Serendipitous feature: Google as a printer test page...

It wouldn't be quite right to call this a clever design - not on Google's part, at least - but it's certainly a brilliant improvisation. If you need to test your printer, just print the Google home page: the logo uses all the colors, the little bit of text uses black ink, and the whole thing is so sparse and white that it won't drain your ink cartridges. Thanks to Reddit user zackofalltrades for the idea, and Lifehacker for the image!

Unpleasant Design as Behavior Manipulation

The Unpleasant Design blog, run by Gordan Savicic and Selena Savic, hosts examples of how design can manipulate people and their behavior in public places, by making things they might want to do, well, unpleasant. It's a workable substitute for active enforcement (or fixing the core causes of some of these behaviors), and yields some interesting designs. Seen here are anti-skateboarding metal strips, anti-posting textured pole covers, and anti-bum-napping armrests on benches. There's plenty more on their blog, if you feel like slumming among the less desirable human behaviors!
[via Core77]

Pinch-to-zoom has been one(finger)-upped...

Since the advent of all-touch smartphones and tablets, pinch-to-zoom has been a hallmark of intuitive gestural interaction. And while it's intuitive, it's unfortunately not very convenient - it's awkward at best, and almost impossible to accomplish one-handed. The team at Google Maps must have realized this, and designed a one-finger zoom: double-tap anywhere on the map, and drag your finger up or down to zoom in or out. Those blue circles and arrows shown in this illustration aren't actually onscreen - as with all gestural interfaces, real estate is at a premium and visual clutter is a no-no, which leads some to call this feature a "secret." But Google appropriately assumes that users will be quick learners - especially when the benefits are so compelling!
[via Gizmodo]