dry’ use of the train toilet module the researcher
interrogates the participant about toilet behaviour and usage. The questionnaire concerns the different elements in
the toilet such as an answer to the question if there is enough space. To conclude with the participant receives a gift
certificate of 10 Euro as a token of gratitude and for compensation.
Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics AHFE 2014, Kraków, Poland 19-23 July 2014
Edited by T. Ahram, W. Karwowski and T. Marek
RESULTS
Observations were split in results concerning using the family toilet and using the urinal.
Regarding the family sit toilet the following results from observation were striking:
Observations showed that participants (especially wheelchair users and toddlers) looked for support on the left side
of the family toilet while sitting down on and getting up from the seat, so a bar on this spot seemed to be necessary.
A vertical bar was placed in the front of the family-toilet. Observation showed that it was used by the participants,
especially by women who hovered above the seat and it seemed that it is useful, see figure 8.
Figure 8.
A female participant uses
the vertical bar
in front of the toilet
while hovering above the seat.
Probably because of the rough design of the facility to clean the seat, it was not clear to the participants that this was
the case, a participant mentioned that she was wondering what it was when asking about the facility. Therefore the
facility raised questions by the participants and needed to be explained. In addition, it was mainly used by the three
toddlers as an extra support possibility. When explaining and asking specifically about the facility the participants
were positive about it and would like to use it.
Several women (2 out of 6) admitted that they sometimes throw hygiene products into the toilet which can cause
blockage of the (delicate) train toilet flushing system.
The washbasin had a low position of 800 mm above the floor. The observations showed that children and wheelchair
users could use the washbasin well in this position and also the taller participants were able to wash their hands.
Some tall participants bent forward but it seemed feasible. The questionnaires gave the same impression.
The new form of the toilet seat scored on a scale from 1-10 (1=very bad, 10=very good) an average rating of 6.9 that
means it was appreciated. Meanwhile we cannot compare it with a current toilet seat as we did not test or ask to rate
a current toilet seat.
The toilet seat was fixed. Some participants nevertheless tried to put it upwards. The opinions on a wooden toilet
seat varied from ‘dirty’, ‘sharp’, ‘unhygienic’ to ‘cozy, ‘warm’ and ‘firm’.
Observations showed that all toddlers used the platform to climb on the toilet, see figure 7.
The Questionnaires, see table 1 showed that there was enough space. On a scale from 1-10 (1=small, 10=large) the
average rating was 7.3. The wheelchair users had an average of 5.7, which shows that they perceived the space as
rather small. In the observations it was clear that one wheelchair user with a small wheelchair was capable of
making the whole turn, see figure 9 whilst the others had difficulties in turning. Two users experienced the room as
very small.
Figure 9.
Wheel-chair user
with a small wheel chair
in the mock-up
One father participant closed the toilet lid so that his daughter could stand on it in the vicinity of her ‘sister or
brother’ (in real it was a puppet), while the father changed her nappy.
One woman had concerns that the head of the baby, the puppet, could fall in the gap next to the baby-changing table,
see figure 2. The table below shows the results from the questionnaire of the family sit toilet.
Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics AHFE 2014, Kraków, Poland 19-23 July 2014
Edited by T. Ahram, W. Karwowski and T. Marek
Table 1:Questionnaires of Female and Male, Wheelchair and Rollator users in the mock-up testing of the family sit toilet.
Family sit toilet
F: Female
M: Male
W: Wheelchair
R: Rollator
Rating and remarks
toilet seat:
1: very bad-
10: very good
Rating and
remarks space:
1: too limited-
10: too large
Height and remarks
washbasin:
1. too low
2. good
3. too high
4. no opinion
Remarks Female
hygiene
1F
10,
Good sitting, enough
legroom
10,
Too large
1. Too low,
Height acceptable
Tampons,
throwing in toilet
2F
-,
No opinion, I always
hover.
9,
Large for a train
toilet, not
necessary.
2. Good,
Cannot see the tap.
Not applicable
3F
7,
Good support
8,
Very large
1. Too low,
Cannot see my
hands.
Tampons and
sanitary pads.
