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NUIT DU VIN | Gabrielle Williams | Products in Systems | Spring 2012


Don’t blame yourself, blame the corkscrew.

THE PROBLEM The corkscrew has been around for ages. It has taken many different forms, but its users have always had the same goal in mind-to get to the wine in the bottle. After conducting user research, I found that the majority of people have problems using a corkscrew. They think they’re bad at it and they accidentally hurt themselves.

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NUIT DU VIN | Gabrielle Williams | Products in Systems | Spring 2012


Opening a bottle of wine creates an experience. This experience begins with the corkscrew, it is the tool to drive the process. To grab the bottle, cut and unwrap the foil, then attempt to remove the cork. It’s an adventure each and every time, but it shouldn’t be a risky one. No one should walk away bleeding or pained from using the tool they have. People enjoy smelling a freshly plucked cork, not hurting themselves in the process.

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NUIT DU VIN | Gabrielle Williams | Products in Systems | Spring 2012


Corks vs Screw Tops 70% of participants prefer corks to screw top bottles... Why? ORMANCE F R PE

CONTENTS

Better Seal

Better quality Better Taste

Sophistication Looks better Classier

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MEANING

Memories Collecting Tradition Fun to Pop

NUIT DU VIN | Gabrielle Williams | Products in Systems | Spring 2012


More Than Cork.

Corks are part of a tradition; it’s not just a cork, it’s a memory. I found in my research that many people are willing to put up with the frustration and sometimes pain caused by using a corkscrew because they enjoy the process of opening the wine, the ceremony. I also found that many participants enjoy smelling the cork because they have fond memories of smelling the cork when they were younger. They also like to save the cork as a way to remember celebrations and different times in their lives.

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NUIT DU VIN | Gabrielle Williams | Products in Systems | Spring 2012


“

�

It’s just nice to feel the cork release and to smell the wine.

The majority of survey participants had experienced negative interactions with a mechanical corkscrew and had many negative things to say. Yet when asked their opinion on corked wine bottles versus easier to open screw top bottles, they still preferred corked. They seem to set aside their frustrations and praise the process of cork removal.

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NUIT DU VIN | Gabrielle Williams | Products in Systems | Spring 2012


DEFEATED

ANTICIPATION

TENTATIVE

FRUSTRATED

“PAIN PAIN PAIN”

INTELLIGENT

CONFUSED

SOPHISTICATED

ANNOYED WEAK CAPABLE

ELEGANT

NERVOUS

FLUSTERED

EXCITED

CLASSY

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CLUMSY

EMBARASSED

I compiled this word cloud to help me understand peoples’ relationship with corkscrews as they are. It became evident to me that most everyone felt some sense of frustration while interacting with their tool, an alarming thing to hear because a well-designed tool should never frustrate but rather guide the user. Yet aside from intense feelings of frustation, annoyance, and embarrassment, people used incredibly positive descriptors alongside their negative ones. The same people who claimed that they often felt defeated and flustered while using their corkscrew also listed “excited” as their feeling. It became very clear through this proecess that there is definite room for improvement in the realm of corkscrews. There must be a way to make a corkscrew that works well, prevents the user from getting hurt, while also maintaining the excitement and capability of using the tool. Something to keep the process “classy” and “elegant”.

NUIT DU VIN | Gabrielle Williams | Products in Systems | Spring 2012


Removing the cork should not be painful.

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NUIT DU VIN | Gabrielle Williams | Products in Systems | Spring 2012


But there are problems, many problems. “ Simply would not work ” Many particpiants recalled experiences with corkscrews when the tool failed and didn’t complete the task at hand. If a tool doesn’t do it’s job, then why would anyone want to use it?

“ Hurts my hand ” One participant recalled a particularly unpleasant incident: “I was recently using a winged corkscrew and the skin of one of my fingers caught in the gear and I had a big blood blister for weeks. It hurt like hell and I was at a fancy party and didn’t want to make a scene, so I had to suffer in silence! Awful.”

“ Sometimes we crack the cork ” A few individuals brought up cracking the cork as a recurring negative experience. Some explained that it was from a lack of understanding how to use the tool while others said it was the tool itself. Either way, a properly designed tool should not make the user feel embarrassed or incapable.

