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This [thing] is interesting

Like a lot of designers, I'm always noticing little design details that impress me. Here are a few things that I've found interesting recently.

This pen lid is interesting

This pen lid has what looks like a clip on it, but when you look closer you notice it's a solid piece of plastic attached to the lid. You can't clip it on to anything. The creators of this pen lid realised that pen lid clips serve two purposes. One is to clip the pen on to something, like a short pocket. Two, and I'd argue this is actually the more useful thing, is to stop the pen rolling away. So they ditched the clipping part and kept the not-rolling-away part.

This pint glass is interesting

The pint glass shape is iconic. I'd never stopped to consider, until recently, that it's harder to drop a pint glass, and easier to pick up, due to the fact that it bulges outwards at the middle. This means that it sits in your hand easily, and should be easy to hold even if slippery. Perhaps this was an insurance policy against drunk people breaking glasses?

This chewing gum pot is interesting

The lid of this chewing gum pot has a small plastic bit jutting out, so that the lid is always guided to close in the right way. I love it when people who design even disposable objects think to make them easier to use. Not that I'm a fan of disposable objects in general.

This website footer is interesting

Designers have been trying to figure out the infinite scrolling footer problem for a long time. If you're constantly loading in new content at the bottom of the page, how does the user ever see the content in the footer? I like Steam's approach: They put the infinite content below the footer. It means they need to include a message, letting the user know that yes, there is more content below the footer. But it also means the user can see the footer.

This zip pull is interesting

Lots of zip pulls increase friction, making them easier to pull, by adding a lip all the way around the pull. This zip pull does it another way: There's no lip, but they shape the end of the zip pull so that it bends at a slight angle, and is easier to grab. Minimal AND useful.

This lock is interesting

When you turn this door lock, it does insert into the frame, like many other locks. But that's an invisible action, and the person locking the door can't be sure that it's worked. This door lock also features a visual/practical fail safe. The handle of the lock also slides over the white frame to the right, meaning that even if there wasn't a bolt inside the door, it wouldn't be able to open. On top of that, there's no doubt any more that the door is locked, visually.

This calendar is interesting

In Google Calendar, if you try to drag an event that wasn't organised by you, the event will move but it will resist you. This is an interesting way to show you that the application is responding to you, but is also not letting you do something.

This shelf pin is interesting

This is the shelf pin from IKEA's Billy book shelf. I've taken a picture to show three different angles. This might be the single most designed object for its size that I've ever come across. For something only 2cm long, it's very complicated. There are all sorts of nooks, crannies, and extra layers of metal. It must have gone through so many design rounds to perfect it. The reason I assume all this is because if IKEA could make their shelf pins simple, they would. Why go to the extra effort and cost of having something as complicated as this cast from metal?

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