Product Design Review – The verdict: Form should still follow Function*

Get the function right and then follow with form.

In this post:
Say no to the Big 4,
Stojo,
Ergonomic Product Design,
environmental ergonomics?,
Ergonomics Certification, Cradle to Cradle Certification,
Pokito


Say no to the Big 4

ecology

The 4 things that are a big part of the single-use plastic issue.

We use them all the time, so just like the LifeStyle stores that sell them, there are going to be thousands of each of these developed for reuse.

A warning in this age of innovations. Really very exciting, but Product Designers, out there….Do your home work! When you look at some of the designs of these 4 things, it looks like we are all going to need a bag just to collect the ones that we have to throw away.

There are already hundreds of these reusable cups and lots of Reviews online
The Best Travel Mugs, According to Coffee Snobs
10 best reusable coffee cups
Our Top Picks
Best reusable coffee cups – on test

That last link is the BBC and the first cup is the one I rejected. How did they test them?

What we looked for in a coffee cup

  • Volume/capacity: A cup that holds the right size drink for you. 
  • Weight: With some insulating materials being quite heavy, coffee cups can feel like a lot to carry around in your bag all day.
  • Insulating properties: We looked for cups with the ability to keep coffee hot for a good amount of time.
  • Aesthetics: With so many options out there, we looked for cups with a bit of character and style.  
  • No-leaks: Every cup was put through our ‘leak test’; that is, filled with coffee, closed tightly shut, then turned over before being checked for leaks.
  • Ease of cleaning: We checked for dishwasher-safe cups or those that could be easily cleaned by hand.
  • How we tested:  After passing the leak test, cups were reviewed based on their unique features.
product design

I thought to give reusable cups to my family for presents last year, and had yet another eye-opener. Not all reusable cups are alike or easy to use. I should not have been surprised by this. The presents were ordered online, so I did NOT try them myself first.

I have, since, used the Stojo cup, that I ordered for my family. I have to say…. not a comfortable cup to use.

I left one in the drain for a rather long time and then it would not collapse properly. But, it was only because I forgot how to collapse it.

Most of their videos on their website are about how to open, close and collapse the cup. “It’s manufactured responsibly in China of FDA­ grade polypropylene (#5 recycleable) plastic and LFGB ­certified silicone rubber (LFGB is an EU standard that is considered even more stringent than FDA). We also use no adhesives during assembly.”

33 seconds

I find it rather large, even if collapsable, to put in my purse. Not that I think there is anything to be done about that….but who knows.

product design

The rubber is weird and I find that a full cup of cappuccino or any liquid is not a steady thing to put down….gotta watch it. It needs a holder where ever you use it, to be sure it will not tip over.

Also, the ring to help with hot beverages is not enough for me. I had to add the paper one to be able to hold the cup when full of hot beverage. Maybe the Stojo makers do not like their coffee hot or my fingers are too sensitive.

I had to remember not to screw the lid on too tight, cause when I want to take it off while full of liquid (to drink my coffee cause I do not like that hole to drink from) the lid does not want to budge easily. Another way to spill.

So I asked my family. What did YOU think of the Stojo?

My nephew Bill and his wife Alice: They’re not perfect, no, but they are great for our coffee needs during air travel! The ring you mentioned is a bit thin for sure, but it works ok. The lids are also a bit funky. One thing though, we don’t mess around with unscrewing the lids except before and after there is coffee inside, and I can see why taking off the lid otherwise would be a different story!

My sister-in-law Libby: About the cup, I agree with you. Stan and I have adopted them as our bathroom/bedside water cups, and for that purpose they are perfect. Hold enough for an overnight, only tip over if you knock it, and don’t break if you drop it on the floor. So, we’re happy to have ours, but it wouldn’t be an “on-the-go” in my purse kind of cup. Too bulky, and yes, not good for hot liquids.

My brother Stan: We find that for the limited purpose of use as bathroom cups and bedside cups, they work well, albeit they are a little unstable. We have not tried drinking hot drinks out of them. Drinking hot coffee out of plastic/rubber is not something I would enjoy. And I worry about them spilling because they’re a little top heavy. The collapsable design idea is great for us though, when packing them away for use next year. 

My sister-in-law Rina: We just did not get into them. They have been sitting around in our offices, unused. I am going to send them back to you.

So based on the BBC criteria and additions:

  • No-leaks:  ok, as long as you do not puncture the rubber
  • Volume/capacity:  ok
  • Weight:  ok
  • Insulating properties:  not good
  • Ease of cleaning:  ok, dishwasher proof
  • Stability: ????
  • Aesthetics:  NICE, sleek, the reason I ordered them as soon as I saw them
  • Ease of Collapse: ok, got a think about it
  • Other: unsteady, tip over too easy, hard to unscrew

Adding to the waste?

Some body did not do all their home work before launching an eco-product.
Ergonomic” ethics are involved here.
OK, the Stojo has a nice simple design, and will probable sell well. The world is not going to stop looking for a fast buck. But if you ask me, most people will stop using it or give it away when they find a better one, or throw it away…wasting it.

That is the dilemma I am in now.
I tried another reusable collapsable cup the Pokito (at the end of this post). The same principals, not as slick a design, but a different story. Those that buy the Pokito, will keep using it. Look at me…. my sister-in-law sent me the 2 Stojos back, and I have no use for them. ?What will I do with them? I am going to use the Pokito and order more Pokitos, if my family wants them.

Ergonomic Product Design:
*Form follows Function (Bauhaus basic principle)

Form follows Ergonomics in Product Design and maybe now eco-ergonomic product design?

