Life of Amy

CogSci, Knitting, and Other Shenanigans

Shampoo & Conditioner July 1, 2008

Filed under: art,cognitive science,design,life,photos,Uncategorized — Amy @ 5:14 pm
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Shampoo and conditioner, originally uploaded by Clean Wal-Mart.

Despite the photo, no, this will not be a post about having too many options. I’ll save that for Barry Schwartz (“On the Paradox of Choice”).

Instead, what I’d like to talk about is the design of shampoo and conditioner bottles. Standing in the shower today, I reached for the shampoo first, and I checked the bottle to make sure it was indeed shampoo. The time before, in the shower, I had picked up a bottle, opened it and squeezed it out, only to reveal that the contents were conditioner. My mistake.

But how could I even make such an error? After all, aren’t bottles color coded? Isn’t the shampoo bottle supposed to be transparent while the conditioner is opaque? What about the idea that the shampoo stands with its cap in the air while the conditioner sits cap-down? Haven’t they been meticulously designed already? I won’t even go into the fact that we have this implicit knowledge. But we do. We all know how to tell shampoo and conditioner apart, aside from reading the bottles.

Back on topic, yes, I agree that the benefits of the bottles are products of design. However, all this designing cannot account for all of the possibilities.

The first problem with my set of hair products is that both bottles are opaque. The shampoo is clear, and the conditioner is white, but in the bottle, you can’t really tell the difference. This problem was inherent in the design. Perhaps it could have been countered with the transparent/opaque solution, but that doesn’t account for the second problem.

The second problem is user-related. A few months back, we had a sewage back-up in our apartment complex. This meant that we had raw sewage coming back up into the shower and bathtub. Needless to say, it was nasty, and the lesson learned there was that if there was a cap-down bottle, it was done for. I turned my new bottles cap-up. So, now, the only way my bottles can be told apart is by their labels and the directionality of those labels. Subtle, really.

The question then becomes: how can we further design shampoo and conditioner bottles so that they can be unmistakably told apart? Or is that really a question we need to be asking, after all?

 

Coolness June 24, 2008

Filed under: art,crafty,humor,life,music,random — Amy @ 11:43 pm
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The Lord’s Prayer is a classic …

but everyone needs some Dylan in their life.

Oh wow. You have to check out Wordle. I think I’m going to go turn more quotes into word cloud art now. I should probably post something interesting soon … but I’m still twittering away. Oh, and Euro Cup … Euro Cup owns my life right now.

 

Crafty: Etsy May 26, 2008

Filed under: art,crafty — Amy @ 12:31 pm

I’m constantly searching Etsy for the next best thing. If it can be crafted, you can probably buy it. I’ve bought everything from gorgeous sock yarn and breathtaking handspun to massive glass pendants to magnets of the world. The number of talented artisans out there is absolutely incredible, and it’s nice to have a place where a lot of them have congregated and their goods can be seen. It’s horrible for my wallet, though. 🙂

What brings this up is a recent article from SFGate: Etsy Lets Art Sales Take Wing

It’s just nice to see a place like this get coverage, especially for all of those artists out there whose work deserves all the coverage it can get. Anyway, this was the crafty update of the day, so because I’ve no time for much else in the way of being crafty, it will have to do for now. 🙂

 

dCog January 23, 2008

Filed under: art,cognitive science,college,life,photos — Amy @ 1:02 pm
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Love it!