Where Science Meets Muse

Archive for February 12th, 2010

Twizzlers: Force of Habit and a Lesson in Design

Posted by Plish on February 12, 2010

Recently, in a Cincinnati hotel, I came across a bag of Twizzlers (Twizzlers rock!)  that provides a lesson in design.

If you look at the bag below you will notice that someone ripped the bag open in order to access the yummy morsels inside.  The problem is that the person didn’t use the cool, resealable strip that makes it easier to open, close and reopen – a seal that even keeps your Twizzlers  fresh (that’s if they stay in the bag long enough to go stale.)

The lesson here is that bright yellow markings on a bag that never had them, and words that tell us about this great new way of opening bags go totally unheeded when the force of habit is involved.

  >>>Force<<< of Habit

(FORCE) It pushes us in the direction,  to, (HABIT) do things the way we’ve  always done them. 

When we need to do something, we would prefer that we don’t have to be retrained in order to do it – especially when we’re jonesin’ for Twizzlers.

Had this special design been placed on one of the ends (or on both ends preferably)  someone would’ve undoubtedly said, “COOL!”  peeled it open, grabbed a few and sealed it shut (eventually). 

What’s unfortunate is that customers probably will not complain about this (because they’re opening the bag in a familiar manner and getting what they want) and the folks who make Twizzlers won’t even know their bag was misopened so the design won’t be optimized.

Will the eaters of Twizzlers eventually get it?

Maybe – maybe not.

The point is, if the design took advantage of what most people probably do, the bags would usually be opened taking advantage of the resealable strip.  Instead it’s a ‘maybe’, and ‘maybe’ shouldn’t be a good enough reason to spend money on fancy packaging.

Posted in Case Studies, Customer Focus, Design, Food, innovation, problem solving, The Human Person | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

%d bloggers like this: