Rather than get in line to bash Juicero for their product, as a designer sometimes I like to make postmortems on other folks products and figure out how something could have been improved, mostly for fun.
- I am not affiliated with Juicero, I am just a guy that likes to design things and try to solve problems.
- I think Juicero is ok, I mean what did they really do ? Try to sell juice in a more convenient & novel package ? Recoup hardware costs via overpriced subscriptions ? Monsters I tell you.
- The famous design firm involved is also ok, I mean they probably have a huge overhead and on it’s face an IoT juicer sounds like a cool project, so why turn it down ?
- Product design is tough and we as society seem to focus only on the successful products and ignore the vast majority of products and designers that failed; the effort and creativity involved is thus lost, the average designer is invisible,his hard work, the iterations, the research and on an on is forever left in the limbo of a hard drive or filling cabinet.
- Product design & problem solving is also an iterative process heavily influenced by luck, I am not fooling myself, my/our solutions are preliminary, incremental and can always be improved, they could also die suddenly or be deemed losers while other ideas that seem to make less sense could be the winners, we are a capricious evolving species and the consumer market works in mysterious ways.
So what do I think could have been done better ? In brief, make it cheaper and more practical, let’s start with the pouches which I think are pretty convenient to start, I would leave the IoT part to the consumer though:
Moving on to the juicy part of the problem (sorry,sorry), the precious & technological advanced juice press could also be replaced by a more humble mechanism, a lever and some mechanical advantage (stolen from a tortilla press) will do and hopefully lower the price to something more accessible.
So far so good, but (and here is the biggest find), what if we kept going ? for instance, since we now are free to experiment, how about if we fine tune the pouch shape, so the juice flows better? a quick sketch later, a new idea emerges, what if it was designed as to allow it to also be squeezed by hand ? and so we’ve gone full circle.
These are just a few simple, quick and imperfect explorations (or Ideation as designers say ), as I mentioned before, invention is an iterative process and human enterprise and activity has been plagued from antiquity with survivorship bias. Wouldn’t it be something if we broke the cycle and celebrate a perceived failure as a step towards success ?
About the Author :
Eugenio Noyola Leon (Keno) is a Designer,Web Developer/programmer, Artist and Inventor, currently living in Mexico City, you can find bits and pieces of his work at www.k3no.com, water is his favorite beverage, on the rocks please.