All posts filed under “Mistake-proofing

The Tell-Tale Part

The Tell-Tale Part

Open the case of your mobile (cell) phone. Do you see a round white sticker, similar to that in the first photo below? This is a water damage sticker, which changes colour if moisture gets into this bit of the phone, and will be used […]

Using trees to encourage safer driving

Using trees to encourage safer driving

Image from New Urban News, by Eric Dumbaugh Ryan G Coleman kindly sent me a link to this very interesting New Urban News story, ‘Research: trees make streets safer, not deadlier’. The gist is that roads planted with trees cause drivers to put themselves in […]

Speed control designed to help the user

Speed control designed to help the user

Something with an interesting ‘forcing function’ story has been right in front of me all this time: the QWERTY keyboard, developed by Christopher Sholes and then Remington, with the intention of controlling the user’s behaviour. Until typists became proficient with the QWERTY system, the non-alphabetical […]

Shaping behaviour at the Design Council

Shaping behaviour at the Design Council

Photo by Kate Andrews I’ve blogged before mentioning the work of the UK Design Council’s RED research arm, which applies ‘design thinking’ to redevelop and create public services appropriate for societal changes right now and in the years to come. The previous post was specifically […]

The illusion of control

The illusion of control

Scott Adams recounts an anecdote illustrating the ‘illusion of control’ and how important it is to many people – even to the extent that it is the single defining characteristic of mankind which one might use to explain human behaviour to aliens: “The maintenance man […]

Friend or foe: Battery-authentication ICs?

Friend or foe: Battery-authentication ICs?

Via MAKE, an article from Electrical Design News looking at lithium battery authentication chips in products such as phones and laptops, designed to prevent users fitting ‘non-genuine’ batteries. Now, the immediate response of most of us is probably “razor blade model!” or even “stifling democratic […]

An interlock example

An interlock example

It’s been a while since I posted about an architecture of control designed to assist/protect the user rather than to frustrate or intimidate, but just reading a great article about the MG SV-R supercar formerly produced by MG Sports & Racing*, a very simple interlock […]

Brake-Fast Doggie Bowl

Brake-Fast Doggie Bowl

Image from www.brake-fast.net Thanks to Steve Portigal and Page Sands for bringing this to my attention: the Brake-Fast Doggie Bowl is designed to stop dogs wolfing down their food quite as quickly as they would otherwise, which can cause painful (and dangerous) bloating. The raised […]