Credit: Fast Company

Japan unveils a universal UI language… for toilets

The Japan Sanitary Equipment Industry Association, a consortium of companies producing plumbing products including Toto, Panasonic, and Toshiba, has agreed to unify the iconography used on Japanese toilets. The new iconography is an effort from the industry to standardise the pictograms that depict how to work typical Japanese toilets, whose controls often baffle Westerners used to simpler models. The icons indicate how to raise the lid, raise the seat, large flush, small flush, rear spray, bidet, dry, and stop.

Much of Japan is currently engaged in a rush to make itself more welcoming to tourists ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, and icon design has often been at the forefront of debate.

Meg Miller in Fast Co.Design