Usability Observation #3

usability_observation_3 My 89-year-old grandma never ceases to impress me with the micro-innovations she makes around her house. She is a prime subject for my usability observations for three reasons. 1: She grew up in poverty, so she has a habit of fixing and re-using as much stuff as possible. 2: Her vision, hearing, and manual dexterity are rapidly diminishing although her mind is still razor sharp, and she is a natural inventor. 3: She never leaves her house except to buy groceries, and she lives alone on her floor (with my uncle living on the floor above), so this is her world, and she is free to configure it for herself.

These are her kitchen gloves. I’m not sure how she ended up with two left gloves, but she did, so she turned one inside-out to make a pair. Also, note the rolled-up cuffs. Oddly enough, I first noticed this behavior in my father. When I first asked about it, he made a joke about it being a stylish detail but later explained that he did it to stop water from dripping down the glove and around to the inside.

usability-observation-3-casabellaInsightful manufacturers have caught on to this behavior and began to mold gloves with a form that retains this shape. Sadly, they didn’t credit my grandmother with the idea.

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