Three Designed Objects

Object 1:  Zero Japan Ceramic Teapot with Strainer

This is an apparently simple object I use nearly every day and has lots of useful and clever design touches which make it convenient and pleasurable to use. A little while ago, a friend introduced me to loose-leaf teas, and ever since I have gone through numerous teapots and strainers trying to find one that is easy to use reliable and doesn’t break easily.

I am a big fan of Japanese design, they make in my view very attractive objects, which are also practical and functional. This teapot was bought from a local teashop in Nottingham, designed by a Japanese company Zero Japan. The designer at Zero Japan describes his approach to design as every object needing to be “highly functional”, “great to touch” and “a pleasure to the eye”, I think this teapot has achieved this goal.  To me, it is a perfect mix for me of modern, and traditional design. I have previously bought teapots which are more traditional in design which I have found easily break or have a flaw in their design, such as an inconveniently placed handle. Similarly, when I have bought more modern teapots, they are often made with cheap materials and look very utilitarian and a little depressing.

This teapot combines the best of both worlds. It has the elements of the style of a traditional teapot but at the same time, it looks modern and is made of glazed ceramic, which is more resilient, less breakable than others I have used. It also has great design features, such as a smaller spout which reduces dripping, a top that you can remove to easily clean, and it comes with a strainer which fits perfectly inside the teapot. The fact that you can remove the strainer as well is a very useful feature, which not all teapots have, and means you can take the strainer out when the tea is strong enough for your taste.


Object 2: K and F Lens Adapter

This a great device which allows me to connect old 35ml film lenses to my digital camera.

One of the challenges, I have with having photography as a hobby is how expensive it is. The cost of modern digital lenses, even second hand can be very high. I was therefore delighted when having recently bought a Sony A7 camera, that’s because it has a full-frame sensor, you can fit old film camera lenses to it.

Using this inexpensive, device from K and F, I can fit old Cannon film camera lenses to my camera which is very useful as my Dad has lots of these old lenses lying around which I can then use. Also, you can buy film camera lenses online, much cheaper than digital lenses, and they are usually good quality, sometimes better quality than modern digital camera lenses the only drawback being you can’t use auto-focus.

How the device works is that you screw it on top of the sensor like you would a lens, following the red dots on both the adapter as a guide, you then screw the film lens into the adapter again using the red dotes as a guide as to where to place it and it is then available to use. There are lots of adapters, but I particularly like the design of this adapter as it is made from strong but light aluminium. The colours of the adapter are also cleverly designed, so they match the camera, enabling the adapter to not stand out and look like it is part of the original design of the Sony A7.

Whilst I have chosen to buy this adapter out of convenience some people also choose to use them because of the artistic effects of old film lenses. For example, the same company that make this adapter also make one to fit old Soviet Union lenses, which produce unique lens flares which give photographs an otherworldly quality.

Object 3- Thule Saddle Bag


As a cyclist who always seems to not have enough pockets, I am always in the need of a good saddle bag. This is another deceptively simple object, on the one hand, it is just a bag but as a cycling bag, it must fit several criteria in order to function effectively as a saddle bag.

 It needs to be a particular shape to fit under the saddle without hitting the wheel or generally interfering with the workings of the bike, yet it also needs to be big enough to store enough things to be useful. It also needs to fit objects which can be an awkward shape like spare tyre inner tubes.  This saddle bag fits these criteria by being long and a mix of rectangular and triangular shape. It has a wider point at its opening and then gets narrower as you move further down the bag to where it attaches to the bike. This shape allows the bag to have plenty of storage without being too large for the space it needs to occupy. A bonus of the bag being this shape is also that it is more aerodynamic than a square shape would be, with bike accessories in most cases needing to be as aerodynamic as possible.

A saddle bag also must have a simple way of attaching itself to the saddle but also be secure, so it doesn’t fall off when you’re riding around. The design of this bag solves this by using clips at the front opening so it’s secure and nothing falls out and Velcro hoops, one to attach round the saddle post and two more which wrap around the saddle rails. The straps ensure the bag is secure whilst also, fitting the criteria of being easy to take off.

The final two design features are not necessarily essential but are very useful. The first is that it is made using a waterproof material, which in Britain you could argue is an essential feature. The second is that the material used in the bag is very light, which is convenient because it means, particularly when cycling uphill it is not too heavy on the back of the bike. Also, in general, you want everything on the bike to be as light as possible.

screenshot of wiggle



This website is an online shop which I use regularly. I mainly use it for cycling products, but it also sells running, and general fitness equipment.

This Wiggle website has the very difficult task of having to manage a huge number of different products and content. I feel it does this effectively balancing the needs of two different types of users who may want to use the site. The website first caters to users who know exactly what they want i.e., running shoes or bike tyres, or who know the category of the item they want e.g., running equipment or cycling equipment. It caters to users who want a specific item through the search bar at the top of the page. Its method of catering to users who know the category of item they want is slightly more complicated but essentially utilizes plentiful sub-menus, on the main navigation bar allowing you to search by sport and then more specific categories e.g., for cycling you can search for cycling clothing, or bike maintenance or bike parts.

The second type of user is someone who just wants to browse and doesn’t know what they want. The website caters for these users by using lots of images with links to different parts of the website. These images and links change all the time, but often include new offers or links to items with a theme such as sustainable products. They also can include links to blog articles.

I like how this website manages to balance being functional and effective for these two different types of users, utilizing different types of web design to be very adaptable.

Photographers Website,

In contrast to the previous website, Jack Davidson’s website is very minimalist. He recognizes that the key selling point is his photography in and of itself rather than any descriptions of his work, reviews, or references.

Recognising this he puts that at the front and center of the website, so the user does immediately have access to it and can enjoy it without having to search to find it. The minimalism also works well with his style of photography, which is often black and white, quite stark, and unusual.

He does include other information such as the about me section and references of large publications he has worked with, but it is hidden in a page called index, which lies in the footer at the bottom of the homepage.

It is worth noting that Jack Davidson has worked with enormous publication’s i.e. New York Times and Vogue so can arguably afford to be more minimalist than other photographers who are less well known and work in a different field.  This approach might not be as effective for a wedding photographer who might want their references in the about me section to be much more prominent to attract clients, who very likely may not have heard of them before.

Frame Gym Website

This website faces similar challenges to the Wiggle website in juggling existing users who know where they are going and new users who want to explore.

It adopts a similar approach to Wiggle, putting lots of content behind in the Nav bar for users who want to go to a specific place i.e., see the class timetable. Whilst for new users it uses a lot of images, in order to entice them to reach other parts of the class and specifically a lot of buttons for very direct calls to actions, such as book now (for booking classes).

What I like about the design is through its use of font, images, vibrant colours and the use of Gifs it manages to convey a sense of fun and energy which fits well with the product that they are trying to sell their brand. Whilst arguably their design is a little ‘in your face, personally, I would reduce the number of buttons with calls to action. Their website uses its friendly, energetic design to convey their brand as a lot less serious and therefore less intimidating for users who are not naturally people who go to the gym very often. I suspect this strategy was very effective during the pandemic, when people like me who don’t normally go to gym classes, were looking for options when their normal forms of exercise wasn’t available.

screenshoot of frame website

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