help in designing an ice-cream spade

If you go to ice-cream shops, especially the ones like Marble-Slab and Cold Stone Cremery, observe how the hands of the people scooping out the ice-cream move. It seems painful and I think those awkward movements/postures can be improved by designing a better handle/ tool.
Now, my specialization is in Ergonomics, so I can point out what needs to be improved, where and recommend ideas to do so. i just don’t know how to go about “concepting” my ideas. I would like any design help in getting me going on this projet. If you know about any designer who would be willing to work with me on this, please let me know by replying to this message.

I’m a product designer in the Boston area and I would be interested in discussing the design with you a bit and maybe putting something together. Shoot me back a message and maybe we can chat.

I am currently employed at a design firm but this is far out of the realm of their specialty so no worries about conflict of interest. Let me know…

Sure, I’d be interested in pursuing this idea.
I am on the West coast. Would working long distance be fine with you?


I think that you guys should definitely connect. Is this project professional or conceptual? Just a thought…

Also take a look at Barber’s clippers…They have done some interesting things in regards to ergonomics and longterm wear and tear on the wrist…Just a thought. Could be interesting…Good Luck!

I wouldn’t mind doing some long distance work. Is this for fun, for profit or maybe for both? I have to be a bit careful in my current job in terms of moonlighting but I really don’t know the policy. I suppose as long as it is not in the same field, and it certainly isn’t, I think it would be fine. I will check.

As for when to start, send me some of the stuff you have so far and we can talk. I am going to be traveling in the UK for the next week starting tomorrow so I will probably not be checking this board. I will send you a PM with my email and we can talk more when I get back…

Looking forward to the opportunity.

You have definately recognized a problem. A good friend of mine back in high school worked at a Coldstone-type of place. She always complained about her wrists hurting, sometimes to the point where she had to use both hands to scoop the ice cream. She ended up leaving after a few months and the fact that this was occuring was a big part of it. So this is an issue, especially for those of us with less grip strength. I’d contribute too if you would like some help. Just pm me if you’d like.

Hello Core77ers!

It’s been a while since I’ve responded to a post but this one particular subject really “chilled” my attention. I love ice cream and Cold Stone Creamery is one of my favorite spots. And yes, when you observed those ice scream servers like I have, you can easily tell that their movement is very uncomfortable. I believe there are a lot of factors involve - for one thing the ice screams are hard because they need to be. and the ice scream scoopers are not helping plus I think the positioning of the ice scream containers or buckets are the key. Maybe it’s just a matter of repositioning of it. Angle them in a way that there’s an improvement based on the angle of when they scoop. Maybe turn them upside down? I have to conduct my own experiment. Anyways, this is what I have as an observation.

maybe this will help.
either direct body heat from hand to handle to scooping part, or use a resistor and pen cell combo to generate heat in the “cup” where the scoop occurs. not too much, you don wanna melt the whole tub, but just enough to make the immediate layer (2-5 mm) of icecream next to the “cup” melt. then scoops will be painless no matter what the ergonomics of the handle are.

easiest solution. keep a cup of warm-hot water near the ice cream tub. before every scoop dip the scooper into the water. aesthetically unpleasant though, as the water will become milky / murky.


That is a great insight. Proper position and location may prove to be a large part of the problem. This may be too much but, does the wrist need to be support, i.e. like a professional bowler, in order to encourage proper movement and reduced stress on the ligaments? Just a thought…