Saturday, December 13, 2008

Beautifully designed: The Olivetti Lettera 22

What UI used to be ...

"Recently I scored a practically mint condition Olivetti Lettera 22 from Post 27 here in Chicago. I can’t stop myself from inspecting it in awe daily.

Created to be the quintessential portable typewriter, it’s made of sturdy but lightweight steel, designed minimally and simply. There’s nothing under the keys besides air, no added weight or metal. Even the case it comes in wastes absolutely no space – the bottom piece is flat and flush with the bottom of the typewriter, the top part zipping over in perfect proportion to the machine.

It makes me think of the electronic typewriter my grandmother had in the 80’s, this huge bulky machine that took up half her desk and felt like it weighed a ton. Sure, it probably did a lot more – it even had a WhiteOut laced backspace key! – but how much of that was necessary? Bells and whistles and electronic WhiteOut do a lot to blow the mind, but nothing will ever compare to the most simple, elegant solution."    (Continued via 37signals, Signal vs. Noise)    [Usability Resources]

Olivetti Lettera 22 - Usability, User Interface Design

Olivetti Lettera 22

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