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When it comes to placing washroom products behind the mirror, some users may encounter difficulties in navigating the mirror to locate the sensor tap, soap dispenser, and hand drying appliances.

As a manufacturer of the Dolphin ALAVO Behind Mirror System, we recognise the impact of poorly designed behind mirror systems, which can lead to frustrating experiences for users and pose challenges for architects striving to deliver a seamless and functional washroom solution to their clients.

Our goal is to assist architects in creating a user friendly behind mirror system design that prioritises functionality, convenience, and inclusivity. That is why we present the top four common challenges that users encounter with some behind mirror systems, followed by practical solutions and expert recommendations.

These insights will help you choose the right behind mirror system design for your washroom project, ensuring optimal performance and user satisfaction.

Behind mirror designs you should stay away from

Downward view of behind mirror appliances

1. Functionality and settings

Stay away from this design

Poorly manufactured behind mirror appliances, such as touch free taps that fail to activate in a timely manner, can greatly undermine the overall functionality and user experience of the washroom design.

What is meant to be a quick and effortless experience turns into an unnecessarily burdensome administrative process. Users are left to navigate the frustration of determining whether the sensor tap is functioning correctly or not, often resorting to moving down the line to try their luck with the next tap.

This challenge is often caused by a slow delay in time.

Go for this design

To resolve this issue, it is crucial to select a behind mirror system design that incorporates a sensor tap with sensitive sensor settings. Ideally, the sensor should pulsate every 3 to 4 times per second, ensuring users never have to wait longer than half a second for the tap to activate and water to flow.

This solution eliminates the need for users to hold their hands under the sensor tap for an extended period or wave their hands back and forth, as water will promptly be dispensed upon activation.

By choosing a behind mirror system design with such responsive sensor settings, the frustrating delay in water delivery can be eliminated, providing a seamless and efficient experience for users.

Behind mirror system fittings signage symbols clearly seen from the washroom entrance

2. Appliance location

Stay away from this design

Although the placement of behind mirror appliances possesses visual appeal and offers significant hygiene and maintenance benefits, it may lead to user confusion and frustration at first glance.

This challenge stems from the absence of clear indicators or symbols that would effectively guide users in locating the touch free tap, behind mirror soap dispenser, behind mirror paper towel dispenser, and behind mirror hand dryer. As a result, users encounter difficulties when trying to identify and interact with these washroom products.

This confusion can result in delays in handwashing or even lead users to lose patience, causing them to bypass the washstation altogether and leave without properly washing their hands.

Go for this design

When selecting a mirror system from a washroom supplier, it is crucial to choose a behind mirror system design that incorporates clear signage on the mirror, explicitly guiding users to the location of the sensor tap and other appliances.

This signage should be prominently displayed, offering clear and concise visual cues to ensure that users are fully aware of the presence of the fittings and know how to utilise them effectively.

Close-up photo of behind mirror system soap dispenser symbol

3. Unclear symbols and the lack of visibility

Stay away from this design

Small pictograms and inadequately visible symbols hinder users from swiftly and accurately identifying and comprehending the various handwashing appliances, especially when they are all situated behind the mirror without individual mounting.

This can be particularly problematic for individuals who are in a hurry or those with visual impairments.

Go for this design

To ensure a seamless user experience, it is crucial to select a behind mirror system design that incorporates intuitive and self explanatory symbols and icons.

The symbols should serve as clear indicators of the washroom fitting’s presence and functionality behind the mirror. The symbols should also be large enough to be comfortably seen and understood by users allowing them to quickly locate and operate the behind mirror soap dispenser, tap, and drying appliances.

Ensuring the behind mirror system design has adequate illumination on the symbols will also enhance visibility. Sufficient illumination and lighting help users locate the fittings easily and reduce the chances of overlooking them, even in poorly lit or crowded environments.

Women's washroom with a behind mirror system designed with a combination of text and symbols for guide

4. Language barriers

Stay away from this design

Opting for a behind mirror system that solely relies on written text to guide the user without the inclusion of symbols can also give rise to potential issues.

Washrooms in public spaces often cater to a diverse range of individuals, including international visitors passing through locations like airports.

Relying solely on written text on the mirror to indicate the presence of various appliances, such as the sensor tap or hand dryer, can pose a language barrier challenge. International visitors may not understand the language used, leading to confusion and potential misuse.

Go for this design

When selecting a behind mirror system design, it is advisable to opt for one that does not solely rely on text on the mirror surface. However, if you prefer to include text, ensure that the chosen words align accurately with the respective appliances.

For instance, the term ‘air’ to indicate the location of the behind mirror hand dryer can be confusing and ambiguous. Instead, having a behind mirror system with the term ‘dry’ provides clearer guidance to users.

Alternatively, opting for a behind mirror system design with a combination of text and symbols can help both individuals familiar with the language and those who rely on symbols to understand the functionality of each appliance.
This approach enhances usability and ensures that users can readily identify and use the hand washing amenities at the washstation.

Behind mirror system integrated with touchless taps, soap dispensers, and hand dryers

Overcoming design challenges with a touchless hand washing station

Selecting a behind mirror system design that integrates efficient and functional touch free taps with appropriate activation settings, clear visual cues, easily visible self explanatory icons, and properly sized and well illuminated symbols and text is of utmost importance to enable users to quickly identify and effectively use a mirror system.

By prioritising these details to consider, architects and designers can ensure their touch free hand wash station delivers a seamless and inclusive experience for all users, promoting convenience, functionality, and overall satisfaction.