I consider that Fridays are such a good day for you to treat yourself. A small reward can be the motivation for you to wrap up the weekdays. For me, it’s called: “Pancake day”.
I was excited enough to get to the kitchen with a smile on my face ready to make my breakfast. When getting all the ingredients, the maple syrup couldn't be left out of the equation. Nevertheless, the ‘treat-yourself’ timing became a ‘product design critique’.
First of all, I was wondering if I would rather make some waffles instead because of the appealing illustration in the front label, but that wasn’t the point. Once I heard:
“… the best design is the one that doesn’t need something less nor extra.”
By looking at Figure 1, don’t you find the ‘extra’ element? I mean, it’s a simple glass bottle with a few cavities around the lower part of the body. Though, the ‘extra’ element I’m still trying to understand, is the small handle right below the lid.
Product Design Review
There are three main concepts that come into my mind as an area of opportunity for this product:
- Ergonomics: The concept is mainly used to ensure a good fit between people and the object.  It’s a key element needed to be consider when designing to enhance the interaction. In this case, the user is not even able to grab the bottle and pour the syrup because of the location and size of its tiny handle. The weight of the container is heavy enough to impede this activity. The easiest way to carry the bottle is from the middle part of the body since it allows the user to have more control and sufficient grip area.
- Quality: Efficiency and productivity are essential factors to fulfill the demand with the projected standards.  However, quality is not a concept only related with the finished product. Its application begins since the design phase to ensure the success throughout the process. In fact, design can be the key to optimize the production, scrap reduction, takt time improvement, and an optimum use of resources.
- Costs: The design plays an important role to the final cost since the addition of all the details involved in the sketch represent a monetary quantity to it. A simple design decision can impact directly to the margins not by risking its attractiveness, but to have the best design with its essential elements.
Just think about it… imagine getting rid of the useless tiny handle and consequently, save at least $0.1 USD from the costs involved in the manufacture of the glass bottle. Today, the international brand owns approximately 360 stores operating in USA and Mexico.  Hypothetically saying that each store sells minimum 20 units per day, in a year they could have saved at least $262,800 USD!
When designing, is really important to understand the user needs and develop a product that can fit perfectly their requirements. Product design can seem easy but as noted, it has a great impact on many variables including the product costs. A smart design can make a positive impact on the expected margins. Also, it’s important to evaluate the usability experience to identify possible iterations needed to be considered before the production.
At the end of the day, clients are the ones who need to detect the value behind your product. Try to make all the elements worthy for them. Eventually, those modifications can be the result of a design that can make you rich!