Feb 7, 2012
We got a Keurig machine for Christmas. I love my Keurig machine. Almost as much as I love coffee.
I also love good design.
Today’s image is example of horrible, awful, tragically bad design. OK, I might be slightly exaggerating, but still. It’s bad design.
We went out and bought a bunch of K-cup refills, because we were running low on a few things, most importantly cafe mocha. Now, Cafe Escapes produces a number of different flavors of K-cups. Understandably, they want all of their products to have a unified design. The problem with their approach to unified design across different variations of K-cup is that they’ve chosen not to differentiate them with color, only text.
The two K-cups here are slightly different shades of brown. One is coffee, one is not. Do you see where this is going?
Because I grabbed a box in from the cafe mocha pile at the store without looking to ensure my selection was, in fact, cafe mocha, I ended up with a whole bunch of hot chocolate. We didn’t need hot chocolate. We needed mocha. They’re slightly different shades of brown.
Now, if I were designing the package in question, I’d think to myself, “Self, if someone is in a hurry and wants to buy my product, how can I help them pick the right box off the shelf so they won’t harbor an unnatural hate for me?” Keeping in mind that I want all of my various products to have a unified design language, I might say, “Self, you could use the same layout or template, and change the color to distinguish between flavors. Let’s make hot chocolate brown, and mocha blue. That way, angry bloggers won’t spend 300 words writing about us, and how much they hate our design choices.”
But I’m not the one doing the design, so next time, I’ll just have to triple check before I pay.