The ridiculous pocket knife

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The Guinness world record for “most multifunctional” pocket knife belongs to Wenger, the company behind the storied Swiss Army knife. The company says the knife’s 87 gadgets (including a laser pointer, cigar cutter, and golf reamer) can be used for no fewer than141 functions.

Alas, weighed down by its three pounds of gizmos, this “most multifunctional” knife has no practical function at all, a pocket knife that doesn’t fit in your pocket. This slice-n-dice Goliath was, of course, never really designed to be used. It was a novelty created for the company’s 100th anniversary, a whimsical project to bring together every gadget the company ever included in its knives.

While the knife is obviously (and intentionally) ridiculous, it’s a winking reminder that somewhere in the reptile part of our brains, a misguided instinct tells us that more is always better.

In the end, of course, the best gizmo is the thing that lets us do what we need to do with the greatest ease.

Be ruthless when you consider every button and icon: Does this element invite attention? Is it clear what it does? Does it deliver something meaningful?

Lifted & abridged from Tapworthy: Designing Great iPhone Apps by Josh Clark (O’Reilly)

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