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Design Matters (15): Bucket Bath Edition (Kiramas 0318 vs Trixy GN311)

The bottom of the barrel

Gayung Showdown: The Trixy GN311 (left) and Kiramas 0318 (right)

Like millions of other people, my shower consists of a large bucket of cold water and a plastic scoop or gayung. Scoop water, throw on head. Add soap. Rinse and repeat. If you haven’t experienced it, it’s much nicer than it sounds (it’s bliss) at 30+°C.

You might have thought that design wouldn’t have much influence on user experience in a context where the top product costs a little over two US dollars, but you’d be wrong.

I discovered this relatively recently, when our long-used, much-loved gayung (which I subsequently discovered was a Kiramas model 0318) gave up the ghost after being thrown on the floor one time too many by one of my children.

Under the mistaken impression that cheap plastic water scoops are much of a muchness, we replaced it with the first scoop we came across – the Trixy GN311 – for about 50 US cents.

Ablutionary catastrophe.

Just about everything is wrong with the Trixy. It holds about a third less water than the dark blue Kiramas (1100 vs 1750 ml) – enough to not quite wash all the soap off your head with a single scoop, so showering takes more water and more effort.

The Trixy’s open handle digs into your hands, with added discomfort from poorly finished mould-lines that scratch your water-softened skin. The handle of the Kirmas is solid, smooth and comfortable.

The Kiramas has a satisfying heft, smooth lines, generously fluted pouring edges for improved control, and comes in a range of rich colours, while Trixy is just… ugly. It’s a cheap product that cheapens your bath time every time you use it, while with the Kiramas – for only 50 cents more – you bucket bath like royalty.

Quality is designed.

See also:

Design matters (14): stackable 6 litre water bottle by Singha
Design Matters (13): Dark Patterns
Design Matters (12): IKEA Detergent Bottle
Design Matters (11): PowerPoint Wizardry
Design Matters (10): Your iPhone Moment
Design Matters (9): Bruce Tognazzini’s First Principles of Interaction Design [Radio Edit]
Design Matters (8): Where’s that file?
Design matters (7): Death by PowerPoint
Design matters (6): Bosch hand-blender attachment
Design Matters (5): the information architecture of a water dispenser
Design Matters (4): a recipe for trouble
Design Matters (3): Ingenious board game tile holder and embodied memory
Design Matters (2): badly designed Android Bluetooth menu
Design matters: refrigerator control dial
A well designed paper bag from Waitrose
Design Singapore: Changi airport (1)
Postbox: good info

I'd love to hear your thoughts and recommended resources...