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Stupid Usability #81

Baby Food Containers

Written By: High Monkey
Posted: 12/8/2014

From the mind of Joe Cronin, Project Manager at High Monkey:

As the father of a six-month old, our household is hitting the stage where we can no longer feed the baby with just a bottle. Formula is out and solid foods are in. Peas, apples, bananas, squash and sweet potatoes are all part of her diet now. In order to provide her a wide variety of foods, we end up buying pre-made baby food from the store in addition to some of the easier foods to process.

The baby food comes in nice little glass jars full of pre-pureed food mixes. Our little one loves pear-apple and pea-squash mixes herself. The glass jars are handy for a quick meal. It is easy to pop one open, heat it up, pour the food into a bowl and mix in a little dry cereal for texture.

The stupid usability part comes in when the jar is almost empty and we try to get the last bit of food out of the jar. No matter how we try, we always end up leaving a fair amount of food stuck to the bottom and sides of the jar. The mouth of the jar is too small to get a spatula into to scrape the food out. The mouth of the jar is always smaller than the body of the jar, which also make scraping out the sides of the jar difficult. Since the jar is so small, there is nothing we can get into the jar to scrape off the bottom and her baby spoons are not the right shape for getting that food out either.

Thus, at the end of a feeding we are faced with throwing out a few mouthfuls of food all because we cannot get it out of the jar. This might not seem like much, but when we go through 7 jars a week it begins to add up pretty quickly.


The fix for this problem of usability is fairly simple: make the container that holds the baby food a different shape. Gerber has already figured this out. They sell their baby food in containers that are plastic and rectangular in shape. It is easy to scrape out every last bit of baby food which is a big reason why we end up using their food more often than other brands.

Chad's Bio Coming Soon!

More About Virgil

Virgil Carroll is the owner and president of High Monkey – based in Minneapolis Minnesota. Virgil also wears the multiple ‘hats’ of Principle Human Solutions Architect and SharePoint Architect.

Virgil is one of those rare individuals who can dive deep into technical topics while speaking clearly to the business owners of a project and never forgetting that the end user experience has the highest priority. He calls it using both sides of his brain. Virgil is passionate about leveraging technologies ‘out of the box’ as much as possible with a focus on the strategic use of content to create websites that deliver the right content to the right audience on the right device at the right time. Virgil brings high energy, an ironic wit, and a sense of grounded perspective whenever he speaks to an audience. Virgil regularly speaks at conferences and user groups throughout the United States and occasionally in Europe.

Posted: 12/8/2014 12:00:00 AM by | with 0 comments