Midwest grocer Meijer has been redesigning its store brands, and they look pretty snappy. They stand up well beside their name-brand counterparts.
For example, here is Meijer’s brown mustard. The label, bottle and cap look professional — until you try to use it.
Look at the close-ups of the cap below. How do you open it?
Here’s one side.
And here’s the other.
To use my metaphor, the cap mumbles. The side that’s the opening and the side that’s the hinge look almost exactly the same.
The only real clue is the tiny “LIFT” in raised letters on the opening side. It’s easier to just guess which side to open, and guess wrong, and open the cap on the other side, than to search for such a small word.
In comparison, here is a bottle of Heinz brown mustard. I didn’t buy it because of its design; I bought it because it’s my favorite brown mustard.
But the first thing we notice is the “upside-down” bottle — and that Heinz has already solved one design problem. No more shaking the bottle to get the mustard from the bottom of the bottle to the cap, because now they’re the same.
More great points about the Heinz cap:
See the ridges around the cap? That’s your clue that you need to open the whole lid. but why would you have to do that? Well, you need to open the entire lid to remove the safety seal inside.
Next, notice the half-circle. It’s obvious that you should put your thumb here to open the cap. Unlike the Meijer cap, you don’t need the word “LIFT.” The design of the cap says “lift.”
Plus, the “Heinz 57 Varieties” on the top of the cap helpfully orients you. You can guess that if you hold the bottle with the letters right-side-up, then that’ll be the way you need to hold the cap to open the bottle. And your guess would be right.
And one more pleasant thing is the stay clean cap with this control valve.
Trust me: Whoever designed this cap thought about all of these small details to make it intuitive how to “operate” the bottle. The Heinz bottle speaks to us clearly — without saying a word.