+ and – UX

I remember being hypnotized by Starck’s Juicy Salif in my History of Design class in undergrad at Pratt. In our weekly meetings, we endlessly debated form following function and vice versa. This image has since been burned into my brain. It is clearly an example of function following form. It looks great on a high-end marble countertop at, say, Patrick Bateman’s apartment.

But for the rest of us plebeians, there’s this guy:

This is the workhorse, the unsung hero, the $2.99 in your produce section impulse purchase. Well in my case, anyway, that’s what happened. I bought one at a supermarket in North Philly. I’ve had it for almost 10 years and use it daily. The top three things I love about it are as follows:

1. The color

I’ve seen them in all citrus shades: lemon yellow, lime green, and orange. I can’t imagine a more direct way of informing you what it’s for. Citrus colors also happen to be mood-boosting for me. They remind me of sunshine, summer, and the west coast.

2. The clean up

Confession: I rarely scrub mine with soap. Isn’t lemon self-cleaning? Forget the dishwasher- I run it under water and stick it in the dish drain until I inevitably need it 5 minutes later. The other huge benefit? Since it’s using the leverage to squeeze out the juice, your hand isn’t getting covered in pulp. This is an added bonus if you have any paper cuts.

3. The lack of effort

Those old-fashioned juicers where your wrists begin to ache on the 2nd lemon half and the recipe calls for 6 lemons just doesn’t work for me. They’re a complete mess. Not to mention they don’t offer any straining capabilities. With this gadget, the lemon half fits right in the concave side, it gets one or two quick, easy squeezes with one hand, and that’s it. Even the seeds are filtered out. 6 lemons are starting to feel like amateur hour. No one has ever had to show me how to use it, like one of those ridiculous Kitchen-Aid mixers. I’m confident my 4 year old niece would catch on quickly.

To sum up, simplicity wins big in the case of my citrus squeezer, which never manages to find its way back into the utensil drawer because it’s used so frequently. It was one of the cheapest gadgets I’ve bought, and my best ROI to date.

In contrast, this is another thing I use every day:

I feel like getting angry at the toothpaste tube experience is cliché at this point. That’s how universal it is. So why haven’t we fixed this yet?

Sure, there’s been some innovations, if you want to call them that. There was the pump:

And these weird squeeze bottles that seem like you wouldn’t be able to get all of the paste out:

But look at any Duane Reade shelf, and it’s still mainly the dreaded tube. There’s not a ton of options. I know you can buy that as-seen-on-TV thing, but shouldn’t we just solve the problem with the packaging itself?

One toiletry item that you don’t have to think about, until it crumbles apart at the very end, is the deodorant tube. One click and the right amount will be ready for your next use. I’m surprised this packaging design hasn’t been applied to more products. I think in this case, a twist-up-from-the-bottom toothpaste dispenser would help regulate the correct amount needed, so there’s no waste, and to use the entire tube without any fuss.

I sketched out what I think the combination might look like:


I’m assuming someone has thought of this? But if not, I’d be the first to raise my hand and try it. Anything to nix the rolling up from the bottom, to just have it unroll itself again. Sigh.

On a final note, I want to quickly mention that I thoroughly enjoyed my Domino’s pizza ordering experience on Facebook messenger. I have ordered from them in the past, while horrifying my native Brooklyn friends, and have a credit card on file. Nothing gets your wine night with skeptical friends (that have better taste) going like convincing everyone to eat Domino’s with you.

Unfortunately, my file had not been updated with my new debit card and I got this far:

It was a completely smooth and seamless experience that progressed one step at a time and was successful in convincing me that parmesan twists were a great idea. In fact, I’m almost afraid to update my credit card info because of how easy they made it to order. Seems like they’re into that sort of thing- coming from the world of advertising, I am not surprised:


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