I fiddle with things – when I am thinking. I click my pen, pull at the pocket clip (until it breaks), rearrange my cutlery, or poke around the cruets. It’s just what I do.
I poke and pull at my laptops as well. The push-to-eject nibs of the CardBus/ExpressCard slots, the springy slot cover of the same, the clock-and-pop-out latch of the expansion bay, the push-to-eject pen…
Fiddling with stuff helps me think – and I can’t be the only one.
Should product designers design products with deliberately fiddle-able parts for people like me? And make these robust. Could fiddle-ability be an important point of differentiation for your product?