I ran across a post today on fastcodesign.com. The name of the article is Haagen-Dazs Turns To A Design Studio To Reinvent The Ice Cream Bar
The design is indeed gorgeous. But that isn’t what I’m going to write about. Instead, I’d like to dissect how this design is a perfect example of design over function.
Here you can see the final design of the new ice cream sandwich:
Let’s quickly look at what makes an ice cream sandwich great:
a) You can hold it! And not only can you hold it without getting ice cream all over your hands, but—unlike an ice cream bar—there is no stick that you have to throw away at the end. You simply take the wrapper off and can enjoy the ice cream to the very last bite.
b) The cookie (bread) that the ice cream is sandwiched between buffers the cold, making it easier to eat. When eating ice cream, you instinctively don’t use your teeth. If you do take a bite, you quickly get it off your teeth. Usually, you just lick an ice cream until done. The reason is obvious—ice cream is cold and your teeth are sensitive to cold. But when you’ve got an ice cream sandwich, you CAN bite it. Because your biting into the outer cookie!
With those two things in mind, let’s again look at this design. Here, the cookie has been placed inside a ball of ice cream.
It ruins the two things that are great about an ice cream sandwich!
You can’t hold the thing as it would melt in your hand. And you can’t bite into it without hurting your teeth.
That isn’t to say there is no place for this design. As a dessert at a restaurant, it would work nicely. It could also be a dessert at home. In both instances, it would be served on a plate, with a spoon. If nothing else, it would certainly be a conversation starter. And it most definitely looks delicious.
But that of course begs the question as to what restaurant would serve it. Any high end restaurant prides itself on it’s own cooking and preparation and wouldn’t serve something out of a box.
So that leaves it strictly as a dessert to eat at home. That may have been the purpose of the design, in which case I’d say it’s a good design. But to hail it as a redesign of the ice cream bar or ice cream sandwich… well, no. It definitely isn’t that.