Long Live the Pizza Saver!

In a world of fast-changing technologies, it's rare to find a product that passes the test of time - but if there's anything that has, it's that little plastic pizza saver. Gizmodo wrote an appreciation on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the patent, and sure enough, it doesn't seem to have changed a bit since. It's a design that's everything it needs to be and nothing more; efficiency, form, and function in perfect harmony. Not only that, but it benefits from the positive association of being something you see right before you eat pizza. Not a bad gig for a little piece of plastic!
[via Gizmodo]

"You must choose wisely..."

So if one of these buttons flushes the toilet (in an Amtrak train lavatory), what does the other one do? And which is which?? That nice red anodized one looks so tempting, it must be a trap...

Cover-brella keeps things together...

It's one of the tiny conveniences of life, but personally, I like having a cover for my umbrella: it keeps a dry umbrella looking clean and contained, and keeps a wet umbrella from soaking everything it touches. The price paid for an umbrella cover is keeping track of the darn thing, a tiny vinyl sleeve that's almost begging to become lost. Thankfully, it's Nendo to the rescue with the Cover-brella, which stores its cover inside the handle. If I can feel like I have everything just a little more together, especially on a rainy day, I'll take it!
[via Gizmodo]

Tiya Convenient Floor Drain: Yes please!

I'll present this without explanation, because, well, no explanation is needed! Perhaps that's why it won designer Chen Wanting a Red Dot Design Award. Now - where can I buy one...?
[via Core77]

Post-It Notes Go Digital

From years in the design industry, I've used more than my share of Post-It Notes: color-coded, clustered and grouped, with text and doodles, trying to find those all-important "insights." Inevitably, the result is captured with a few photos, then archived for reference. However, 3M thinks Post-Its can make a more useful digital transition, offering an app where individual notes are captured from that overall photo and made sortable on your device of choice. Granted, it won't be as smooth as the life-size tactile interaction of paper squares (at least not until we have wall-sized touchscreens in project rooms), but it's a start!
[via Engadget]

Big Phones & Thumb Zones

When the era of all-touchscreen smartphones began in ye olden days of 2007, screens were smaller: holding the phone in one hand, your thumb could reach (almost) any corner of the screen. But now the trend is toward larger screens - and since people still prefer one-handed use, mobile OS and app designers need to accommodate the limitations of real-life thumbs. Mobile developer Scott Hurff has a wonderful summary of this new reality, mapping the comfort zones of different touchscreen sizes and exploring the design features that fit them. It's worth a look - you'll realize that you can't simply make a phone bigger to make it bigger, or you'll end up with some very unhappy thumbs!
[via Core77]

Humangear puts humans first, gear second...

Instead of calling out a single product for good or bad usability design, this time I'll point to a whole company: humangear is doing a great job of putting user-centric design above everything else. All the products shown above are clever in their ways - one detail I love that's included in several of them is a recessed labeling area, so penned-on labels won't get rubbed off. Check them all out, and you just may find yourself buying a few! (And I'd like to point out that the title of this post is literally true.)
[via Core77]