Saturday, April 13, 2013

Insight in Plastic Containers

Two simple small plastic containers.  The one on the left is a considerably better design:
  • They nest inside each other because of the tapered shape
  • The base of the container snaps into the top of the lid
  • The lids snap into each other
I love examples of good design like this, but that's not why I took this picture!  

On the one on the left, see how the lid is facing down and the container fits on top of it, like this?
We have way more left-type containers and only a couple right-types.  The right-types don't fit into each other, and the lids don't snap on the bottom, so there isn't any great way to store them.  I usually just stuff 'em in the cabinet.  But today I opened the cabinet door and noticed the lid on the right-type as in the photo:
FLIPPED!  It's facing up instead of down, and the container nests relatively nicely inside it.  I couldn't help but smile at this!  

I have been fixated on the lids facing down because we have many more of the left-type containers, the idea of simply flipping the lid never occurred to me.  It's wonderful to reflect on the insight of just flipping the lid around.  A terribly simple idea that has been there all along, but I never saw it.  

An admittedly silly example of lateral thinking... Or maybe it's not really lateral thinking, maybe it's just closed mindedness through familiarity.  But in any case, when I saw it today it made me go "neat!"