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I was a little bit surprised to find that my Bench-branded 100% polyester jacket had a little zipperless back pocket just below the neck, especially since placing something like keys there would make it uncomfortable to wear, and if anything was placed therein and the jacket turned upside-down, it would fall out.

So what is the purpose of this small pocket (the one I've stuck a pen in just to make it clear that it's an actual pocket)? More specifically, I would like to know what the user experience (UX) catered to by such design would be.

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    maybe just for looks? clothing companies are not known for UX development (with some except in highly specialized sport equipment) – Max Mar 17 '15 at 19:58
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    Not sure how this applies to UX. Product design is interesting and there is some overlap. The question is - is there a functional utility for this pocket? Is it a way to tuck the hood out of the way but remain easily accessible? I don't know. – Mayo Mar 17 '15 at 20:02
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    @mayo The hood is usually stored in a outside pocket along the base of the hood, at least in my wardrobe. Never seen this. – virtualnobi Mar 17 '15 at 20:21
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    It's where you put your weed? – Ken Mohnkern Mar 17 '15 at 20:49
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    Maybe it’s a convenient location for hair bands which long-haired people lose all the time. – Crissov Mar 17 '15 at 21:22
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There are certain sports where a neck-proximate pocket would make sense, but given the shape of this particular pocket I'm almost positive it's decorative and not functional. For road cycling, where a rider is crouched, side or chest pockets are hard to reach so a neck-proximate pocket could provide betterUX. For climbing, a climber's chest is often close to the wall and arms are often elevated, so it may be easier to reach a pocket at the top of the shoulder rather than side or chest pockets. But for both these applications you would need a zippered or designed pocket to prevent stuff from falling out, which your jacket does not. So I'm pretty sure it's form over function for you.

However, the pocket could be used to store certain types of items which are waterproof and don't easily fall out such as:

  • A gecko, a small collection of earrings, paper clips, used chewing gum, a small folded UX feature request, a first generation IPod shuffle, a space pen, and Richard Hammond.
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  • Well, it could just be that the pocket is there to draw more attention to the place where the brand name stands out (on the front side of the pocket). But perhaps in that place, having to open the zipper with one hand would make it hard for the person doing it who already has a bent arm reaching out behind their back. Perhaps that's why there's no zipper. – John Sonderson Mar 17 '15 at 21:58
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    The reason I believe it's non functional is the shape of the pocket. It's possible to design zipperless pockets using kidney or L shapes which retain items better, but the pocket on your jacket is a rectangle so it would almost immediately fail field tests I think – tohster Mar 18 '15 at 3:56

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