The Practicality of Popsockets

This week’s post will analyze a solution to the problem with smartphones that I presented last week. The problem: it is becoming increasingly difficult to hold smartphones as they get larger. The simple solution: the Pop Socket grip.

A typical Pop Socket that has the ability to both collapse and expand using it’s accordion-like design.*

What is a Pop Socket? It is likely that you have seen one before and did not know the name of it. A Pop Socket is an accessory that sticks to the back of some sort of electronic device, most commonly a cell phone or tablet. It looks like a small button or sticker. When the Pop Socket is collapsed, it sticks flat to the phone. However, its accordion-like design enables it to expand for use.

There are many ways to use Pop Sockets, so users have the ability to be creative with it. According to their website, Pop Socket founder, David Barnett, invented it when he was trying to prevent his headphones from tangling. The image below shows various ways that consumers commonly use Pop Socket grips.

Demonstrating multiple ways in which the Pop Socket is commonly used.

Another enticing aspect of Popsocket grips is their design. The grips come in hundreds of different colors and patterns so that consumers can find one that best suits their style preference. In the case that consumers are unable to choose one of Popsocket’s designs, they have the option to customize their own grip. Additionally, the Popsocket website allows buyers to advertise by designing grips with logos.

There’s still more! The Popsocket mount is a companion product that enables Popsocket grip users to mount their device to vertical surfaces. The image below depicts the correct way to use this product. For example, the mount is often used in cars so that drivers can stick their grip into the mount.

A demonstration of how the Pop Socket Mount is used.

In relation to human factors, the Popsocket promotes wonderful aspects of design. This product is a design that solves a problem that people face, as discussed in my last post, and affords additional benefits. The discussion surrounding what makes something usable is relevant to this design. A product must be effective, efficient, and satisfying to use in order to be usable. Popsockets are effective in that the design’s expandability provides users with a solid grip on their phone. The design is efficient because using this product requires minimal effort and thought to use it correctly. Finally, Popsockets are satisfying to use because there is a wide variety of options that give people the ability to sport their own style and the accordion-like design is easy to use.


About us – pop sockets. (2018). Retrieved March 14, 2018, from Pop Sockets website:

What’s a pop socket? – pop sockets. (2018). Retrieved March 14, 2018, from Pop Sockets website:


3 Replies to “The Practicality of Popsockets”

  1. I agree that the popsocket is an example of really clever design. I, for one, still have an iPhone 5s and I am hesitant to exchange it because I like the small size. This product could definitely make me more comfortable with a bigger phone, knowing there is an easier way to hold it. I think this design is smart because it is transformable to suit the individual user at a given time. Usability and universality are two areas of human factors that are really important to product success, and you clearly put that into perspective in this post. I think the pictures you included really help to detail the different possible uses of the product and convince me of the necessity of popsockets.

  2. I like how this post is a follow up post of your post last week. Last week, you posed a problem and I like how you give a solution to that problem in this post. In high school, my friend gave me a pop socket and I used it for 2 months. Overall, I liked it. It made it easier to grasp and hold my phone which I liked. But after a while, I found it to be kind of useless. I found that instead of using it to have a better grip on my phone, I would just play with it. I eventually decided to take it off my phone because I used it more for a solution to my fidgeting rather than its actual purpose.

  3. I’ve never used a popsocket, but overall I don’t see a real need for them. I have the iphone X, and I’ve never had an issue gripping my phone. Now that apple has gotten rid of the option to have iphones come in a ‘plus’ size with the new X, I think that popsockets will decline in popularity as they are no longer needed.

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