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Beauty in Utility: Trash from X Games

January 26, 2008 - 0 Comments

My wife gets all the cool asignments. A few months ago it was Fenway Park and the World Series. This weekend she’s working the Winter X Games. And, all I got out of it was these lousy cell phone photos of trash cans from Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen. (Of course, they’re beautiful):garbage1.jpg   garbage.can.jpgYes, there is a web user experience tie-in to this. If you’re involved in design of your company’s web experience, you could learn a thing or two from stylish trash cans.As I have blogged elsewhere (about trash cans at Disneyland), there is an interesting design challenge to making aethetically pleasing rubbish cans for public places: They need to be obvious enough to get people to use them, and yet they shouldn’t be an eyesore. And they need to be “on brand” for the situation. The Winter X Games trash cans fit the bill on all counts.The utilitarian web parallel is the search boxes, buttons, tabs, and other functional components that are absoluetly essential to the usefulness of a web site — you want them to be stylish, but not so big and bold that they overpower everything else that your web site visitors are trying to do. They need to be pleasant and functional for your site visitors.On, we’re spending a lot of time lately thinking about not only designing the beauty of things (such as what we feature on our home page), but also designing for utility such as the new beta search and related popular pages box. While we don’t consciously think of this work as relating to the X Games or theme park experience (including the utilitarian things like trash cans or water fountains), perhaps that would be humbling.More updates ahead for, and I promise they will be not only aesthetically pleasing but also highly useful!Technorati Tags:

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