Saturday, 7 April 2012

Paying attention to details - plugs and adaptors

I think plugs and adaptors can be a very good topic to talk about good and bad design.

When I was young, as far as I remember, plugs were sort of standardized in Italy. There were only two different, yet very similar, shapes:

Multi-plug adaptors, were made to fit these plugs and save space. And they worked!

Now context has changed.
There are tons of different plug shapes, due to the variety of devices and lack of standardization:

The old multi-plug adaptor that was perfect 30 years ago, it's not suitable any more: its design forces users to spend time shuffling plugs around in order to be able to plug in everything - an incredible loss of time.

My workplace

Luckily enough there are some other multi-plug adaptors designed with plug abundance in mind, so that any plug can be inserted.

Parallel design

Customizable - sockets can rotate in order to accommodate any plug

The good quality of a design can be judged only within its context.
Good design fits the context it's in and strive to solve all the possible issues and to adapt to changes.

Good design generates tools which save us time, for they don't require us to think - all the thinking has already been done by the designer. :)

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