11 Design Features on Everyday Items That You Never Knew Had A Purpose

Have you ever wondered why jeans have teeny tiny buttons on them? Or what's with that little groove on Tic-Tac lids? Prepare to be enlightened!
Christopher McFadden

Welcome to our collection of "11 Design Features on Everyday Items That You Never Knew Had A Purpose". In the following article, we'll show you some completely unexpected and blatantly obvious design features and their hidden purposes. 

Enjoy and prepare to be enlightened :)


1. Indents (punts) on the base of some bottles

We'll start our list of design features with one we are probably all familiar with: the punts in the bottom of bottles. It is also one of the simpler designs whose purpose is usually overlooked. As it happens it really depends on the contents. For anything other than sparkling things, they are a hangover from the bottle production of yesteryear. During glass blowing, the "blower" would push the seam upwards so the bottle could stand and not have a sharp point.

For contents like champagne, they actually help distribute the pressure evenly when the bottle is being corked!

2. Crinkled Arms to Bobby pins

Oh, easy right? Pickin g locks, right? Well yes, but that's not their main purpose. The wrinkled base is supposed to go at the bottom. This helps the pin stay in place, apparently.

3. Bumps on F and J keys on your keyboard

Yeah, why are there bumps on these keys? What bumps, look down at your keyboard. Here's a good one for random facts quizzes on computers. Professional typists are required to keep their index fingers on these keys. It helps them find the "home row" on the keyboard. Neat right? 

4. Fuel gauges

This is actually a very cool design feature you might not have paid attention to. If you look at the petrol pump symbol on your car's dashboard you might notice a little arrow. Unless of course, you have one of those new digital ones. 

It actually indicates which side the fuel tank cap is. Nice, but you already knew that of course.

11 Design Features on Everyday Items That You Never Knew Had A Purpose
Source: Pixabay

4. Chinese Takeaway Containers

Another great example of daily object designs you might not realize is the humble Chinese takeaway boxes. Did you know they can actually be unfolded to provide you with a handy eating surface? Never again get your hands dirty rustling around inside the box. Just unfold it and start eating.

Great Scott, all those wasted years!!

5. Those random holes on the side of some shoes

Yeah, what are those for? Ventilation? Nice try but apparently not. Like other entries on our list of design features on everyday items, they are a hangover from the past. They used to be a common design feature for basketball shoes.

The holes are actually additional lacing holes that allowed for alternative lacing techniques for basketball players. Apparently, they helped prevent players feet from slipping on the court. Of course, they are obsolete nowadays but are now an iconic feature of the shoe.

6. What's with that little groove on Tic-Tac lids?

They are to some a waste of plastic and a distinctly bad design, but they do actually serve a purpose. Though to most, it will seem completely redundant. If you could ever control your impulse to eat an entire container of Tic-Tacs at once, the lid is supposed to provide a means of catching individual Tic-Tacs for consumption. 

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Source: Pixabay

7. Why do jeans have teeny tiny buttons on them?

The tiny buttons on jeans are actually called "rivets" and serve a very important purpose. Back in the early days of Levi's, they would supply clothing to miners.

These chaps would carry all sorts of heavy things in their pockets from tools to gold nuggets. Obviously traditional seams wouldn't last very long, so rivets were used to keep the pockets attached to the main body of the garment. You'll never look at them the same way again now.

8. The hole at the end of pan handles

OK, this is more of a "hack" than an actual design feature, but they can be used for more than just hanging the pots up. Don't get your work surfaces dirty from your cooking utensils. Why not use it to "hold" your spoon whilst cooking? 

Neat and tidy. 

9. Those random little holes at the bottom of padlocks

Yes indeed, why are there little holes at the bottom of padlocks? You may or may not know the answer but its makes complete sense once you know. These are in fact to be used to inject oil into the lock for lubrication of the mechanism.

These tiny holes also allow water to drain when the lock is used outdoors.

10. Serrated edge on tape measure hooks

This is one of those obvious ones you'll probably end up kicking yourself for not realizing. It's actually there to help you mark where you have measured when using a pencil is not practical. Obviously, this will only work on soft enough surfaces like plasterboard or soft wood. If you want to know, it's called the scribing tool. 

Now you can impress, or annoy, the next handyman you meet, or not. Seems obvious now right? 

There are some more too if you're interested...

11. Those thick bits on cables

And finally on our list of design features is this interesting example. Have you ever wondered what those thick cylinders are for on some cables? They are actually lumps of ferrite cores or chokes and are just what they sound like. These are essentially chunks of magnetic iron oxide. They are there to suppress high-frequency electromagnetic interference to your monitor, power supply etc.


So there you go, 11 design features that you probably never knew had a purpose. Now you have no excuse for not having a pencil when using a tape measure or feeling guilty for downing an entire box of Tic Tacs. You are eternally welcome. Do you have any other suggestions? Please feel free to comment below.

Via: BuzzFeedUrboProvidr

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