It Makes the Smart Car Look Like a 747

In USA Today yesterday, I read an article on the smallest production car ever made, a 1962 Peel P50.



The Peel was an attempt to evaluate the absolute minimum dimensions necessary to build a car. An interesting feature of the car was that it had no reverse gear.  There was a handle on the rear of the car.  When you wanted to change direction, you simply picked up the rear of the car and turned it around.  

With one seat, the car is far from practical for almost everyone.  But, it did get me to thinking bout the choices of features that people select when they choose virtually any product.

One design rule that has stuck with me through the years is the "20/80" rule. The rule states that we use only 20 percent of all features on our products 80 percent of the time.  That iPod, or washing machine - how often do we deviate from a few preferred settings?

Just another reminder to designers to keep it simple.

Here's Top Gear's take on it: