Its been a while since I’ve posted. I’ve been a very busy girl, travelling around, working with tons of new colleagues and ramping up with my new team. Blogging has taken the backseat to daily life recently. Some things are consistent however, and one of them is my long-standing love for coffee.
Yeah… I’m going to blog about coffee. Again.
I had my first Nespresso coffee experience in Paris with my friend Rob. He has a machine in his office and offered me a cup when I arrived in Paris in late March. I was surprised by how good the machine coffee was, given how bad the vendie coffee in the Paris office is. Frankly, I thought that the only good cup of coffee outside of a real cafe in Paris was to be had in Italy. My second cup of Nespresso was in my friend Emmanuel’s office, and I was again struck by how smooth and consistent the taste, intensity and crema were, coming from either Rob or Emmanuel’s machine. I was hooked.
I spent the rest of my 6 weeks in Europe coveting a Nespresso machine. After much conversation with Jaiya about recycling, cost and so forth, I finally bought one last week. It didn’t hurt to have Jaiya’s old espresso maker start to fail.
This machine is to Jaiya and I like the bell was to Pavlov’s dogs. We wake up wanting to use the machine and drink its sweet nectar. Both the process and the product are designed with the utmost attention to detail, making the Nespresso experience simple, fun and predictable.
Selecting a coffee type from the vibrant color selection is delightful. Its not only that the colors are vibrant, but the assortment in front of me makes the visual experience of associating a color to a specific coffee a nice touch. I know that the black Risetto espresso is the strongest in the selection, and that the striped white vanilla pod is delicate and flavored. I know my coffees by their Nespresso-assigned color.
Dropping in the pod is easy and consistent. No positioning the pod in a hard to reach slot, no pouring of beans into a grinder. The pod fits perfectly, everytime. Drop it in, close the top handle with a satisfying “clack”, select the length of shot and push the button.
The gentle hum the machine makes sets my mouth to salivating as it sends hot water through the coffee pod. The sight of the espresso pouring out of the machine keeps me glued to the machine – I never walk away. This watched pot boils!
Recycling is a breeze. Nespresso will take back the pods as is, but I’ve been opening them up and saving the coffee grounds to fertilize our garden, and then putting the pods in our city recycling bin. Not only is the coffee excellent, but it satisfies me that I’m junking as little material as possible, and what I am sending away is being recycled.
The whole experience is utterly delightful. There is nothing in the experience I could improve. I order coffee online and 2 days later it arrives. The machine is solid – not a flimsy piece of plastic. The metal is heavy and feels like it is integrated in the machine. What sets this apart is the consistency in the taste of the coffee from one cup to another. The amount of crema is the same. The intensity is the same. The taste of a specific coffee from one day to the next is consistent. Choosing a colorful coffee pod for my morning brew is a vibrant, fun event.
This is what all of my experiences should be from driving my car, to using software, I should be so delighted by the experience that I want to come back for more. Trick when designing anything is to identify what would encourage and delight a user in this experience in such a way that they would come back for more? Make it easy. Make it valuable. Make it fun. Make it not like work.
While using software isn’t quite like savoring a cup of perfectly prepared espresso, it should be as refined and the process equally designed. Like my Nespresso, the devil is in the details.