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The kitchen blind mystery

Design and usability questions concerning a kitchen window.

The bottom of the kitchen blind, a natural colour with brown curvy lines. Photo by Silvia Maggi

There are signs of the previous tenants in our house, including ours1. The toothbrush bristles stuck in the bathroom sink strainer from the last time we cleaned it years ago. Our doormat underneath a newer one at the entrance. Some things have been replaced, while others underwent adjustments, like the kitchen blind.

The kitchen blind was flipped, and the cord moved to the left for no obvious reason. We realised it only after days of use, when our muscle memory kept making us look for the cord on the right side.

Thinking about it, the blind has a nice pattern that’s supposed to be enjoyed from the inside2, and there was an annoying usability problem. The bottom bar got stucked in the window handle, and had to be moved manually.

As the blind has been restored to it original state, it is no longer necessary to think about the position of the cord, and rolling it down is a simple and straightforward task.


I’m usually fascinated by the ways objects and software are used, especially if differently from the original intention, but in this case I’m lost. Could the usability problem be smaller than other issues we can’t see? Could it be down to aesthetics? Anyway, there is not enough information to understand the motives. Asking the previous tenants would be the best chance to know, but I guess contacting them would be weird.


  1. We’re renting the same house where we previously lived for five years 

  2. Curtains in the UK have patterns on the inside, and are often white on the outside. 

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