Things in their proper place

I'm always thinking about design. Sometimes this leads to some really nerdy observations at inappropriate moments, but my friends say they love me anyway. Lately, having just finished (hah, "finished"...) moving, I've been thinking a lot about design with regards to furniture arrangement.

It's absolutely amazing how much less stuff I feel like I have when it's not in boxes or disassembled for moving.  It takes up so much space on the floor, and then it's out and in an appropriate place and hey, I can see the floor again.  Surely it's taking more space than it was before, and yet it feels like it's taking up so much less.

Part of that is I'm not having to vault over it just to get across the room, but I think it's more than that.  I think that things that are useful become somehow invisible until you need to use them.  The boxes and disassembled bookshelves are not useful, they are in the way, and they're a reminder of all of the work that's left to do.

I've heard people talk about technology like microwaves as "becoming furniture," which is the same sort of effect--it's no longer a gadget that must be oohed over or deciphered, it's a useful tool that lives over there and that no one thinks about much.

There's a lesson for me in interface design in there, though I haven't quite decided what it is yet.  But as I design in the future I'll be thinking of turning menus, etc. into furniture.