4F
7.5,
Good sitting
9,
Satisfied,
comfortable
1. Too low.
Low height, no
problem
Tampons, not in
train, afraid for
infection. Thin
sanitary pads.
5F
8,
Not bad, normal toilet
seat.
7,
Perfect, just
right
2. Good,
Cannot see my
hands.
Tampons.
Sanitary pads. If
there is not a
small plastic bag
available, I throw
it in the toilet.
6F
6,
Not special or
remarkable.
7,
-
1. Too low,
A little bit too low.
Tampons.
7M
8,
Spacious in front.
Wood feels warm.
8,
-
2. Good,
-
Not applicable
8M
7,
Opening of toilet seat
large enough.
8,
-
1. Too low,
-
Not applicable
12FW
3,
Preference for plastic
seat. Wood not
hygienic.
2,
-
2. good,
-
Not applicable
13FW
3,
Donʼt like the wooden
material, Sharp, no
support, no bars.
1,
Space is too
small, Nearly
nothing fits in it.
1. Too low,
Cannot see the tap.
Sanitary pads.
Difficult to take of
the strip and find
the waste bin.
14FW
7,
Normal, as at home.
7,
-
2. good,
-
Not applicable
15MW
7,
Common toilet seat.
5,
Just good, can
even make a
whole turn.
2. good,
Good height.
Not applicable
16MW
8,
Preference for
plastic.
8-9,
Too large,
young people
can go together.
2.good,
Reachable while in
wheel-chair.
Not applicable
17MR
8-9,
Fine.
10,
Pleasant size.
There is space
for the rollator.
Standing up
goes well.
1. too low,
Appropriate for the
children.
Not applicable.
18FR
6,
Moderate.
6.5,
-
2. good,
-
Not applicable
Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics AHFE 2014, Kraków, Poland 19-23 July 2014
Edited by T. Ahram, W. Karwowski and T. Marek
Finally, from the observation of the urinal it was remarkable that two young boys showed a preference for using it
while the mother also encouraged the use of the urinal although for these small boys the position of the urinal was
too high. The table below shows the results from the questionnaire of the train urinal.
Table 2: Questionnaires of 2 Boys and 6 Men in the mock-up testing of the train urinal.
Train
Urinal
M:
Male
B:Boy
Height
urinal:
1. too low
2. good
3. too high
4. no opinion
Height
washbasin:
1. too low
2. good
3. too high
4. no opinion
Hand-
washing
suitable
1. Yes,
2. No,
Handwashing
understandable
1. Yes,
2. No,
Encouraging
Hand-
washing?
1. Yes,
2. No,
Enough
privacy?
1.Yes
2. No
3.No
opinion
Providing
Enough
safety?
1.Yes
2. No
3.No
opinion
Rating
passage
1: too
limited-
10: too
large
19M
2.good
2. good
1.Yes,
Basin large
enough.
1.Yes
1.Yes
1. Yes
1.Yes
8
20M
1.too low,
Little
bit,(body-
length 1.86)
2. good
1.Yes
1.Yes
1.Yes,
Rewarding by
flushing
1. Yes,
Perhaps
sometimes
problematic
1. Yes,
10,
Too
large.
21M
2. good
2. good
2.No,
Washbasin
too close to
urinal.
1.Yes
1.Yes,
Seems cleaner
2.No, donʼt like
the
combination
(clean and
dirty).
1.Yes,
Space offers
enough
privacy
2. No,
Location
urinal offers
not enough
privacy
1.Yes,
Not afraid
5,
Little bit
too
limited.
22M
2.good,
2.good,
Tap needs to
be lower.
1.Yes,
Tap too
high
1.Yes
1. Yes,
When turning,
you pass the
washbasin
1.Yes,
Sure
1. Yes,
Unless
someone
intentionall
y enters
9
23B*
(10
years)
3. too high
On tiptoes
reachable
2.good
2. No,
Sleeve
becomes
wet.
-
-
2. No,
I can hear
the
footsteps
Yes and
No,
Afraid that
someone
will enter.
5
24B
(12
years)
2. good
2.good
1.Yes,
Tap too
much out.
1. Yes,
Good for the
environment
1. Yes,
Due to the
flushing
2. No,
People
come too
close by
1. Yes
2. No,
If itʼs full
with other
passengers
8
25B
(25
years).
