“Take My Money!”: 50 Wacky Products You Didn’t Know You Needed, As Shared By The “Odditymall” Facebook Page (New Pics)
At first, you may think a laser grid for your bicycle is weird — but once you ride down unlit roads in the pitch of night, you immediately understand its purpose. The world is loaded with millions of similarly bizarre products that bend the limits of your imagination. And if you think you have already seen it all, from genius product design ideas to plain weird ones, trust us — you’ve barely even scratched the surface.
To show you what we mean, we introduce you to one entertaining corner of the internet called the 'OddityMall' project. This web magazine is dedicated to unique and unusual gadgets, odd devices, quirky design decisions, and downright strange solutions you'll ever lay your eyes on. Featuring heaps of useful and utterly useless products, the news outlet shows that our hands can create whatever our minds dream up, leaving us entertained and inspired.
Our design-loving team at Bored Panda has gone through their feeds and gathered some of the most noteworthy items you can buy, but should you? Well, we're not here to judge! Continue scrolling to see the newest batch of pictures down below, upvote your favorite ones, and let us know which of these products you loved and hated most in the comments.
Psst! When you’re done scrolling through this list, check out Part 1 of this post right here.
The 'Odditymall' project was founded in 2012 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Ever since then, it has grown into a very popular news outlet that focuses on the newest brilliant inventions, odd gadgets, unusual product designs, and weird contraptions that appear across the web. As it states on their website, as long as the product is obscure, unusual, interesting, or awesome, "you will see it featured on Odditymall."
The web magazine has branched out to all the major social media channels and has gained a strong foothold there. For instance, it has amassed nearly 3.2 million followers on Facebook and 198,000 devoted fans on Instagram.
'Odditymall' continues to surprise every single design enthusiast by consistently gracing them with the strangest products that can be actually purchased online. It's safe to say that weirdness clearly sells, and it wins over the hearts of many internet users.
This social media project also shows that the global marketplace is a crowded, noisy arena. For the end users, there’s plenty to choose from. And for the creators, competition is at every corner. To succeed in the chaos, designers believe they must craft and build products that stand out.
A brief scroll through this list will prove that creators can achieve their goal — even when they do it in a not-so-conventional way. Sometimes, they get so focused on developing a unique product that function, purpose, and aesthetics become more of an afterthought instead of a critical part of the product development process.
But by now, we are used to well-thought-out products. When we think of great design, items that look good or work well immediately come to mind. From our phones to our cars to our everyday appliances, we have high expectations. After all, companies are investing time, money, and other resources into developing solutions that cater to the needs of the users. To make our lives easier. To solve problems we didn’t even realize we had before.
This is just one reflection of product design. A blog post on ProductPlan defines it as the process of imagining, creating, and iterating objects that solve users’ problems and address specific needs in a given market.
"The key to successful product design is understanding the end-user customer, the person for whom the product is being created. Product designers attempt to solve real problems for real people by using empathy and knowledge of their prospective customers’ habits, behaviors, frustrations, needs, and wants," they explained.
Design thinking means approaching innovation by drawing from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of the client. "Ideally, a product's design execution is so flawless that no one notices; users can intuitively use the product as needed because product design understood their needs and anticipated their usage."
This Is Too Cool!
To achieve this, it all starts with an idea. And although it may seem that by the 21st century, everything noteworthy has already been invented, that’s not entirely the case. While every designer strives to develop new creative work, original designs are not always the answer. According to Nick Babich, a developer and tech enthusiast, everything is built off something that preceded it.
"Creativity in design is the ability to take past experiences and new information and synthesize them to create something new," he explained. "That’s why designers should always be passionate about expanding their knowledge of the world and stay up to date with current trends (designers need to understand what is generally acceptable and what has been done before). This cumulative knowledge and experience is what helps us craft more insightful designs."
But coming up with innovative and meaningful solutions is far from an easy task. Even if you believe in the idea to its very core, you can’t predict what kind of results the end product will bring. That's why it's important to improve your process and understand that good design practices thread themselves throughout the entire product lifecycle.
As Bruce Mau, a designer and CEO of Massive Change Network, explained, empathy is key as it helps with problem-solving. "Empathy is really at the core of everything I do," explained Mau. "When you think about what a designer does, we start with empathy and try to understand the problem that helps us solve it."
Although design thinking is often thought of as a human-centered approach to innovation, modern practices should move towards having more appreciation and insight for the environment. "Everything is designed as if we own nature and as if we're not part of nature," said Mau. "As if nature is unlimited."
But it is not. "We now understand there is a real limit to the boundaries of nature," he noted. "Everything we do has to be designed in this new way. It has to be designed to be part of life and not separate from it."
"It is daunting, but it's also one of the greatest business opportunities in the history of mankind, the opportunity to take on that level of reset."
So Mau discussed his enterprise design method, which is underpinned by empathy and an understanding of natural ecosystems and human behavior. "The first principle is design leadership," said Mau. "In other words, design is a leadership methodology, a way of imagining a future and systemically executing that vision. Designers have the ability to produce that vision and systematically execute that vision."
Moreover, the designer believes that education must "unlearn a human-centric approach" and be focused on how to integrate design into the natural world.
"Most cities are designed to push nature out," Mau explained. "We have to get to a better place —we have to think about ourselves integrated into the natural world, and that challenges us to do everything differently."
While good design should include a balance of form and function and solve our problems, it can even be pretty fun. After all, the debate on creating valuable and completely irrelevant products is a never-ending one, but at its core, good design isn't just aesthetics and usefulness — it should also communicate well and push the boundaries.
What do you think of these unique and unusual contraptions featured in this list? Which ones caught your eye the most? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments.