Sunday, October 14, 2007

Design Based On Insight

As I sit on my couch multi-tasking (watching World Series of Poker, writing a brief, eating dinner, and making my way through my feeds), something clicks (pun intended). My coffee table is pretty bare (with feng shui in mind but mostly for aesthetic purpose). I've got a candle and a couple books and magazines that make me look interesting and well-rounded. Oh yeah, and my Time Warner Cable remote. Necessary ugly. ("Uglies" for the many people who don't have the universal remote and are still working with one TV remote for the power ON and OFF, one for the channels, a remote for the stereo, another for the DVD player, and who knows what else.) Necessary ugly - or so I thought.

I came across this link from Russell Davies' delicious feeds. The choose to use design to solve the problem of remotes getting lost. So they made a remote that's really fragile, so you won't toss it around/you'll take better care of it and thus not lose it. The brief could easily have been: Remotes ruin the living room look.

It reminds me of Method's insight into cleaning: People squeeze cleaning in between doing other things, so having to go into cabinets and search for cleaning products wastes time and is a part of the annoying process. So they designed their soaps, etc. to look nice so that people would keep them on their kitchen counters/out next to their sinks. Just a reminder of how design is a powerful tool for building insight in products.


mikekarnj said...

Agreed. Bruce Mau does the same thing but uses design to solve social problems. Cool. Also, why I like Good Magazine.

Oakie said...

I am looking for the nice design of calculator and milk packaging.

El Gaffney said...

wish i had seen bruce mau. had to leave the conference early wed morn before he spoke.

hey oakie, calculators could be an interesting project. found this: but considering high school students around the country (prob globe) are looking for ways to personalize the things that sit on their desks each day, i don't think it satisfies the desire.

milk containers should always be clear but maybe with little markings that let you know what each level means (one glass for dinner, this much will do for your bowl of cookie crisp, here's two gulps to say aaron burr) so you're never fooled by the people who put it back in the fridge with a sip left. (that is, how would glaceau do milk?)