Don’t be that jar… and certainly, don’t design that jar.

I bet every designer out there is familiar with the value proposition canvas, on which you basically match how the product or service you are designing, is going to help your customers do the jobs they currently do. It helps you map how you are going to relieve their pains, and how you are going to alleviate their gains. 

It looks something like this. 

Value Proposition Canvas, Source: B2B International

But what are those pains and gains anyway? 

It’s the core of our emotions. 

No matter how many times someone tells you to keep your emotions in control or to express them, you still feel them… and you having those emotions, triggers something in you. You act. You do something. 

I mean you could hate something, you could love it, you could get frustrated, just like when you are trying to open that jar. 

And it’s not that simple. It’s not like when you always can’t open a jar, you get frustrated. 

You could be with friends and so it turns into a joke and you laugh about it. You could be with a loved one and he happens to open the jar for you so you feel taken care of. You could be alone and sad, where you end up bursting into tears because you can’t even take care of yourself and open that damn jar. You could be cold, hungry and in a rush to your next meeting, and so opening that jar frustrates the hell out of you.

There are a few things that influence how we feel when we are experiencing anything, any product or service for that matter. 

  1. Our cognition: How we interpret information? 
  2. Our disposition: How we feel at the time?
  3. Environmental factors: What’s happening outside our body?

I guess, what I am trying to say, is that for a designer to design a product, it’s not just one pain you are relieving. It’s not just that one gain you are elevating. There is a bunch of other factors that happen within us and outside of us to consider. 

At the end of the day, we are human, we are emotional. Whether you are good at hiding those emotions or not, they still play an integral role in how you appreciate a product and keep reusing it or throw it down the trash and move on with your life. 


Let me tell you a short story about one of my favorite home appliances, my Turkish coffee machine, arcelik.

I used to prepare Turkish coffee in the traditional way, in a pot. I love Turkish coffee, but there is a problem with it. You have to stand right next to the stove, for about 5–7 minutes, just waiting, standing while it’s being prepared. That’s a precious time in the morning.

Sometimes, I walked away from the stove, only for a second. Okay for a few seconds, only to come back and see my coffee spilled all over the place. Now, not only do I need to make a new coffee, but I have to clean this mess.

My Turkish coffee hurdle was pretty much eliminated when a Turkish friend of mine recommended the Turkish coffee machine, arcelik. I was like, “What? A Turkish coffee machine?”

She explained, “You don’t need to wait next to it. It prepares it and shuts down when it’s ready.”

“Hmmm… I want that Turkish coffee machine,” I said.

She bought it for me, and since then, not once did I not enjoy my Turkish coffee, not once was not done perfectly, not once was it spilled all over my stove, and not once did I have to wait for 5–7 minutes next to it.


I guess no matter what was my disposition or external factors happening at the time, nothing impacted how I saw I had amazing Turkish coffee, homemade, perfect, every single time. 

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1 Comment

  1. Pingback: 3 Product design principles that work for every customer | Sherwette

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