2. good
2.good
1. Yes,
Enough
space
1.Yes
2. No,
No difference.
1. Yes
1. Yes
6
26M
2. good
2.good,
Higher than
normal, but
good.
1. Yes
1.Yes
Always wash
my hands,
perhaps yes.
1. Yes,
semi-
transparen
cy works
well.
1. Yes,
More sense
of
supervision
6-7,
Just good
Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics AHFE 2014, Kraków, Poland 19-23 July 2014
Edited by T. Ahram, W. Karwowski and T. Marek
DISCUSSIONS
The main proposed solution to enhance train toilet hygiene is to add a urinal to facilitate a reduction in distance to
the bowl for men using the toilet in a standing position while urinating. The effect should be that mainly the toilet
seat is cleaner. Furthermore a family sit toilet is introduced for people who need or prefer to sit, which also includes
men who prefer to use the toilet whilst seated. As a result we hope that more women dare to sit on the toilet seat as
there is no spillage of urine when the user is seated (Loth & Molenbroek, 2011).
This family sit toilet is enhanced according the ‘inclusive design theory’ with small adaptations such as toddler
platforms, a baby changing table, enough space for wheel chair manipulation, extra bars at strategic places to be
stable in a moving train and finally an extra broad toilet seat (Molenbroek et al., 2011, Inclusive Design Toolkit).
Regarding the question whether this new two-way mockup is positively assessed by the train passengers the answer
based on the observations and the answers given in the questionnaire is yes’. However, this research also has the
next shortcomings:
Participants
As priority is given to involving a large variety in users, the number of participants per specific user-group is low.
For example, only two rollator users and two toddler girls used the family sit toilet and it is hard to generalize their
results to the whole group. However for a user research this number will give a good indication and direction (Kanis
&Arisz, 2000).
Assessment
The scores given on the assessment of different features can been influenced by the following aspects:
First, the judgments can be positively influenced because of the (positive) context of the mock-up testing, namely
the context is a lab-situation in a university environment. This situation does not involve a toilet on a riding train,
while shaking of the train could influence observations. Moreover, the mock-up was not used and therefore not dirty
at all. In addition, it was not an assessment of the cleanliness of the design but of the design itself. Still, the clean,
unused state of the design could have had a positive effect on the assessment.
Next, to minimize the Hawthorne Effect we have not asked directly to give a score to the complete mock-up as we
considered that the participants should give a more positive score to please the researcher for the close attention that
is given by the researcher. Accordingly, we measured the assessment indirectly by asking a score of important
elements in the mock-up including the toilet seat and the space of the family sit toilet and the passage of the urinal.
Nevertheless, low ratings are given, so a positive influence of the judgments known as the Hawthorne effect is not
really demonstrated (Kumar, 2005).
Although, giving a score between 1-10 was understandable and did not raise unclarity it was by some participants
differently interpreted. Namely for example one participant rated a five for the space, see table 1, 15MW, while he
said it was just perfect, so not too small and not too large. Since we defined a five as a negative score, in this case
the five was not meant to be negative. So this specific case had a negative influence on the average assessment of
the space, while it was actually positive. On the contrast, for example one participant gave a 10 to the toilet seat, see
table 1 1F and when asking to explain this high score she said that she had enough legroom, it was good and the
sitting went well.
Besides, about the wheelchair users using the mock-up it was remarkable that two (out of five) of the wheelchair
users rated the inner space low, see table 1 12 FW and 13FW, as the observations showed that they could manipulate
their wheelchair sufficiently, but were not able to take a turn. Compared to the current train toilet the inner space of
the family sit toilet is larger and the women for example rated the inner space as big. Someone specifically remarked
that she could dance in the mock-up.
To conclude the scores were personal and sometimes differently interpreted, but we thought too negative and too
positive scores were in balance.
Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics AHFE 2014, Kraków, Poland 19-23 July 2014
Edited by T. Ahram, W. Karwowski and T. Marek
Design
The next design features mentioned per module will be discussed, namely the toilet seat, spray facility, extra
support, sanitary waste bin and hand cloth.
