It’s Stylish, but Will It Float?

Dana Rambler and Kathleen Westerhout have created a more fashionable life vest solution, called the Bandaeu Belt[1]:

It looks good but there’s one thing I can’t wrap my head around: what do you do when you fall over board in rough see? Or when you trip, loose your orientation and can’t make out which way is up underwater?

Those are situations when you have big help from a life vest that already sits in place and I’m afraied the Bandeau Belt might offer a false sense of security. I would put my bet on something more standard, whether inflatable[2] or rigid[3]. 

1. It was their graduation project from Emily Carr University of Art + Design back in 2010. Back △
2. Best in test at of 10 self-inflating life vests (only 2 made the grade), July 2013 (in Swedish). Back △
3. Best in test at of 7 rigid life vest for kids, July 2012 (in Swedish). Back △

Sometimes an Open Mind Can Save the Day

I just visited a local sushi outlet to buy a package of nori sheets. After sorting out how many sheets there are in a package and how much it cost i payed for it and then heard the cashier say: “It’ll be ready in 10–15 minutes”.

My jaw dropped a bit.

A package of nori algae.

Continue reading →

Yesterday’s Usability Improvement – a Follow-up

We already have some results on yesterday’s usability improvement to keep people from hitting the ceiling with their heads – it doesn’t work if you’re sitting under the ceiling instead of walking past (or into) it.

Three people sitting in bean bags below the low ceiling at the upper floor of the office.

Continue reading →

Today’s Usability Improvement – Visible Ceiling

Update: Also see “Yesterday’s Usability Improvement – a Follow-up”

After having seen a number of people at my friends’ office hit their heads on the slanted ceiling at the top floor, I put up big red stickers today at the edges of the ceiling to make them more visible.

Fused picture of the left and right sides of the upper half-floor of the office with parts of the ceiling slanting down almost to the floor and a red sticker on each ceiling edge.

It’ll be interesting to see if this will bring down the number of heads hit.

PS. Later during the day I moved the sticker on the left closer to the edge to lessen the possibility of hitting the last decimeter of the ceiling edge.

Focus on What’s Important

Focusing on what’s important is a great idea in many different cases and I was recently reminded about it when was looking through some promotional material I’ve received over the past few months and found these three letters from Swedish energy company Fortum:

October 2013
Front and back of promotion from Fortum, October 2013, offering a free coffee machine if I sign up as a client with them.

November 2013 Continue reading →

Putting things in the right place

I just updated my Facebook password and it wasn’t quite as straight-forward as I had expected. I started by clicking the lock icon (good first guess), which showed a drop-down menu with no options to change the password :( but with a link to more settings –> great, I can change it there!

A screenshot of the menu that shows up when you press the pad lock icon in Facebook’s top menu

Continue reading →

Clever Packaging – McMuffin

I’m very fond of clever packaging and just found one at McDonald’s – they use the same packaging for different kinds of McMuffins but depending on how you fold it, it will show different information:

Pictures of McMuffin packaging unfolding. At first you only see the info for the type of McMuffin you ordered but as you unwrap it, info for all four kinds shows up (the remaining three were hidden because of the folding).

This doesn’t directly influence the end-consumer but it reduces wasted material and transports to some extent (no left over packages of the wrong kind) and it lessens the amount of planning needed for the procurement department.

Well done!

Leaving the Dog in Your Car

Kim Overland did something clever for his dog: to help passers-by that worry about the dog when it’s left in the car he put a thermometer with a large, clear display so that you can instantly see if it’s too hot in the car. Soon he’ll also add a note with his phone number so that you can contact him if needed.

Picture of the thermometer on Mason’s (the dog’s) cage.

The dog Mason with the thermometer. Photo: Kim Overland, used with his permission.

Kim wrote about it on Facebook:

Well done Kim!

Doing things in the right order

Yesterday, a friend of mine got this message from tells the user that the file is not available

The reason was that I had tried to send her a big file (223.3 MB) using their service. Unfortunately, my file was too big for the free account so Continue reading →