copyright 2009 by Arthur Fink

It seemed odd to me — a brown coffee pot, with a sign that said “Decaf”, while all the other coffee was in orange or red pots.  Decaf usually goes in an orange pot, so this was confusing to me.  “Great subject for a blog” post, I thought to myself, but drinking some of the coffee and reading the morning news felt more important at that hour.

But then an other guest walked into the hotel breakfast room, and asked me if we could trust the “decaf” sign.  Evidently I was not the only one confused!

We are accustomed to various conventions, color codes, configurations, etc.  Decaf goes in an orange pot, oxygen  in a green cylinder, stop signs are red, and (at least in Europe) the cold water faucet has blue markings.  Violate these, and we leave users confused and anxious.