What is this – ergonomics?
Ergonomics (from the Greek word ergon meaning work, and nomoi meaning natural laws), is the science of refining the design of products to optimize them for human use. It is the consideration of Human characteristics, such as height, weight, and proportions, as well as information about human hearing, sight, temperature preferences, and so on. Ergonomics is sometimes known as human factors engineering.
…A person using poorly designed or improperly adjusted products for human use may suffer unnecessary fatigue, stress, and even injury…. or just plain throw it away…..

You can find lots of help developing the function of a product from the ergonomics point of view.

ergonomic product research


Ergonomics Certification by United States Ergonomics indicates that leading experts in the field of ergonomics back your product. The US-ergo experts stand behind the ergonomics claims made about your product through the use of objective test results. This knowledge can be useful in preparing patent claims, educating consumers and developing product marketing strategies

PRODUCT ERGONOMICS
Product Design & Research
• User experience & field research
• Concept development & testing
• Ergonomic design specifications
Ergonomics Product Testing
• User interface and human factors testing
• Competitive product benchmarking
• Best-in-Class testing
• Concept validation testing
• Comfort design modeling
• Patent claim validation & application support

Ergonomics Product Certification
• Product performance validated through rigorous testing
• Test data to support claims
• Testing performed by Certified Professional Ergonomists
Customer Education & Marketing Support
• Validation of product claims
• Educational seminars for users
• Educational seminars for sales staff
• Conference presentations
• Peer review articles

ergonomic research

The IEA represents 20,000 members across 54 organizations around the globe, supporting activities that promote human factors/ergonomics and improve human performance while protecting the health, safety, and well-being of workers and users of products.



There is also environmental ergonomics: the effects of heat and cold, vibration, noise and light on the health, comfort and performance of people.

People again. Humans….
It looks like there is something missing here. Shouldn’t environmental ergonomics be about our planet? Something is being left out of the formula.

ergonomic research

Environmental Ergonomics – The Environmental Ergonomics Research Centre studies the interaction of people with their physical environment, replicating environment conditions to test and research new products and concepts.

And separately, we study the same things as they relate to planet Earth. All the tools exist!

eco research


What is the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in a nutshell?
Go to any weather or climate forecasting agency and you’ll hear scientists buzzing to one another about “ENSO” (pronounced “en-so”).   After glancing at the stereotypical scientist, you might immediately assume “En-so” is a Star Wars character, but you would be mistaken.  ENSO is one of the most important climate phenomena on Earth due to its ability to change the global atmospheric circulation, which in turn, influences temperature and precipitation across the globe.  We also focus on ENSO because we can often predict its arrival many seasons in advance of its strongest impacts on weather and climate.

You can find lots of help developing the Circular function of a product; the environmental side.

Cradle to Cradle Certified™

The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute offers many ways to start on Cradle to Cradle certification.

eco product design


Free online courses
Designing C2C Products for the Circular Economy
Free web-based courses on practical concepts and strategies for regenerative and circular design.

and finish with Prize competition and recognition for your idea/product

Cradle to Cradle Product Design Challenge

Designers have a critical role to play by creating products made with safe materials that can be cycle perpetually and erase the concept of “waste”. The Cradle to Cradle Product Design Challenge enables current, emerging, and future designers to learn and apply critical strategies for envisioning products for the circular economy, powered by Cradle to Cradle Certified™.
Best Allover Project: Volta Better Battery- made with non-toxic, recycled materials, can be recharged in a bath of table salt and vinegar, can be re-manufactured, composted, and recycled.


We need to put these Tools together!

That will help us all incorporate Eco-ethics and Ergo-ethics into each thing we buy.


1 centimeter+ all around and a 100% better designed reusable collapsable cup!

ergonomic product design

Pokitos are proudly designed, engineered and manufactured in the UK. Their production facilities have the highest international ratings for quality control, cleanliness and staff welfare.

After sketching out his ideas in 2012, Andrew Brooks, Pokito inventor, took them to a team of industrial designers who made a working prototype. British engineers tested countless prototypes, experimented with numerous types of materials and made many minor adjustments to get it right. Fine tuning the stopper, for example, took precision engineering to micron level (10th of a millimetre). The central band was revisited over 18 months to make it the best it could possibly be.

It is very important to us that the materials are completely safe and approved by the US FDA and the European EMA.

ergonomic product design

Nothing more to say, except Great!

32 seconds

So based on the BBC criteria and additions:

  • No-leaks:  ok, as long as you do not puncture the rubber
  • Volume/capacity:  Great
  • Weight:  ok
  • Insulating properties:  Excellent
  • Ease of cleaning:  ok, dishwasher proof
  • Stability: Excellent
  • Aesthetics:  NICE, a little funky
  • Ease of Collapse:  easy, a snap!
  • Other: about the same to unscrew
product design
part of the homework that Pokito did https://pokito.net/about/

Planet Earth has a growing “captive audience” of people who want change. It is time for all businesses to take advantage of this opportunity and give the world population the information they need to “buy their votes” for planet Earth.

They are awake to real concerns that have begun to pinch our pocket-books and erode the comforts and conveniences of our daily lives, that we all thought we could take for granted.

This is an important lesson we ALL need to integrate into our lives. Changing our buying and selling habits is a great way to start!

What human and environmental criteria are most important for the product you are developing?

This is a series of posts about promoting Eco-Ethical USER EXPERIENCE (UX) to ward off the “temperature ticking time-bomb”. Can we make it easier for us all to master the art of “climate conscious buying”?
The Words
The Eco-Anxiety
Product Design Review – Form should still follow Function
The APPs – The different kinds
>Transportation APPs
>Clothing, etc. APPs
>Food APPs
>Carbon Footprint and more kinds of APPs
The Gases
Pulling in the Excess CO2

Your eco-business concerns are the motive for my blog. Tell me what’s on your mind, good or bad.

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