We use cookies to improve your browsing experience.
And cake to boost morale on Fridays. Find out more about our cookie policy here.
Uh oh! Looks like your browser’s out of date.
You’ll have more fun viewing our site on one of these instead.


Thoughtless Acts: Headphone Helper

Jul 06 2017

Human-centered design requires us to observe human behavior with beginner's eyes, so that we can spot the innate ways people interact with the world around them. We call these intuitive and unconscious reactions Thoughtless Acts, and IDEO designers collect photos of them to inspire their work.

Moulter Adam Thoughtless Act

My coworkers recently called me out on a thoughtless act I'd been doing for months without even noticing. Not long ago, I upgraded my phone to a certain unnamed model whose designers decided to remove the headphone jack—meaning you either need Bluetooth headphones or an adapter. As a music nerd who is overly particular about the headphones I use, I wasn't ready to give up my trusty corded earbuds. But I also know that I'll inevitably lose said adapter, because I lose anything that isn't attached to my everyday carry. The catch? Everyday at work, I listen to music from my laptop, which uses a traditional headphone jack. I guess, subconsciously, I found a solution to avoid losing the adapter that was there all along: When I'm not using it, I clip the adapter into the rubber piece that's attached to the the earbuds to keep their cords together. I'm going on six months without needing to buy a new adapter. #Success.

Read more from our Thoughtless Acts series here.

  • Adam Moulter

    IDEO Alum
    Adam is a former professional drummer who believes that there’s no experience more magical or primal than that of a live show… and that he probably should have worn earplugs on stage more. When not channeling his inner bandleader for clients, he’s likely either rummaging through record bins or talking for too long about the growth of the global concert industry.