An investigation into the subtle satisfaction of things fitting together.
Interaction Design, Industrial Design, Communication Design
WHAT IT IS
A 16-month design thesis in collaboration with Jeff Werner exploring how objects fit together in subtly satisfying ways.
Nice Fit refers to objects that:
Are out of place and are then moved into place;
Have an element of confirmation:
ex. sound, light, pressure;
Perform a use incidental to their primary use;
Do not interfere with their primary use;
Use simple, physical interaction;
Have a “tipping point”;
Have a repeatable action.
Have a resting, incomplete, and active state.
To capture the somewhat elusive concept of what 'Nice Fit' was, we performed some tests to see which objects and situations elicited the feeling we were looking for. We also produced a proof-of-concept prototype lamp that subscribed to the principle. The lamp base itself contained hidden LEDs, and the user would place bulbs in perfectly fitting indentations, which would light them up.
While the ideation process throughout the project was quite organic, and the Nice Fit principles were a true collaboration between the both of us, at the final production stage I - being a communications designer - tended to work more on the book and Jeff - being the industrial designer - focused more on the table.
The book documents the eight principles of Nice Fit that outline the desired conditions and qualities that should be in place to create satisfaction. This ‘fit framework’ can then be applied in incidental ways to existing and newly-designed objects to make them more usable and enjoyable.
A demonstration of Nice Fit. The table creates indentions for objects to fit into on demand; when the object is removed, the table becomes flat again.