Design - More Than A Pretty Face

This tea bag made me very happy. The design is OK but whoever created it showed real understanding of design. I got it on the train going from Zug in Switzerland to Milan; proffered by a smiley gentleman wheeling his over-laden trolley along the narrow space between seats.

What made the design special was something I hadn’t expected. Usually when you get an elaborately designed tea bag sleeve, the tea’s rubbish and the sachet is utterly impossible to open. Don’t believe me? Try having an eye-opening Earl Grey early in the morning at the Star Alliance lounge in Heathrow. Great looking tea packs. Really fancy. But impossible to prise out of their plastic encasing.

The tea bag on the Swiss train had a tiny, but easily spotted, nick in the flow-wrap – which meant it was dead easy to open. Someone had thought about the end user and worked out that opening the sachet was pretty important.

Design is not just about making things attractive. It is about making things usable. It is about looking at life through consumers’ eyes.