March 2011

Monthly Archive

The handle is furry!

Posted by on 27 Mar 2011 | Tagged as: Design, Dining

Came across this at Starbucks today.  Can’t stand it.  I don’t have a scale comparison for the cup, but the handle is a bit small for two of my fingers, and like the title says, it’s furry.  Well, more felty, but the point being is that it’s a semi-absorbent surface.  It didn’t really feel good in my hands and while I haven’t washed it yet, I’d be curious to see how it handles.

Toothpick pre and post use.

Posted by on 25 Mar 2011 | Tagged as: Design, Dining

Full disclosure, lest anyone think I’m brilliant.  I found out about this from watching the movie Objectified.  It’s an interesting movie, that I fell asleep during the second half.

Rule 4: Good Design is Inquisitive

Posted by on 25 Mar 2011 | Tagged as: Design, Rules

Rule 3 ended with a few questions to stir the mind.  But honestly, good design should START with questions.

  • Who’s the intended audience?
  • Who’s the client? (sometimes they’re different!)
  • What’s the intended use?
  • What are the desired results?
  • Where is it being used?
  • Will it need upkeep?
  • How is it expected to maintain upkeep?
  • Why is it being commissioned?
  • How does it work?
  • What resources are at the designer’s disposal?
  • etc
  • etc
  • etc
The list is endless, but each question has the potential to unveil new things that may make your life easier, give you insight into the project, or completely change your POV about a project.
Ask questions, get answers.  If the client can’t answer them, hold their feet to a fire until they have an answer.  If they think it’s irrelevant and don’t want to answer, just wait.  It’ll become relevant enough. 
Ask them of everyone, especially yourself.  If you can’t answer, “Why is this particular item here?” in your own designs, then maybe you need to reevaluate your design.  “Because there was no where else to put it,” is not a good answer.  Be truthful, be brutal.
Sometimes the question that needs to be asked is, “Is this any good?”  And the hard answer might be, “No.”  And then you have to ask yourself, “How do we fix it?” or “Can this be fixed?” or “Is it worth fixing?”
Sometimes the right question will save you an enormous amount of time.
And as a last bit of sanity checking, don’t forget to ask questions of your answers. “Does this answer make sense?”  Because not every answer is the right one.

Everything in its place.

Posted by on 24 Mar 2011 | Tagged as: Design, product eval

I have not tried out this set, but I appreciate that it has a holder for both of the tools when they’re not doing their respective…businesses.

Overfilled paper towel dispenser.

Posted by on 23 Mar 2011 | Tagged as: Design, product eval


This is a prime example of what happens when paper towel dispensers are overfilled.  It’s impossible to get the towels out and you end up with a torn mess.

It’s gotta be fast and easy to use to exist in business.

Posted by on 23 Mar 2011 | Tagged as: Design, product eval, Warehouse

This is an Orderpicker, which is not quite a forklift.  It’s like a forklift, but instead of the rider staying on the ground, the rider goes up with the load.  It offers the benefits of a forklift, with the added flexibility of being able to grab less than pallet sized loads.

The title of the post is from the lift operator who was a traditionalist and favored his forklift until he got a chance to use an orderpicker and acknowledged that he liked it better, but if it had been complicated to use, he probably would have stuck with his forklift.

Clover coffee maker

Posted by on 16 Mar 2011 | Tagged as: Design, Kitchen, product eval

This thing is magnificent.  If I had any inkling of what it was going to do, I’d have video taped the process.  Ah well, next time I’m in Burlingame.