Don Norman: Designing For People

Nielsen Norman Group

Wild Country Cams -- Climbing Equipment.

Wild Country Website
I have long maintained that sporting equipment is among the best designed products, usually because the designers use them themselves. This example was submitted by Mark Lowe, a reader, who had this to say:

"I bought one of these rock climbing 'camming' devices in 1979 when they first came out, and despite an incredible amount of use (with some repairs to the trigger wires) my 'Friends' still work as well as the day I bought them. They have saved my life and prevented serious injury on a number of occasions, both on the crags and in the high mountains.

"They are beautifully engineered, highly durable, flexible (one size fits several crack widths), reliable, and 'aesthetically a pleasure to use'. Yes, there is a real emotional impact in using these - especially when you are putting your life in hands of these 'Friends'.

"I believe there is no product that better exemplifies the creation of a device to solve a long standing problem, fusing art, fine engineering, functionality and pure aesthetics/kinesthetic use into a single package. 10 out of 10."