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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Going too far: what you can learn from a $5000 water filter.

This is a $5,000 Natura water filtration system.  It makes great sparkling, cold, and room-temp water.  It was built by great engineers and one ding-dong designer.  What's wrong with this picture?

Right, there is no way to tell which tap is which!  Wait, the left tap has a tiny green ring (see it?) the middle tap has a blue one, and the right tab has a white one.  I will guess that Blue is cold, but which is sparkling? 

Someone kindly hacked this device by adding a cute printed picture above the taps - little bubbles, snowflakes, and a cup.  Boy, you could do so much better still!  Remember that these taps are nearly waist level, always below your eyeline, making labels on the FRONT of the taps bad.  Also, colors don't help the colorblind, do they?

So here's a quick mock of a much better design in my opinion, built in ~4 mins according to the techniques in the Book

Isn't that better?  It's legible, understandable, works for the colorblind, and the Germans would approve since it's simple line art and doesn't mess with the function of the system.  Since the handles are injection molded the cost for this design is effectively zero (maybe the paint you'd apply inside the molding might be marginal) but you also have to do less assembly because the handle is a single part, not two!  Win-win.

Natura, you can have this design for free. Just stop making $5,000 water filters that are not user friendly!

Remember, if you want to learn to make quick mocks like this, Sign Up to get the book.

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