The Aspirin Point: Shrinking ingredients liberate design

Rain Noe recently wrote in Core77 about the "Aspirin Point", where the functional component of a product (a few milligrams of the drug) becomes so small that the physical design of the product (the pill) becomes essentially independent. This is incredibly liberating from a design point of view, because the product can be designed purely for the best possible use case. The Aspirin Point is gradually reaching consumer electronics, and USB flash drives are one of the first products to get there. In the tiny drive shown here (images from Rain), the cylinder that protrudes from the port isn't needed for electronics - it's purely ergonomic and aesthetic. What's the right shape? The right diameter, edge, and surface for a user to be able to remove it easily but prevent snagging on things? It's great to consider those questions all by themselves!

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