Everyday UX – A Can Opener That Cuts

A Can Opener That Cuts

My friend has some interesting multi-functional scissors: scissors, can opener, bottle opener, and jar top opener, etc.

I didn’t give it much thought until I used it to cut a bag open.

The cutting took me quite some effort, which, I suppose, is the most basic thing scissors do. So I touched and felt the blades, and found them surprisingly blunt.

Then I found out a most interesting fact: the scissors can be disassembled into two scissor blades! You just need to rotate the blades so that they are perpendicular to each other, then separate them. Fun design details.

Of course, the blunt blades made sense then — after people disassemble the scissors, you don’t want their fingers to be cut by accident, so the trade-off is that the blades have to be blunt to prevent the “accidents”. But really, do people have to use the scissors in a disassembled format to be able to use them? To open a can? Then is there a better position for the can opener? Or, is the can opener even necessary in scissors?

I think the balance between number of features and quality of what the features do is crucial to a product, a design. If it’s to a degree that multi-functional scissors can’t cut well, then they are not real scissors anymore, just a opener tool and oh by the way, it can do some cutting.

I think a product should do well at what it’s supposed to do, then develops more and better useful features that will actually strengthen the experience, rather than become that “Jack of All Trades, Master of None”.

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