Sunday 13 February 2005

What is Good Design?

The Design Museum in London, UK, recently asked visitors to nominate suggestions for the best low-cost innovation ("Under a Tenner" - pdf of the media release). The most popular choice was the humble Bic ballpoint pen according to a report in the UK's Daily Telegraph. According to the Telegraph, the biro was extolled in the exhibition by Fernando and Humberto Campana, a pair of Brazilian furniture designers, who described it as "practical and easy to find, ergonomy while writing."

I wonder what people would have suggested if they were asked to nominate the best information technology innovations? Someone who might have an opinion on this is Donald Norman - he has a list of well designed products (not all IT related) that he considers to have "special positive characteristic worthy of comment". In particular I like the reference to Goggle's non-error messages. Predictably Apple's iPod is also listed... but I guess being popular, not clever, is what this is all about.

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