All posts filed under “Health and safety

Eight design patterns for errorproofing

Eight design patterns for errorproofing

Go straight to the patterns One view of influencing user behaviour – what I’ve called the ‘errorproofing lens’ – treats a user’s interaction with a system as a set of defined target behaviour routes which the designer wants the user to follow, with deviations from […]

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Staggering insight

Staggering insight

I’ve mentioned a few times, perhaps more often in presentations than on the blog, the fact that guidelines for the design of pedestrian crossings in the UK [PDF] recommend that where a crossing is staggered, pedestrians should be routed so that they have to face […]

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Skinner and the Mousewrap

Skinner and the Mousewrap

Dontclick.it, an interesting interface design experiment by Alex Frank, included this amusing idea, the Mousewrap, to ‘train’ users not to click any more “through physical pain”. It did make me think: is the use of anti-sit spikes on window sills, ledges, and so on, or […]

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Salt licked?

Salt licked?

UPDATE: See the detailed response below from Peter of Gateshead Council, which clarifies, corrects and expands upon some of the spin given by the Mail articles. The new shakers were supplied to the chip shop staff for use behind the counter: “Our main concern was […]

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Hard to handle

Hard to handle

British Rail’s drop-the-window- then-stick-your-hand-outside- to-use-the-handle doors puzzled over by Don Norman in The Design of Everyday Things are still very much around, though often refurbished and repainted as with this delightful/vile pink First Great Western-liveried example. I’m assuming that this design was intended to introduce […]

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Designing Safe Living

Designing Safe Living

Lancaster University’s interdisciplinary Institute for Advanced Studies (no, not that one) has been running a research programme, New Sciences of Protection, culminating in a conference, Designing Safe Living, on 10-12 July, “investigat[ing] ‘protection’ at the intersections of security, sciences, technologies, markets and design.” The keynote […]

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Un-hiding an affordance

Un-hiding an affordance

These (pretty shallow) steps in Dawlish, Devon, have been labelled as such, presumably because without this, some visitors wouldn’t notice, and would run, cycle or wheelchair down them and hurt themselves or others. Painting a white line along the edge is a common way of […]

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Best bitter

Best bitter

Bitrex, the world’s most bitter substance, is what’s known as a taste aversive – added to products which might seem tasty to humans (especially children) to persuade them not to drink them, or to spit out what they’ve already drunk. It’s a similar idea to […]

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Full, tilt

Full, tilt

Jan Hoekstra’s Balancing Bowls for Royal VKB (via Boing Boing) are an interesting ‘portion control/guidance’ solution – as Cory Doctorow puts it: The tilt is tiny, all of 3 degrees, and the net effect is very satisfying — you gradually add snacks to the “light” […]

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Slanty design

Slanty design

The Main Reading Room, Library of Congress. Image from CIRLA. In this article from Communications of the ACM from January 2007, Russell Beale uses the term slanty design to describe “design that purposely reduces aspects of functionality or usability”: It originated from an apocryphal story […]

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Design & Punishment

Design & Punishment

Design and Punishment, by Ben Cunningham. Photo from the Arts Institute at Bournemouth‘s 2007 Three Dimensional Design graduate directory. Very neatly linking the themes of the last two posts (devices to make users aware of their energy use, and intentionally uncomfortable seating) is the Design […]

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Making exercise cooler

Making exercise cooler

Main image and above right: Snowdown aesthetic model; below right: Snowdown functional test rig prototype. Snowdown, by Matthew Barnett, is fantastic. Powered by a child exercising, moving the handle, it crushes ice cubes and compacts them to make snowballs. There are a lot of kids […]

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Deliberately creating worry

Deliberately creating worry

Swedish creativity lecturer Fredrik Härén mentions an interesting architecture of control anecdote in his The Idea Book: One of the cafés in an international European airport was often full. The problem was that people sat nursing their coffees for a long time as they waited […]

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Packet switching

Packet switching

Both Dr Tom Stafford (co-author of the fantastic Mind Hacks book & blog) and Gregor Hochmuth (creator of FlickrStorm, an improved Flickr search system) have been in touch suggesting packaging/portion sizes as a significant everyday architecture of control, (or at least an aspect of design […]

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