Friday, 29 March 2013

Tea bag usability

Every morning, the first thing I do when I enter the office is preparing myself a cup of tea. That's how I start the day, with a hot mug of tea (or infusion whatsoever).

Whenever I try out new stuff, here's my user journey:
I pick the tea I want to try full of curiosity & expectation
I unwrap the tea bag & throw the paper wrapper into the dust bin
I pour hot water in the cup
I put the tea bag in the cup
I recover the wrapper from the dust bin to know the right infusion time.

This happens *every single time* I pick a new tea flavour, for most of the process is done without thinking.
And as most of the things that happen *every single time* and cause trouble because of information, it's a design fault.

Here's the fault: the infusion time is printed on the wrapper.

Odds are no one considered the use case I'm in.
Having the infusion time printed on the piece of paper hanging from my cup instead of the wrapper wouldn't increase cost to the producer. Yet it would save me and countless others a hand in the dust bin.

Minor improvements can make a huge difference at times.
It's time to go back and check whether there's any use case you didn't consider in your last design. :)


  1. Non basta! Purtroppo poi serve un orologio per contare i minuti. E mi dimentico sempre del minuto iniziale. Serve un rfid dentro l´ etichetta e una tazza con timer!

    1. Giusto, serve una bustina da the temporizzata :)
      Basterebbe aggiungere una specie di cartina tornasole che si colora man mano che passa il tempo e indica quando togliere l'infusione.

      Tipo queste modificate:

      Che ne pensi?