The animated GIF is ideally suited to certain types of subject matter. Adorable animals? Check. Out-of-sync Super Bowl dancers? Of course. Confused John Travolta? Yes, please. But product design—not so much. Nevertheless, 2015 did see a number of design-centric GIFs worth commemorating. Here are our ten favorites.
10. Introducing BB-8 To kick things off, let’s acknowledge how cool it is that everyone’s favorite new Star Wars character is an actual remote-controlled robotic unit and not just CGI (even if some people argue the rolling droid is a poor design).
9. Tokyo Police Drone Finally, chronic worriers can stop obsessing about a future in which we’re all terrorized by drones. Relax—now we can just send bigger drones to catch them in nets! (Read more here.)
3. Giant Red Ball Terrorizes Toledo Granted, this one is more art object than product design—but why split hairs when there’s a 250-pound rubber ball rampaging through downtown Toledo, over and over and over? (Thankfully, no one was hurt.) See also: Mutant tomato escape
2. Duck Army (sound required) Another slight cheat—technically, a Vine is not a GIF. But please set aside any objections and let this brilliant and profound loop—a parable of the unintended side effects of mass production in our over-commercialized society?— wash over you. (H/t to Vulture)
1. Lego-Compatible Prosthetic Arm The IKO Creative Prosthetic System, a 2015 Core77 Design Awards winner, embodies the best of contemporary product design: It’s ingenious, fun and has the potential to make a real difference in users’ lives. Here’s to seeing more of this inventive spirit in 2016.
Mason Currey is a former Core77 editor and the author of Daily Rituals: How Artists Work. Previously, he was the executive editor of Print and the managing editor of Metropolis. His freelance writing has appeared in the New York Times and Slate, among other publications. He lives in Los Angeles.