Sometimes a design will arrive for an everyday item that’s so blindingly obvious yet revolutionary you have to wonder why nobody did it before.
Such a design is the folding plug, designed by Min-kyu Choi.
Taking inspiration from the Apple Macbook Air, which is advertised as being the ‘world’s thinnest laptop’, Min-kyu found irony in the fact that this wonder of modern design was saddled with the rather archaic and clunky UK three-pin plug:
In a breathtakingly simple but inspired design, Min-kyu has created a clever folding plug which occupies under 1/3 of the space of a conventional UK plug. Thinner than your little finger when folded, this beautiful bit of design refactoring takes plug design forward in leaps and bounds:
As software designers, we should be actively seeking out the ‘chunky plugs’ in our world – awkward, unfriendly, approaches to interaction that have somehow become the ‘norm’. These are the things that people put up with despite their shortcomings. If we put the effort in, we shall and will find them. We may even be able to come up with something significantly better.
Min-kyu deserves great credit and recognition for making such an improvement to an everyday object. I hope that you can find your own ‘chunky plug’ and make your own mark. After all, that’s the essence of good design – improving our everyday lives.