Genius idea warms the hearts of people around the nation.

One thing Japan excels at is customer service, which stretches well beyond polite face-to-face interactions. It’s the reason why you’ll find so many things designed with the user in mind, from elevators with mirrors through to red-and-yellow markings on stairs and public payphones with two receivers.

Now, another act of heartwarming customer-oriented design has come to light, this time in a Japanese public restroom at a service area rest stop along one of the nation’s highways. The unusual design feature was brought to everyone’s attention by Twitter user @KowashiyaGEN, who shared the following photo:

It’s a bit difficult to work out what’s going on here, and that’s how @KowashiyaGEN felt at first as well. After stepping into the cubicle and reaching for the latch to close the door, they immediately thought it was odd to see a huge piece of metal attached to the latch, but when they turned it over, following the direction of the “close” arrow on the sign, an ingenious contraption was revealed.

The large, rectangular piece of metal turned out to be an “Accessories Tray” that can carry up to one kilo (35 ounces) in weight. As the images on the tray suggest, the latch doubles as a storage place for valuables like your phone or wallet, protecting them from falling out of your pocket and ensuring you don’t leave them behind by accident.

▼ Completing the design is a wall mount for the tray to sit on, which doubles as a holder for your umbrella as well!

The clever storage idea quickly went viral online, receiving a stack of likes and retweets, and comments like:

“An act of genius!”
“This makes me emotional!”
“There’s no way you’d forget your valuables with this!”
“I’d use this for my keys as I often drop them.”

“Such a smart solution!”
“A fantastic invention to improve everyday living.”
“Whoever came up with this idea is a legend.”

“How convenient! I bet lost items there will definitely decrease now.”

One person online said they found the door latch at the Iwamizawa Service Area in Hokkaido, so here’s hoping the idea catches on and spreads to other service areas around the country as well.

It just goes to show that simple ideas like this can have a great effect on customers, and when the customer is happy, everyone is happy, making it a win-win situation for all involved.

As for the creators who come up with these brilliant ideas — thank you for recognising the plight of the everyday individual. Here’s to you, and those double hooks on the backs of toilet doors!

Source: Twitter/@KowashiyaGEN via Hachima Kikou
Featured image: Pakutaso
Insert image: Twitter/@KowashiyaGEN

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