Tea Time

I just discovered the most amazing loose leaf tea shop.

I know this blog is about design, so talking about a business (vs. product) may seem a bit strange, however, this was an excellent example of experience design. Right when I walked in the door, there was a place to sample their brew of the day. An excellent way to have people stay for a bit longer and try their product.
The tea shop had a bunch of glass jars filled with loose leaf teas, and at the far end was a tea bar. It was great just to walk around and smell each tea. After I was considering which teas to purchase, an employee came up and offered to help. He was definitely knowledgeable, and when I was trying to decide which tea I wanted to buy, he offered to make a cup of it for me. Being able to sample any product in the store you are considering purchasing is a wonderful option, especially on such a small investment product. Most retailers don't take the time and don't want to have the cost of offering people samples of anything they have in stock. So, coming down to it, what made Bird Pick an extremely well designed experience?
  1. A pleasing aesthetic theme which flowed well together.
  2. Knowledgeable and friendly people to interface with.
  3. Offering a multi-sensory experience of the product through site and smell (unlike the usual site and possibly tactile sensation).
  4. Taking the sensory experience a step further through taste, by offering a sample.
And of course, with every great experience, there is the WOW effect. This occurred for me when they handed me my purchases in a thick, paperboard bag which had real ropes as handles. A stunning piece of packaging design with organic qualities which complimented the herbal teas I had just purchased.