Edwin Antonian Team : Web Design Tags : Web Design User Testing

The humble Jerrycan, the story of brilliant design

Edwin Antonian Team : Web Design Tags : Web Design User Testing

In strong design the user is always at the centre of the problem to be solved.

Jerrycan is a term created by the Allies, "Jerry" being slang for "German." Hence Jerrycan. The Jerrycan's design was so good that the English troops encountering them began capturing and retaining them. Compared to the counterpart, the Allied Forces 4-gallon fuel canisters called “flimsies” which were a complete failure never considered the user, the poor design leaked fuel due to the rough train during transport which would often cause vehicle fires.


Why it was such a great design:

1. Due to the three handle design, four empty cans could be carried by one soldier

2. Floats in water when full – due to an internal air pocket. Which meant the cans can be airdropped into water.

3. The spout could be opened with one hand compared the the British designed cans which required an external tool

4. ‘X’ stamped on the metal walls provided structural strength and allowed for gas expansion under heat


Without these cans it would have been impossible for our armies to cut their way across France at a lightning pace which exceeded the German Blitz of 1940. - Franklin D. Roosevelt

The point of the humble Jerrycan is that no matter what the problem being solved, the user should be considered in all design decisions, this will always lead to good considered product.