Response Crafting

The user experience of kettles

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I became a fan of kettles after my semester abroad in London. They told us that international travel would expand our perspective, and they were right: whereas before, I thought only little old ladies used kettles, I came home with a newfound appreciation for them in any situation needing heated water.

That being said, I asked for a kettle for Christmas when I was a senior in college. It was the first of two that have come into my possession, and it taught me much about the UX of kettles, and how much room there is for improvement. Here are the laws I propose:

The kettle shall complement the human anatomy
When held, a kettle should feel like a natural extension of the arm and hand. Pouring water from the kettle should feel comfortable, and should never strain the wrist. This is dictated by proper placement of the handle in relation to the spout, and it so important in the UX that no amount of aesthetic delight will sufficient compensate for failure here.

When poured, the kettle shall not burn the hand with steam
This seemingly simple rule is often disregarded in kettle design. Similar to the aforementioned suggestion of proper handle:spout proportions around the body of the kettle, this proposal pertains to the pure notion of placing the handle far enough away from the spout so as to prevent steam (which always, always rises directly up) from hitting the user’s hand.

The kettle shall function perfectly no matter the amount inside
Combining the first two statements: the kettle shall not strain the hand when full, and shall not burn the hand when its contents are completely emptied.

The kettle’s handle shall sit comfortably in the palm
Beautiful as it may be to play with the dimensions of the handle, no design shall render the kettle less functionable. All handles shall be properly insulated. No handle shall be a pane of metal.

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One thought on “The user experience of kettles

  1. And here i thought I was alone in understanding about the handle-placement/steam problem! Well articulated.

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