Taps 11: The Ripples tap

Ok, a tap I actually haven't used, but it looks weird enough to think about the fun and toil moments with it.

"... On top of the frosted ripple surface sits a metal ball. An array of electromagnetic sensors detects that ball’s position. Moving the ball in or out from the center controls water pressure. Moving it around [left hot - right cold] controls temperature.

The surface glows red or blue to denote how hot or cold it is. The two separate channels combine the hot and cold water to get the perfect mix... " Yanko Design - From beyond function, Water Ball Ripples, 27.2.2008

This tap is really nice looking, probably funny to play with and a piece of equipment to show to visitors. But it has some flaws (or disadvantages) as well, so I think not everyone would adopt it:

  • the ball seems easy to lose (think of kids ... ok and the rest of us) or drop down the drain (look at one on the photo)
  • it would be hard to clean water stone from the water canals and also the canals where the ball moves
  • handling it with wet (and soapy) hands would leave a mess (not to say this doesn't happen with every tap, but with the regular tap pouring some water over it would do; with this one the water stays in the canals)
  • it cannot fit on an ordinary sink
  • not sure if mixing really works as with every tap without an aerator I used so far I had a feeling that water was scolding and freezing my hands at the same time (my own peculiarity)
  • it needs electricity as well - so aside a plumber, fitting would need to be done also by an electrician
  • it is probably more prone to faults as more complex parts are used

Designer: Smith Newnam & Touch360 Studio"

Parking brakes 'levers' - unusual designs and places

We all know how the traditional hand lever looks like:


I was pleasantly surprised to see a different parking or hand brake lever in Renault Megane. It is a slight move from the traditional one:

This brought into memories cars with 'strange levers' I drove so far. Renault 4 (really old ones from 70s) had a hand brake lever under the steering wheel:

Citroen GS had it on the dashboard in the middle where the radio is usually located. It just called "pull me pull me":

My old Mercedes w123 from 1978 had four pedals on the floor under the steering wheel. The one on the far edge was a parking brake. Several younger models had it there as well:

I wonder what was the position and design of parking brake handles/hooks/pedals/levers in the early cars and the new generation cars after WW2? Anyone knows?

Controls of electric windows in a car - effective mental model mapping

The design of controls for electric windows in a car is very effective. It is a simple, yet good interface design. The buttons are positioned as the windows to allow for easy creation of a mental model on how buttons should react in the real world. No surprise it is used in many cars.