7Pipe Design Talk: Simplicity and Directionality in Design


I've noticed in my last two products, the Twisty and the Suka, that the more simple the design, the more ways there are to use it wrong.  I've come to believe that this is not coincidental and that the tradeoff is worth it, and that the remedy is a good education campaign for new users of the pipe.  After the smoker understands how to use the pipe correctly, the pipe shows its true colors of extreme efficiency.  

     The Twisty is a great example.  Twisting the augur in different directions does very different things on the Twisty.  This is what I mean by directionality.  Directionality implies a choice of many options.  But to load the Twisty correctly, you only have ONE correct direction: counterclockwise.  To ash the Twisty pipe, there is also only ONE correct direction: clockwise.  These are opposite directions, and in the early twisty age, many people twisted the wrong way.  This leads to extreme frustration.  

     One Youtube blogger did a whole Twisty review video where she turned the augur the wrong way when she was loading the pipe.  The review must have been ten minutes long, and she could not figure out how to load it.  By turning clockwise to load, she was compressing a super hard cherry at the tip of the pipe, instead of drawing the herb up into the glass tube.  It was crazy.

     When I was designing the Twisty, the first method I used to load the pipe was to put the pipe vertically over a pile of herb, and then rotating the augur counterclockwise to suck it up into the tube.  It worked but it was not very efficient.  It turns out there was a much more efficient way to load a Twisty Glass Blunt, and I figured it out much later in my design process.  You take out the augur, add ground up material, and then twist the augur counterclockwise into the herb, drawing it up into the tube.  This is another example of directionality: go one way, you lose; go the other way, you win.  There is only one correction direction here.  

     The Süka Pipe is another perfect example.  This time, directionality dictates rightside-up, or upside down orientation of the pipe.  And the logo is what to look for.  The logo MUST be right side up for the pipe to work.  Also, the mouthpiece is always next to the logo.  So just imagine that you are going to eat the logo like a cookie.  You can also use the tip of your tongue to center your lip seal.  

If you try to smoke with the logo upside down, and not near your lips, good luck.  I'm not betting on you. The lesson to the purveyor is customer education, in the form of videos, pamphlets, etc.  Reducing frustration increases customer satisfaction.  

Once the directionality of these smoking contraptions is mastered, the pipes are generally unparalleled in safety, durability, function, and beauty.  

     


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