Design Delight is not Always About Delivering the Fastest Path!

Suddenly, I was smiling.  A simple box reminded me that a “fast food” experience can miss key moments of delight using designs for daily tasks.

This morning I was making my beloved English Breakfast tea from one of a couple of brands in my pantry.  For some days I had been slipping the tea bag from the handy ‘dispenser’ slit in the Brand X box.  It was fast and easy because it let me skip the steps of opening and closing the box, taking the box out of and placing it back into the pantry, or even using both hands.  I was ripping and and slipping and dipping in a second or two.  A ‘usable’ design that sped up a routine task that would meet all the typical best practices of a good user experience.

Enter Twinings Irish Breakfast tea, the box that I reached for today.  It required me to pick it up out of the pantry, open the lid, take out the tea bag, set the bag down, close the lid, replace the box in the pantry, then rip, slip, and dip the bag.  Lots of steps, right?  But suddenly, I was smiling!  It was a new box design that delivered a new delight.

When I closed the new wrap-around lid it slid into place with the most satisfying little ‘slip and click.’  Aside from the smooth closure, which now eliminated the old cardboard tabs that, by nature, fought against each other at opening and closing, the whispered slip and feel of the click, well, it made me smile!

I found that this box and its extra steps was suddenly a much better fit for my experience of morning tea than the fast-food dispenser style box.  For me, morning tea is a time of savoring, of enjoying a certain flavor, taste, and experience that I had first learned to love when I spent 35 days in England many years ago.  The slip and click slowed my pace and thoughts slightly, reminding me to savor the next few moments of the flavor of the tea.  Yes, you read that right, the slip-and-click box design made the tea taste better!

When I replaced the satisfying box into the pantry, I slid it in next to the other one.  I realized I much preferred this one in my hand, even though it took several steps more and took longer to do repetitive tasks.  The ready access box saved time.  The ‘experience delight’ box gave me something special, in just under 5 seconds more.

What can you do in your designs or your world today, to add the tiniest bit of ‘savor’ to your customer’s day?