Tag: neck

Product Design – Bottle Necks

I recently got some (plastic 😬) bottles for home.
Not proud of it. But anyway, I noticed a small design anomaly with them.

Normally, the neck of most bottles are only slightly shorter than their lids.

 

Now while these bottles are fine otherwise (except, plastic!), I wonder how many people who’ve bought them have unintentionally spilled water on themselves while drinking.

When we reach out for a bottle, we unconsciously gauge the height of the neck (also the mouth diameter), and the brain magically calculates an approximate “how much to tilt”…

But with these bottles, that seems a little misleading. You expect a taller neck than the lid hides, which means water will be out at a smaller angle of tilt than one expects.

Ideally, always either match or exceed (i.e. err on the safer side of) user perception.

This bottle’s neck design is like having a negative margin of safety.
Say a product has a 100 kg payload limit. It is designed with a margin of safety, meaning it will deform or buckle above 100 kg (maybe at 110, or at 120 or even higher), not exactly at 100. But then imagine another similar product with the same 100 kg payload claim, but one that buckles at 95.
This bottle neck is that. Not always desirable.

Do Laptops Need to be a Pain in the Neck?

 

Image: source

Irrespective of where we place a laptop when we use them, they’re usually well aligned with our arms and hands. This helps make typing relatively effortless. However, have you noticed how the screen is almost never aligned with our head and neck? Depending on the time you spend on the laptop, this causes a sustained strain on the neck, eyes an back.

We already have flexible and “yoga” laptops with touchscreens available today. So what if laptops had height adjustable screens too? With the technology already available, making this small design improvement should not be a challenge.

What is needed, is a laptop with an adjustable screen height and tilt (by letting it rotate across its horizontal axis). This could help enable an effortless working position for the user, irrespective of where the laptop is placed.

An area of concern to address:

  • As the screen is raised, the centre of gravity is considerably raised, which might cause frequent toppling over. Perhaps 1-2 small, retractable legs (like those on tripod stand) would help prevent any tipping over. Slight raising of the rear base of the laptop too might help.

Just a crude depiction of what it might look like. A single, central stem might make sense for smaller/ lighter screens.

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