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“ One time I cut my hand with the tip ” Traditional corkscrews are not the friendliest looking objects, primarily because of the sharp point at the end of the screw. Having this edge exposed leaves room for possible error and injury, which is not good as many participants explained.

NUIT DU VIN | Gabrielle Williams | Products in Systems | Spring 2012


Just look at what already exists...

There are many types of corkscrews and dozens upon dozens of variations of each type. Yet ask a user and they will tell you the problems with each. Some require too much strength, some don’t allow for a good grip on the bottle while holding the tool, and some cause the bottle to tip over in use. There must be a better solution.

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NUIT DU VIN | Gabrielle Williams | Products in Systems | Spring 2012


Persona #1

Meet Jessica.

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Jessica is a 26 year-old waitress at a fancy restaurant a few blocks from her apartment in New York City. She has worked at the same restaurant since her junior year in college, and now works part time to earn a little extra money aside from her job as a journalist. Her job often requires that she open bottles of wine for customers. Though she knows how to, Jessica finds herself frustrated at work when she cracks a cork into the bottle or hurts her fingers. It doesn’t happen often, but her customers are always watching the process and it is embarrassing when it does.

NUIT DU VIN | Gabrielle Williams | Products in Systems | Spring 2012


Persona #2

Meet John.

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John is a 47 year old business man living in Michigan. He has a wife and three kids in a comfortable home on the outskirts of Grand Rapids. When John comes home from a long day of work, he and and his wife enjoy having a glass of wine with their dinner. He always opens the bottles as his wife struggles with their winged corkscrew. He loves the smell of wine and has strong memories of his father letting him smell the cork of a freshly opened bottle, he now does the same for his kids. He and he wife have saved corks from all of their special family occassions, and hope to one day pass the collection to their children who will appreciate it and grow it even further.

NUIT DU VIN | Gabrielle Williams | Products in Systems | Spring 2012


There has to be a better way.

MY SOLUTION Taking into account all of my research as well as make-tool studies, I went forward to design a corkscrew that would not only fix the problems people have with existing corkscrews, but would also create a completely positive experience from start to finish. I defined three goals for my design: to create comfort, prevent injury, and create a desirable process. I also wanted the form to indicate the movement of the device itself.

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NUIT DU VIN | Gabrielle Williams | Products in Systems | Spring 2012


N U IT

DU VIN

MONARCH TRANSFORM YOUR WINE EXPERIENCE

Corkscrew NUIT DU VIN | Gabrielle | Gabrielle Williams Williams | Products | Products in Systems in Systems | Spring | Spring 2012 2012


It’s your experience.

The Monarch is the result of re-thinking the corkscrew. It has a different mechanism and different philosophy than other corkscrews. Instead of just being a tool used in the process, the Monarch is a catalyst for an experience. Rather than causing discomfort and embarrassment, the Monarch allows the user to enjoy the process of opening wine. Users want a process and not a struggle.

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NUIT DU VIN | Gabrielle Williams | Products in Systems | Spring 2012


The Monarch uses a ratcheting mechanism to remove the cork instead of brute strength. This mechanism is powered by the user, who repeatedly pulls the handle towards their body. This allows for a much more comfortable and natural motion than the typical twisting motion associated with corkscrews, which strains the arm and wrist.

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As the user continues to the pull the handle, the mechanism spirals the screw down and partway into the cork. Once it reaches a certain depth, the device then begins to pull the cork straight up. A small window located on the top of the device allows the user to see their progress.

NUIT DU VIN | Gabrielle Williams | Products in Systems | Spring 2012


When the mechanism has traveled the complete distance, the cork is only partially in the neck of the bottle. At this point, the button on the top will pop up, indiciating that the user should now pop the cork out of the bottle by pulling the corkscrew off the bottle.

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NUIT DU VIN | Gabrielle Williams | Products in Systems | Spring 2012


After this point, the button is pushed down once to lock in place and allow the user to access and unscrew the cork from the screw. The button is then pushed a second time to return the device to its original state.

