Usability applied to your sex life

Here's some increased usability I'd like to get my hands on :
A condom applicator invented in South Africa that makes it take about 5 seconds to put a condom on.

Even better, it solves one of my pet peeves, that of the condom trying to unroll upside down. According to the page about the Design Award it won:

"Its textured surface enables a person to apply the condom with the correct side up—even in complete darkness. "

As I tell people I'm giving the elevator pitch on usability to, if there's something you keep on saying, I can never remember how to do that right, that's a sign of bad usability.

The design firm's site itself is OK, although I wonder how long the condom applicator content will stay on the firm profile page I've linked to. Update (3/25/2003: I was right: I've updated the link). Worse, the animation showing it in action on a test, err, cylinder, is a big old animated gif. (309Kb)

Posted by Chad Lundgren on Thursday, October 10, 2002 (Link)


Posted by Jack Monday, October 14, 2002 at 08:19 AM

Looks sort of like applying a Band-Aid. How many people really apply a Band-Aid according to the instructions so that it remains untainted by the oil and dirt on your fingertips? Are people really ready for a hermetically sealed condom?

Posted by Roslee Tuesday, October 15, 2002 at 10:08 PM

Sounds like a good thing. But like Jack wrote, many people can't or won't follow the simple instructions for even everyday things like bandaids and such. I can foresee all kinds of silly mis-uses of this condom applicator get-up. Kinda' sounds like the supplies I use for an external male urinary catheter here at work. Since I apply them to flaccid members, they don't go on all that well or easily. Hopefully, these condoms will do well. I don't suppose they are being supplied in a natural latex-free form for those unfortunates, like me, who are allergic to latex?! Too much foresight to really hope for.

Posted by Roslee Tuesday, October 15, 2002 at 10:54 PM

HaikuBoy! Here's a new haiku for you...fresh from my pen.

calzoned and giddy
content in desire's embrace
repainting sunsets

Posted by Chad Lundgren Wednesday, October 16, 2002 at 02:12 AM

Why wouldn't people be ready for a hermetically sealed condom? The way it looked to me, you could use it right without reading the instructions.

The package opening also looks better than current packages, where there's supposedly one place you're supposed to tear on, but I can never find, so I just end up using brute force. This looks like it would take care of that too.

But of course this is just my take. As always with heuristic usability, the actual tests hold more weight. Also, the failure or usage rate of condoms may not change for another reason: an intentional or a subconscious desire to have an "accident", an idea talked about Robin Baker in his thought-provoking book "Sperm Wars".

Nice haiku, Roslee!

Posted by Roslee Wednesday, October 16, 2002 at 04:47 AM

Chad, you wouldn't believe all the ways people can deliberately or through ignorance misuse a simple product. All one has to do is take a look at the ever-increasing lists of silly cautions manufacturers put on their products as disclaimers for the misuse of same. One can even peruse the Darwin Awards for prime examples. They still need to provide more latex-free condoms! Honestly! This is one of my little soapboxes. I even complain to managers and pharmacists in various stores about their failing to provide safe sex supplies for the latex-allergic. Hell, I even complain to the clerks and managers at the Castle a sex toy/supply store, htey carry unbelieveable variety in latex condoms, but rarely, if ever have Avanti latex-free condoms in stock. Okay, okay, I'll get down off my high horse!