1. Family sit toilet
To start with the toilet seat, the larger opening of the toilet seat approved to offer men more comfort while sitting
compared to a current toilet seat and both male participants remarked the extra sitting comfort due to the larger
opening, see table 1 7M and 8M. However it needs to be further researched upon with more female participants as
one female participant specifically mentioned that the opening was too large and that she fell through the opening of
the toilet seat.
So, the extra broad rim at the back and side of the toilet seat is recommended and its larger opening compared to a
current toilet seat needs to be further researched with more female participants.
Furthermore, it cannot be concluded that this new type of toilet seat will encourage the user to sit on the toilet,
although one participant mentioned specifically that he would sit down because of the broad rim of the toilet seat.
This is perhaps mainly influenced by the material and finishing of the toilet seat. In the mock-up testing the material
was wood and the finishing was not optimal. To be able to draw conclusions a toilet seat needs to be tested that is as
close to the reality as possible.
It can be expected that people are more willing to sit down on the toilet seat if they can clean the toilet seat in
advance. So a facility to clean the toilet seat in advance is recommended. These solutions already exist in some
public places, but not in train toilets.
It can be concluded from the observations as well as from the questionnaires that an extra support bar on the left side
of the toilet is still necessary. In addition, the majority of the participants expect an extra support bar on this spot
whereas it was previously thought that the extra broad rim of the toilet seat at the back and side would serve as an
extra support possibility and therefore could substitute an extra support bar.
Next to a horizontal bar in front of the user a vertical bar in front of the user is also recommended to support women
when hovering above the toilet and it is hoped that by using the vertical support bar the distance to the bowl will be
reduced while hovering above the toilet. Besides, it is also positioned at a strategic place to stable enhance stability
for people such as the elderly in a riding train. (Buzink et al. 2006, Molenbroek et al., 2011, Loth & Molenbroek,
2011).
An additional sanitary waste bin in the vicinity of the toilet bowl is recommended to prevent blockage of the
(delicate) train toilet flushing system as several women (2 out of 6) admitted that they throw female hygiene
products into ‘the nearest bin’ thus the toilet. (Williams, E. Y. 2009, Greed, 2003))
In conclusion the participants appreciated the family sit toilet mock-up module mainly because of the extra space
offered in the family sit toilet module and extra facilities such as supports and child-elements.
2. Train urinal
Regarding the urinal the male participants were positive about the design and possibility to use it. Firstly, it was
clear how to use it and they thought it would catch the urine properly. Another aspect is that it offered enough
privacy and lastly the washbasin combination encouraged the hand washing sufficiently, see table 2 results
questionnaire train urinal.
Although the absence of hand cloth can reduce waste on the ground, it needs to be further researched if the
substitution of drying the hands by an electric hand dryer is appreciated by the user in connection to hygienic
experience.
Small boys also want to use the urinal, for them a toddler platform is necessary as to reach the urinal properly.
Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics AHFE 2014, Kraków, Poland 19-23 July 2014
Edited by T. Ahram, W. Karwowski and T. Marek
CONCLUSION
As a general conclusion, the mock-up is positively assessed based on observations and questionnaires as it scored
indirectly a 7.1 on a scale from 0-10 (1= very bad, 10= very good), whereby the toilet seat was rated with an average
of 6.9, the space in the family sit toilet scored a 7.3 and finally the passage of the urinal scored a 7.2.
So, the new split train toilet design is understood and positively assessed by the 26 participants, but still
improvements in the design are necessary and as part of larger studies these recommendations will be executed and
tested in following mock-up testing.
The next recommendations for further design, mentioned per module can be concluded by the mock-up testing and
will be executed and tested in following mock-up testing.
A. Family sit toilet:
1. An extra support bar on the left side of the toilet is necessary.
2. As well as a horizontal bar as a vertical bar in front of the user or toilet is necessary.
3. A facility to clean the toilet seat (in advance) is recommended as people are more willing to sit down on the
toilet seat. If more people are seated less urine will be spilt in the toilet environment (Loth and Molenbroek,
2011).
4. The extra broad rim at the back and side of the toilet seat is recommended.
5. An additional sanitary waste bin in the vicinity of the toilet bowl is recommended to prevent blockage of the
(delicate) train toilet flushing system.
