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DesignKloud — have you noticed anything today?
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[PRODUCT] Concentrate to Save on Shipping Costs

October 13th, 2009 · No Comments

I noticed this Arm & Hammer product recently that basically consists of a small bottle on cleaning fluid concentrate attached to an empty plastic bottle. You simply pour in the concentrate and fill the bottle with water to yield the final product. This saves on shipping costs and theoretically emissions by reducing the shipping weight. The problem is that now you’re shipping around all that air. Mayb they could have replaced the old school spray bottle with an innovative collapsible version. This is a step in the right direction, but there’s still room for improvement.

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[PRODUCT] Fruit on the Bottom, Marketing Spin on Top

June 8th, 2009 · No Comments

Which came first, the slogan or the product? Or maybe in this case, the process. Did the fruit naturally setlle to the bottom of this iconic yogurt and thus leave the marketing folks a bit on edge? Were they worried about countless customer service calls from consumers inquiring as to the location of the fruit that was supposed to be in the cup of yogurt they just opened?

This happens all the time where anomolies or “accidental features” are a byproduct of the development process. I don’t know the origin for sure, and I’m on the train and can’t research it right now, but this looks like one of the longer lasting accidents that ended up defining the product.

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[PRODUCT] Refining a Giant

June 5th, 2009 · No Comments

I noticed recently a subtle change in the typefaces used on various Google sites. You can see in the image above the subtle change I’m talking about. I wonder if this was the shade of blue that required testing of 41 different shades (page 3 of article) before it was approved (and that subsequently led to the departure of Google’s design lead)? Such a minor thing as this has to be maddening to the designers there, but it makes you wonder how much a small thing such as the subtle shade of a graphic can alter a user’s course on a web surfing journey.

All sites change over time as they gain market share, add features, improve usability, etc. Some changes are more pronounced. Others, like the one above, are very subtle. I wonder how many versions of the typeface and shade of the example above were tested? Afterall, Google Maps is one of Google’s ‘products’, just like the Accord is one of Honda’s. You can be sure that there are countless meetings to decide on the colors and shades of automobile line ups each year. You can’t make drastic changes without careful consideration - lest you scare off your users and lose all of those valuable clicks.

It can be somewhat abstract to think about websites as products, but as we shift to more and more virtual services, goods and experiences there is a changing tide between the physical economy and the digital economy. While this isn’t a ground breaking notion for most people to consider (especially for those of you reading this site), there are many citizens of the world that are not quite used to this idea. When someone moved in to the neighborhood in the good old days you would bake them an actual pie and give it to them face to face with a handshake and a conversation - you wouldn’t just post a cupcake on their wall on Facebook.

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[PRODUCT] Fins for MPGs

June 3rd, 2009 · No Comments

See those little fins at the bottom of the box on your UHaul truck? Those are actually intended to help reduce the turbulence of the airflow around your truck while driving and ultimately increase your fuel economy. Did you notice? Would you pay extra for a more fuel efficient truck? How much?

I thought about this on a recent trip to San Francisco when I noticed that the cost to rent a Toyota Prius was more than double the rate for a comparable midsize sedan. Do people think that they will make up the difference on reduced fuel costs? Or is it just the reduced carbon footprint that intrinsically motivated them to shell out the extra cash?

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