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10 design gaps in my life


Do the elastic shoe laces work? I’m afraid not.

I’m currently enrolled in a Coursera design class – Design: Creation of Artifacts in Society. The Coursera concept is pretty cool. They offer free short courses on a whole range of subjects that are taught by leading academics in their field. Everything from algebra to…I wanted to say zoology, but I didn’t actually see a course on that.

One of the first assignments is to identify 10 design gaps in my everyday life.  The internet is built on cats and lists of 10, so I thought I’d go ahead and post here.

1. Shoelaces. My son can’t tie his shoes. I could blame the parents for failing to teach him, but I’d rather blame the proliferation of velcro closures on shoes. All shoes except for rugby/football boots. I put elastic laces on his shoes, but they just turned out to be a frayed mess. There has to be an easier way.

2. Insufficient rugby information. As a new fan I’m hungry for more. I want push notifications. I want full premiership and international rugby schedules and results. I want info on where I can watch or listen to games. I can get this for my college football team, but not for rugby.

3. Things to do. Yes, there are things-to-do apps. I’ve got a high energy boy. I want to know where I can take him – either free playgrounds, pay-to-play, swimming, special activities. I would pay to get this information.

4. In terms of services, I would like an unstructured play area to take my son to. Pay-to-play places are expensive. Sometimes, particularly on rainy weekend days, I’d just like to have a big gym that I could take my son and maybe one of his friend and just let him run around and maybe play with balls.  I know there are spaces around where I live. Church halls, school halls and even in my gym.

5. I love my electronic key fob for locking and un-locking my car doors. In absent-minded moments, I occasionally find myself aiming it at my front door. Wouldn’t it be cool if I could electronically unlock my front door, especially when I have hands full of groceries?

6. I’m still on the hunt for the perfect hoodie.  I need one which is a good masking color, I invariably spill coffee on mine. Charcoal grey would be awesome. It should be long enough to provide good coverage and warm enough for standing around the rugby pitch. It needs to zip and have generous pockets. Ideally it will carry a small, cool emblem or logo – but it won’t advertise someone else’s brand.

7. Easy-peasy donation-stations.  I love the idea of the Marks & Spencers campaign/ service Plan A  which lets you bring in clothes for donation and even provides a money off voucher if you also make a purchase on the same day.  But I never think to bring my stuff as I don’t shop their often. It would be awesome if something like this were offered at a grocery store I often shop in.

8. A Southern Accent app.  I’ve always had a variable Southern accent despite being raised in Tennessee. And then at University I totally lost it, even though I went to school in state. There are apps in the App Store for losing or softening your Southern accent, but not for recovering or gaining one. Can I say, “Market failure, y’all”?

9.  Broken jewellery. I have necklaces with broken clasps. Yes, I could take them to a jeweller, but that’s expensive. I want a cheap secure ‘thingy’ to help me wear broken necklaces again.

10.  Reward charts.  So many reward charts out there, but they’re all so uninteresting. They’re either ugly or cutesie, certainly nothing I’d hang up in my house. Online reward charts (apps) that I’ve looked at aren’t customisable enough and it would be kind of awesome if I could link a reward chart app to an allowance manager app. There are already some cool allowance manager apps.

Posted in bee in my bonnet, musings.

2 Responses

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  1. Tom Phillips says

    Great blog, Ingrid! You’ve touched on something that exercises me too!

    I want:

    1) To be the second owner of the electronic front door key thing.
    2) To find a better home for irretrievably broken cameras than the bin.
    3) A museum for souvenir ballpoint pens (conferences etc) to which I can donate generously.
    4) An app to create a universal opt out for junk mail, free newspapers etc.
    5) A satnav system you can argue with.


  2. Polly says

    One design for remote controls that is easy to use for old folks. There are more of us everyday.


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