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Baking Supplies can be Confusing…

After reading the piece by Norman this week– one of the pieces covered by the graduate student speakers. Specifically Sandy covered usability and good conceptual models. When relating this to my interest I mentioned week 1, cake decorating, I almost laughed. Almost everything used for decorating cakes and cupcakes tends to look odd, and is only semi-understandable if it includes packaging. Otherwise, only people with a deep interest in the art tend to know what the tools are inclined for. Take the object above. If you saw that randomly what would you take it for? (I’ll give you a hint on size, it’s operable with a hand and about the size of your fist.) Don’t have it yet? It’s for cutting holes in the center of a cupcake to slightly hollow them out. You do this when you plan to fill a cupcake with some sort of filling or icing. My kitchen’s full of all sort of odd tools that make my job easier, but if I brought someone over to bake with me, I’d likely have to explain the intended use of a lot of things… The learning curve on how to operate the tools is very quick and straight forward once you have an idea of the object’s purpose.



Joel Skelton

I agree, that is an odd tool. However, you could make the exact argument for any tools unique to a profession. Take mechanics, for example. People who are not familiar with mechanical tools probably won’t know what a Corso CU/INOX is for, or how to use it. Hint: It cuts copper.

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