The Good, the Bad, and the Pizza

Good Design

An object I use almost every day is my Magic Bullet blender. I love it because: It’s simple to use, effective, and the best part is that it’s incredibly easy to clean due to its size. I make smoothies and protein shakes with it daily, and if I get lazy, I’ll use it to chop up my vegetables instead. It can even crush my ice cubes for me. Amazing!

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Before this turns into an infomercial, I wanted to say that one thing I recently noticed was that the interaction of using this blender is a huge factor in what makes this object special to me. The simple action and pushing and turning the container differentiates this blender from traditional blenders with multiple buttons and settings. The physicality of holding down the blender and turning it connects me to the blender and to the food, as if I am magically turning the blades, rather than the machine.

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The vibrations from the blender travel up my arm and entwines me to whatever it is I’m making, and thus I can sort of sense the consistency of whatever it is I’m making. The Magic Bullet demonstrates how physical interaction can be so important when designing tools for users. The blender could have had a button, but if it did, it would have created a disconnect, making it no different than a microwave. It actually makes me feel like I’m cooking.

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Pick one up now on Amazon.com for only $31.99!

Bad Design

I don't really get shoelaces. I've probably spent a good amount of time in my life tying shoes, and it's always a pain bending down and lacing and unlacing and lacing and unlacing.

They also get undone so easily, and suddenly walking becomes extremely dangerous for the wearer. You could double knot, but then it looks bad and it's near impossible to undo it when you need to take your shoes off. Shouldn't all shoes have velcro or zippers by now. Maybe even magnets. I hope the future really figures this out

Pizza

I have used the chat application for Domino’s over the summer. At my Summer internship at Crispin Porter + Bogusky, I was on the Domino’s team, focusing primarily on chat bots. Before I started getting into the work, I wanted to test the Facebook messenger chatbot to see how it behaved. I remember my reaction to it to be lukewarm, the main reason being that the chatbot lacked personality and the chatbot’s sole purpose was to order pizzas.

 I definitely feel like there are so many missed opportunities with this chat bot.

I definitely feel like there are so many missed opportunities with this chat bot.

I used it again to see if anything has improved since six months ago. Unfortunately, it feels exactly the same. I did not expect to be at the level of Google Assistant or Siri, but still wanted some sort of interactivity outside of pizza ordering. Although the bot had a name (Dom), it had no personality or presence throughout the ordering process. My conversations with it began as if talking to a human, but slowly turned to curt statements and one word messages. Pepperoni. Large. Checkout. No. These type of chatbots seem to get rid of all the humanity that comes with meaningful conversations. Dom needs a change because its characteristics are the still those of the worst kind of pizza: cold and stale.