Usability for Everyday Things

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Makers of everyday things like toothbrushes and spatulas have started researching how people actually use their products and use that knowledge to design a better product.

Oxo’s Good Grips line of kitchen utensils and tools fit easily in the hand and are easier to use than their traditional counterparts. When they noticed that people had trouble slicing bread because their hand reached the counter before the knife made it all the way through the bread, Oxo created the Offset Bread Knife.

Radius has applied the usability concept to make "mouth-friendly toothbrushes" with larger handles and softer, longer-lasting bristles. By applying usability research to the toothbrush, Radius has seen success in what traditionally was a commodity market. The dentist gives away toothbrushes, yet Radius is able to sell their mouth-friendly designs for $9 apiece.

If you want to increase demand for your product, invest more time and money in creating a product that is easier to use.

Kevin Foley
December 2, 2004 8:23 AM

Adam Many thanks for the comments on RADIUS - much appreciated. Our concept on design is also carried through into manufacturing. Most design orientated companies have developed as Sales/Marketing/Design firms and contracted manufacturing out to Asia. We believe that you learn important stuff from actually making the product. Our latest toothbrush - RADIUS Intelligent, has an electronic handle that times your brushing and tells you when you have used it 180 times (3 months) and when to change the replaceable head - these being the two most critical components of a good oral hygiene regimen. We made the handle in China (to our electronic design) but the bristles are all made here - this is the high tech bit. It is explained on our site. many thanks Kevin President of RADIUS

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