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Red Dot Design Museum

The quality of use

“Good design makes a product usable” is one of the ten theses of good design formulated by the German industrial designer Dieter Rams (*1932), who became world famous mainly as the head of design at Braun. At a first glance, quality of use seems to be intertwined with quality of function, but it refers to something different. There are things that, viewed in isolation, function perfectly, but are difficult to use. The easier a product is to operate – in other words, to use – the greater is its benefit to the user.

The difference between use and function can be seen by example of the Fiskars Waterwheel XL whose purpose is to water large gardens. At the same time, its design incorporates an automatic reel-in function, wheels and a handle, so that it is as simple as possible to use. It is also fascinating to examine the use of the Teslasuit. It is, essentially, a full body interface between the user and his or her digital environment that offers maximum freedom of movement. The suit has so perfectly built in, highly sophisticated technology that users have the feeling of merging with digital reality. The use of the Dawn to Dusk lamp is designed to be intuitive to use. By sliding the head of the lamp up or down, the colour of the light changes in line with the sun’s changing colours over the course of a day – from its switched-off state to red, then through orange and peach to white. The Moorgen Smart Remote Control for smart homes also offers a new form and functionality that go hand in hand with an advanced operating concept. The remote control allows for a highly differentiated form of control for processes in the home. Users can, for instance, programme individual scene modes.

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Full-body haptics suit Teslasuit
"Dawn to dusk" table and floor lamp