“Yeah, but this website and forum is about DESIGN.”
Ok. Where did I divert off the topic of design?
Walmart does sell it Robot or human?. is it a successful item now? Gotta love a search for “egg toast walmart” on google. I don’t actually remember the issue of ID that i’m referencing, but there was an image of a flaky looking fellow wearing some crochÃ©d tank top and futzing with a dress. It was published within the last six months or so.
1: I would argue that this doesn’t look like an industrial designer created it in the traditional sense (no cool curves no flashy colors etc) but one, maybe even two did, and it’s a pretty successful product. Just because you don’t like the aesthetics of it does not mean it wasn’t made by a designer. What, to you, makes it look like the work of a CAD monkey? I understand you don’t “like” it, but this isn’t meant to be high design, and given material choices and manufacturing methods defined by price, i’d argue its pretty successful given the intended goals.
2: Who makes this? Back to Basics makes this. Again a little bit of research can answer these questions, even if they are rhetorical. Perhaps, given that they are a “no-name brand” company, (and seem quite happy to be that way), a prominent logo may be viewed as a bad thing, as it would detract from a design that was obviously made to emulate the look of standard low-grade kitchen products. this was a featured item on the product page as well: TheBuzzElectronics.com is for sale | HugeDomains It’s a $150 expresso maker that has similar colors, and its form isn’t anything special. So i would say a 40 dollar toaster looking like a 150 dollar coffee machine is an accomplishment.
3: I can make up reason’s (whether they were considered or not by whoever designed this thing) for your questions. You answer one of your own questions when you point out the black color and messy eggs: Does black look as dirty as white at the same level of dirtyness? what about beige, another common kitchen appliance color? I can see your point with the creases where food could get stuck, but it does seem that poaching or boiling eggs is a less messy method of cooking that your standard frying, and since the egg is covered, the possibilities for spillage are slim. A product generally seen as well designed, http://www.dwr.com/productdetail.cfm?id=7807, has some pretty bad choices associated with it, for instance, it’s white and it is used to make dark coffee, which stains easily. Even in a store with just fingerprints, it gets dirty as soon as it’s put on the shelf.
I’m not quite sure what press you’re reading, but when many prominent magazines like fast company and business 2.0 feature design or companies utilizing design at least once an issue, and david kelley books are on the bestseller list, I’d say design is getting its fare share of press.
It bothers me that you defend a product that a high profile design company designed, and was a commercial failure for being “unique”. It wasn’t unique. It was a cookie cutter variation in a market fully saturated with the exact same product in a different color. When a company like virgin puts its faith and money in a design firm to create a successful product, the product fails, yet astro still puts it on the front page of their site, it does nothing but hurt the general opinion of us designers as being disconnected and not business savvy, making it that much more difficult to get the next project. Even if it WAS unique, it would still be a bad product because of its failure. What good is a design if it doesn’t meet its intended goal?
I’m not saying this product will promote back to basics from the (lower)middle of the pack to the top, but even Jack Welch has said after leaving GE that his theory of number one or two is not necessary. Design for the middle is as valuable as design for the top. And i think a low profile successful design does more for our profession than an unsuccessful design for the top, as it tells a much more compelling story to a businessman who will greenlight a project. It’s the difference between “we did a great design and it did bad” and “we did a willingly mediocre design and it did great”