Sharp edges

25Sep07

In a brief glance at the items that I take along for an overnight trip, no fewer than 4 of them have sharp edges. Not just sort of sharp, but sharp enough to cut your hand or tear your travel bag if you put them in the wrong place. Some of these tubes and containers could even poke a hole in the others if you positioned them the right way.

I know there are manufacturing constraints that lead to this sort of design. But that doesn’t mean that the designers should ignore the problem. Rounding off the edges or using a softer material would be a big improvement.

I don’t think this problem is limited to packaged goods. It happens with software, too. When you install a program that makes another one stop working, or you have to take special precautions to avoid making errors on a website, you’re basically dealing with another form of sharp edges. If the products you sell are like this, perhaps it’s time to smooth out these problems for your users — and stop tearing holes in their workflow.



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