Jun 05 2014

Everyone deserves great design

Just because a product has a social mission doesn’t mean the product is great. Everyone Deserves Great Design says it is time to put an end to useless products designed for people in crummy situations.
Useless products are widespread in the developing world because of the wrong mindset. Non-profits generate income by designing products that appeal to their donors. The problem arises when user desires are completely ignored.

Good Intentions + Wrong Mindset = Bad Design

Examples of crummy design that have raised millions by appealing to donors rather than users include


  • the Socket Ball that generates electricity, but always breaks within a few weeks
  • the PlayPump water system, intended to use children’s play to pump water
  • the Free Wheechair Mission, which produces wheelchairs out of old chairs

The shining example of good design that meets the needs of users is the WATERisLIFE Straw, the straw that saves lives.


The WATERisLIFE Straw is a small, portable filtration device that provides pure, clean drinking water whenever it is immersed into a water source (just like a normal straw). This Straw, however, saves lives on a daily basis by filtering out waterborne diseases – which accounts for over 6,500 deaths every day – 5,000 of those being children.

This revolutionary Straw has proven to be effective against waterborne diseases such as typhoid, cholera, dysentery, guinea worm, and diarrhea, and removes particles as small as fifteen microns.

WATERisLIFE continues to work with organizations and partners to provide straw filters to those in need. Each Straw costs only $10 and provides a year’s worth of clean water for one person.

At ‘Water is Life’, the commitment to good design extends to their advertising.

First World Problems are not Problems
“I hate it when my house is so big I need two wireless routers.”


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