6. The height of the washbasin (800 mm), as also stated by Greed( 2003) is evaluated acceptable.
B. Train urinal
7. Toddler platforms are necessary for toddlers to reach the toilet and consequently also a toddler platform under
the urinal is necessary as to reach the urinal properly.
8. An open space of the urinal with semi-transparent elements, see figure 1,4 and 10 offers enough safety and
privacy for the man.
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... Understanding comfortable hygiene experiences in transportation systems is challenging, not only due to the privacy and safety issues but also due to the diverse demands of using public lavatories [7]. The co-creation sessions discovered that the activities around the basin, such as skin-caring, making-up, hair-styling, shaving, and washing face and hands are key to the comfortable hygiene experience during long-haul flights [6]. ...
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Full-text available
For designing large-scale products like an airplane, engaging end-users in the concept phase is difficult. However, early user evaluation is important to choose the path which fits the user's needs best. In particular, comfort related assessments are difficult to conduct with digital models that are shown on a desktop PC application. Digital Human Modelling (DHM) plays a role in postural comfort analysis, while the subjective comfort feedback still largely relied on consulting with end-users. This paper applies a human-centered design process and analyses the advantages and disadvantages of using VR prototypes for involving users during concept design. This study focused on using VR prototypes for concept selection and verification based on comfort assessment with potential end-users. The design process started with an online questionnaire for identifying the quality of the design elements (Step 1 online study). Then, alternative concepts were implemented in VR, and users evaluated these concepts via a VR headset (Step 2 Selection study). Finally, the research team redesigned the final concept and assessed it with potential users via a VR headset (Step 3 Experience study). Every design element contributed positively to the long-haul flight comfort, especially tap-basin height, storage, and facilities. The male and female participants had different preferences on posture, lighting, storage, and facilities. The final prototype showed a significantly higher comfort rate than the original prototypes. The first-person immersion in VR headsets helps to identify the nuances between concepts, thus supports better decision-making via collecting richer and more reliable user feedback to make faster and more satisfying improvements.
... Understanding comfortable hygiene experiences in transportation systems is challenging, not only due to the privacy and safety issues but also due to the diverse demands of using public lavatories [7]. The co-creation sessions discovered that the activities around the basin, such as skin-caring, making-up, hair-styling, shaving, and washing face and hands are key to the comfortable hygiene experience during long-haul flights [6]. ...
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Full-text available
For designing large-scale products like an airplane, engaging end-users in the concept phase is difficult. However, early user evaluation is important to choose the path which fits the user’s needs best. In particular, comfort-related assessments are difficult to conduct with digital models that are shown on a desktop PC application. Digital Human Modelling (DHM) plays a role in postural comfort analysis, while the subjective comfort feedback still largely relied on consulting with end-users.
Book
Full-text available
As part of its Fifth Framework Programme of Research and Technological Development, in 1998 the European Commission launched the “Key Action on the Ageing Population and Disabilities”, in order to promote research by pan-European teams on age-related problems in an ageing society. Over 120 projects were co-funded, with an EU contribution of over 190 million Euros. One of these funded projects has conducted an extensive programme of investigations and development work which provides the focal point of this book: the “Friendly Rest-Room for Elderly People” (FRR). This project directly addressed some of the most critical – but least talked about – problems of getting older: how to cope with the functional limitations that come with ageing and, in response to this, how to design adequate, safe and user-friendly rooms for toileting and personal hygiene. As an example of applied technological research and development in an area with a surprising lack of prior research, this project stands out. With its clear mission to establish the basic technical and design criteria for the toilet room and its use by older users from many parts of Europe, the project partners found it necessary to make a broad investigation into users' and carers' behaviour, identifying problems and difficulties; and to balance these against the technical and economic possibilities afforded by modern materials, technologies and construction techniques. An essential element in the FRR project was the involvement of older people as active participants in the work. The “Key Action on Ageing” is recognised for the ground-breaking research approach that was espoused by the Expert Advisory Group, which helped to formulate and update the Commission's Work Programme, year on year from 1998 to 2002. This approach may be summed up with three keywords: ‘problem-solving’, ‘holistic’ and ‘multidisciplinary’. These characteristics are identified as especially desirable in the emerging field of ageing research, due to the complex and critical nature of many age-related issues. Few funded projects were able to conduct research in a way which did justice to all three of these priorities but “FRR” is one of those that did. The reader of this book is therefore encouraged to reflect, not only on the insights afforded by the particular results of this substantial work, chapter by chapter, but also on the approach which the FRR project represents, through its methods and research design, being a paradigmatic example of the “new” ageing research. http://ebooks.iospress.nl/volume/a-friendly-rest-room-developing-toilets-of-the-future-for-disabled-and-elderly-people
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This paper discusses the role of public toilets, as transmitters of disease, but also of their importance in contributing to the health and well-being of society. Research has shown that public toilets are vital components in creating sustainable, accessible, inclusive cities. But there is no mandatory legislation requiring local authorities to provide them. Over 40% have been closed in the UK in the last 10 years. The promotion of the 24 hour city, characterized by a male youth drinking culture, along with toilet closure, has resulted in increased street urination, creating the conditions for the spread of previously-eradicated, water borne diseases in city streets. Less visible, but as virulent, has been the effect of toilet closure for women. Women, in response to lack of toilet provision, are likely to ‘hold on’ resulting in urine (and pathogen) retention, and bladder distension increasing the propensity for continence problems. The elderly and people with disabilities may simply not go out for fear of there being no toilet when they need one. Those toilets that are available may be unusable. Lack of regulation or compulsory standards result in poor toilet design, inadequate maintenance and management, and unhygienic conditions, resulting in the spread of MRSA and other drug-resistant diseases. Recommendations are summarized for the provision of a spatial hierarchy of toilet provision that would both meet user needs and reduce the chances of the public toilets acting as epicentres of germ transmission. Unless compulsory legislation, increased funding, and improved management, maintenance and cleaning regimes are instigated, public toilet provision will continue to be a source of disease.
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Public restrooms are among the few remaining sex-segregated spaces in the American landscape, tangible relics of gender discrimination. This article describes how public restrooms have historically discriminated by class, race, physical ability, sexual orientation, as well as gender. It examines how public restrooms pose special health and safety problems for women, men, children, elderly, persons with disabilities, and caregivers. It chronicles potty parity legislation, examining impacts of and backlash from recent laws. It presents new developments signaling a growing international movement and a quiet restroom revolution: the newly formed World Toilet Organization, American Restroom Association, increased family and unisex restrooms, and technological inventions such as automatic self-cleaning public toilets. It proposes innovative solutions about how twenty-first-century public restrooms can make cities more livable; offers roles for planners, designers, and civic officials, and suggests new research directions. Sources include an extensive literature review of relevant legal research, scholarly publications, and media coverage.
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This study examines the appropriate position for and configuration of a toilet seat for the population of the United Kingdom. The study is based on the assumption that only a seated posture would be acceptable. Subjects underwent sitting trials using five different toilet seats, and data obtained include physical and subjective measures of subjects' responses. It is recommended that the height of a toilet seat should be 0.4 m. Seat angle is not a critical factor in subject preference.
Towards sustainable well-being
  • Paul Hekkert
  • Vergeest
  • Jin Joris
Hekkert, Paul, Vergeest, Joris, Jin, Shauna (2009). Towards sustainable well-being; Research portfolio IDE/TUD 2008-2012, Delft University of Technology, Available from: http://www.io.tudelft.nl/en/research/ (accessed on February 2014).
Inclusive Design Toolkit
Delft University of Technology, Available from: http://www.io.tudelft.nl/en/research/ (accessed on February 2014). Inclusive Design Toolkit. [Internet], University of Cambridge, BT, Available from: http://www.inclusivedesigntoolkit.com/betterdesign2/ (accessed on February 2014).
Master's course Design for Interaction
  • H Kanis
  • M J Rooden
Kanis, H., Rooden, M.J. (2005). Observation as Design Tool. Published in Observational Research. Reader id 4225, (2005) page 9-18 by de Jong, A.M., Kanis, H., Rooden, M.J., Vermeeren, A.P.O.S, Master's course Design for Interaction, Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology.