on idiot proofing; a way to prepare for the thick human? or is it a way to prepare for the thick designer?

Some tropes are inexhaustibly offensive: smart-anythings, books for dummies, and in this case idiot-proof-designs. Fast Company ladles on the mojo for it’s brand character these days. But it often by pandering to a to a fox-news level of ‘lower common denominator’.

This review of an elegant USB work-around gets the right story, while getting the story all wrong. People can’t be blamed for the apparently retarded design failure of USB stansdards to include affordances! The designers and engineers who authored the standard can. And more to the point the mass manufacturers that have relied on a failed standard should be held culpable as well.

…It happens to me about, oh, 14 trillion times every day: I go to plug something into my computer’s USB port, and it doesn’t fit because I’ve got the plug-head upside down. Then I mutter some curse word, peer at it, and then plug it in the right way. If I added up all the seconds I waste this way in a year, it’d be… well, it’d be enough that I thank the design gods for Ma Yi Xuan, who invented a USB plug that fits both effing ways.

via Simple Genius: A USB Plug That Fits Even if It’s Upside-Down | Co.Design.

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