The same trick used all over again. Using standard solutions.

In this post I continue to talk about how the methods from the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (abbreviated as TRIZ in Russian) can be used by anyone to solve day to day challenges.

This time, again we’ll look at the problem I had in my house and how it was resolved using inventive approach.

Inventive situation

The door lock handle that you see at the top of this post is a typical one that is used across North America, particularly, in Canada. The side of the lock that has a handle resides inside the house. The main issue I had with it was that it was very difficult if not impossible to understand what position handle was in. Is it locked or unlocked, especially in evenings when the lighting conditions are poor. Just look at the image below and tell me whether you can see the handle at all?

As you saw the handle blends with the circular base it attached to and is hardly visible if at all.

As in the previous post where there issue was to find who had stolen a tire valve cap the contradiction is that a cap and in this case a handle has the same color as the base of the lock and is poorly discernable to understand what the sate of the lock is.

You possibly guessed that as in the previous case we possibly can play with the shape of the handle, its color or something else. Again, Ideal Final Result in this inventive situation is for the handle to notify by itself that it’s locked or unlocked. And as you, probably, guessed correctly we can use the same solution as before, namely, we can color it in a white color with wite-out.

And this is what I did at first as can be seen in the image below

This wasn’t a bad idea, but I thought I can do even better, especially at night, since the white color doesn’t glow in the dark. But a luminous tape does. So that was what I did, I used such a tape. When the lights are on it absorbs light and later it emits it and this way the tape glows. This allows you to see at a glance whether the door is locked or unlocked as can be seen below

As you’ve noticed the solution to this problem looks very much like the one before. And actually, in TRIZ there are typical problems and non-typical problems. When you see that a problem at hand is a typical problem it means that there are already existing solutions that you can use out of the box to solve it. In TRIZ one such toolbox is Standard Inventive Solutions also known as Standards. This can be seen in the diagram taken from Vladimir Petrov’s book TRIZ Basics.