Library On/Library Off

Nicolibrarian explores the secret life of information

The Usable Life

with 2 comments


Making everyday life more usable. Flickr image from swardraws

I heard a charming tip that made me think of the ways people, totally unintentionally, make their lives more usable on a daily basis. I was chatting with a friend about the never-ending task of doing dishes, and bemoaning how as a household of only two people, we create a lot of dishes. My friend mentioned that her household had resolved this problem by giving each person one plate, one fork, one spoon, one knife, and one cup – all color coded. That way everyone was responsible for his or her own dishes. A brilliant usability fix, albeit one that sounds unconventional, and a great example of the iterative improvements we all make to our own lives.

Though, of course, it doesn’t address the issue of who does the pots and pans…


Written by nicolibrarian

December 15, 2009 at 4:59 am

2 Responses

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  1. But what if your meal includes the need for more than one dish and/or bowl, silverware, etc.? You know, like the 7-course type. 😛


    January 2, 2010 at 6:39 am

    • It’s a great point – perhaps it means not getting rid of all your dishes – rather only using them for special occasions. Like so much else in usability and design, it is about trade-offs. Do you sacrifice having too many dirty dishes, end up doing more dishes, opting for the fewer dishes model? Each has a trade-off, and ultimately it’s a decision on what’s best for the audience. Design thinking applies to so much…


      January 12, 2010 at 7:42 pm

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