Products Influencing Behaviors

happy_urinal
I came across this urinal the other day at Huddart Park in Woodside, CA. I don’t have high expectations for public restrooms, so imagine my surprise when I came across this little gem, clearly designed with so much thought and humor. Did they anticipate the bolts would rust to bring out the eyes?  It’s a great example of designing for the full complexity of behavior rather than just its functional attributes.

By inserting humor into the object, they’ve managed to craft a banal experience into a little moment delight. They did it by solving not just the what the object does, but how it does it. And it is the how that separates this product from all of the others out there. (Trust me, I’ve used a lot of urinals in my life, and I’ve never been tickled enough to photograph one.)