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NUIT DU VIN | Gabrielle Williams | Products in Systems | Spring 2012


There are many benefits to using the Monarch. The visual feedback of the progress combined with the physical feedback of the button creates a more gratifying user experience because it informs the user and reduces possible error. With the ratcheting mechanism, there is no way that the corkscrew will screw in too far because it it already set to a specific depth. Because the Monarch fits over the bottle neck, the screw is always centered as well. There is little possibility of getting injured because the screw is contained withing the housing of the device and the user only accesses it when the cork is already screwed on the end, blocking the sharp point.

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NUIT DU VIN | Gabrielle Williams | Products in Systems | Spring 2012


The slanted bottom edge allows the user to securely grip both the tool and the bottle at the same time, assuring a better use. The grip on the inside of the handle makes the hold more comfortable, and the grip on the mouth of the body keeps the device from slipping off of the bottle neck.

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NUIT DU VIN | Gabrielle Williams | Products in Systems | Spring 2012


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NUIT DU VIN | Gabrielle Williams | Products in Systems | Spring 2012


For the actual manufacture, the body of the corkscrew would be casted aluminum. The button on the top would be injection molded semi-gloss ABS plastic. The transparent screen would also be injection molded. Most of the smaller parts inside would be cast out of steel, and the grip on the inner handle and the mouth of the device is a matte rubber that is friction fit and adhered onto the metal.

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NUIT DU VIN | Gabrielle Williams | Products in Systems | Spring 2012


After you open it, you’ll need to close it. Opening the bottle may be tricky, but sealing the wine after opening is just as crucial to the wine experience. When the original cork is used to re-cork a bottle of wine, the wine will only stay fresh for a few days before it begins to oxidize and lose quality. However, if a synthetic cork or bottle stopper is used to re-seal the bottle, a better seal is created and the quality lasts longer.

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NUIT DU VIN | Gabrielle Williams | Products in Systems | Spring 2012


I began thinking about how a synthetic cork could possibly keep the wine fresh while also improving its taste. After doing some more research, I came across the use of neodymium magnet clips and found my inspiration. These clips contain pieces of rare earth magnets that are held in plastic, and are then clipped around the bottle of wine. While they are on, they interact with the molecules in the wine to smooth and age the flavor of the wine. So if people are using these clips, and also using synthetic corks at the same time, I thought it would be a good idea to combine the two. By creating a bottle stopper that seals the bottle and also contains magnets to improve the flavor as it sits, people only need one device to accoplish both tasks.

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NUIT DU VIN | Gabrielle Williams | Products in Systems | Spring 2012


N U IT

DU VIN

QUARK THE ESSENTIAL CORK

NUIT DU VIN | Gabrielle Williams | Products in Systems | Spring 2012


The Quark is an essential piece to the wine-drinking experience. It is necessary to seal a bottle well once it has been opened in order to keep the taste fresh. However, the Quark not only keeps the wine fresh but also improves the flavor as it sits in the neck of the bottle. The Quark contains a cylindrical neodymium magnet, which when place in the bottle neck, ages the flavor of the wine while protecting it from the outside air. Using the Quark ensures that your wine wine will taste even better the second time around, not something that re-sealing the bottle with the original cork can guarantee.

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NUIT DU VIN | Gabrielle Williams | Products in Systems | Spring 2012


Length of top piece allows for a better grip when removing and replacing the stopper.

Elastomer grip creates a complete seal inside the bottle neck, keeping the wine fresh.

A cylindrical neodymium magnet is able rest inside the bottle neck in order to improve the wine’s flavor.

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NUIT DU VIN | Gabrielle Williams | Products in Systems | Spring 2012


For the actual manufacture, the body of the stopper would be two separate pieces of casted aluminum. The top piece would have outer threads and the bottom piece would have inner threads, allowing the two halves to screw together. The neodymium magnet is formed into a cylinder that fits within the housing. The grip would be injection molded rubber and would fit over an inset on the bottom piece before the housing is screwed together. This assembly allows the user to easily change the magnet and clean the rubber grip.

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NUIT DU VIN | Gabrielle Williams | Products in Systems | Spring 2012


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NUIT DU VIN | Gabrielle Williams | Products in Systems | Spring 2012


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NUIT DU VIN | Gabrielle Williams | Products in Systems | Spring 2012


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NUIT DU VIN | Gabrielle Williams | Products in Systems | Spring 2012


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