I always appreciate when I can pick something up and start using it without having to read any instructions, but I also am always very thankful when a product manages to fit everything you need to know about how to use it right there on the product itself. Sometimes this is done with a sticker on the bottom or back (not so cool) but other times it appears as part of the product graphics (very cool).
Well, using the industrial stapler in my office today, I noticed a little nub sticking out of the front of it that I could swear wasn’t there the last time I used it.
Hard to read from this photo, but it says “User Guide” with a little arrow that invites you to pull the nub towards you. I took the nub challenge and pulled…
Now, while you could argue that a stapler shouldn’t need instructions, I’d argue back that there are some operations – de-jamming, re-filling, or calling for tech support (really?!?) which require kinds of specific information that users shouldn’t have to remember – such as the phone number or the model of staple needed.
So this is pretty nifty, I think, and useful for some bits of information which wouldn’t be immediately obvious. I like how it’s there when you need it, and not when you don’t, is very discoverable, but not knowing about its existence does not negatively impact your experience with the stapler (assuming you don’t need to call tech support
Also, I’m sure unintentional on the part of the designer, it has a GUI widget feel to it; I was half-expecting the arrow to rotate 180 degrees once the drawer was pulled out to indicate that it could be pushed back in!
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