The User Experience Blog

July 5, 2009

Benjamin Floyd, The User Experience. The Customer AFTER the Purchase

Filed under: Uncategorized — theuserexperience @ 10:08 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The following quote is from Krylon Spray Paint’s home page:

Kyrolon Home Page Quote

When the customer goes to make the purchase it is easy to know which color is inside the can…

Cans with Caps

Now after the purchase and a couple of uses, what color is inside the same can?

Spray Paint Color is Now....

Why can’t a LARGE sample of the color be on the outside of the can and not just on the cap?

Innovation…must pertain to their large variety of colors, not the simple innovation of making the user experience a good one!



  1. I’ll bet they made the decision based partly on cost, and partly with the idea that people who lose the lids and don’t see a color sample are more likely (if only one percent more likely) to buy a new can instead. That’s still an additional percent to sales, with reduced cost.

    User friendly? No. Profitable? Yes.

    Comment by Aaron Hall — July 18, 2009 @ 7:41 pm | Reply

  2. Your point is valid, but in this case the color’s pretty obvious on the spray tip after you use the paint once. At least that’s been my experience. Sort of like when my son gets lemonade and I get Diet Coke at McDonald’s, so pushing down the little markers on the lid is moot. Maybe they did in fact do extensive user testing and came up with the same conclusion I did? It’s hard to judge.

    Comment by Todd Beck — July 24, 2009 @ 4:49 pm | Reply

    • Most people will look at the tiny tip of the can however…
      What if you have 3 colors of blue?
      WHY should the consumer have to? Read my blog about the ketchup bottles and how they were turned upside down 🙂
      I fail to see the “innovation” from the most basic form for the can. Plus, how would the user experience be if you could look inside and see the level of paint left? Or the marbles bouncing around?

      Comment by theuserexperience — July 24, 2009 @ 5:13 pm | Reply

  3. An interesting question … I think the best solution would be to print (or paint) a strip of the color on the spray can. My do-it-yourself school of product identification solution might be to:

    1. If feasible, take another can of the same color and spray a stripe of paint down the side of your can and let it dry before purchasing the paint.

    2. Otherwise, take a sheet of self-adhesive labels and spray one or more and stick the label to the side or bottom of the can.

    3. Possibly overkill, but spray an index card and then stick a unique sticker onto the card and the paint can and tape or tack the card above your workbench or toss it into a box where you keep the paint.

    Comment by Michael Litant — September 24, 2009 @ 11:57 am | Reply

    • I like that you are thinking…not just about this topic but perhaps on other user experiences that you come in contact with or even have control to improve!

      Comment by theuserexperience — September 24, 2009 @ 8:58 pm | Reply

  4. By the way, I thought of this blog last weekend when I was at Clearwater Beach watching the spray paint artist that works at the pier in the evenings. He had an old wooden half-box containing about 20 cans of spray paint. (Don’t know the brand but they weren’t white Krylon cans.)

    Anyway, the reason I thought of this blog is because the spray tip of each can had become completely stained in distinct paint color, making it easy for him to quickly grab whatever color he needed–especially looking down into the wooden box from above. And, more importantly, the labels on the cans were multi-colored because of the overspray from his work and drips from the spray tips as he replaced the cans in the box–a big rainbow mess. So a colored or text label on the can would have been relatively useless.

    So your original point still makes sense, but maybe the paint companies felt it a case of diminishing returns for everyone involved. The one-can users won’t care, and the 20-can users have their own solution, anyway. ???

    Thanks again for the thought-provoking blog!

    Comment by Todd Beck — September 24, 2009 @ 5:24 pm | Reply

    • LOL ok I think the font issue can be dealt with!

      Comment by theuserexperience — September 24, 2009 @ 8:53 pm | Reply

    • You went to the beach and I didn’t get an invite???
      An interesting observation on the cans in action. What about the color sample being on the “neck” of the can (area when the cap comes off) or what if the spray nozzle itself matched the exact color (glossy, flat, florescent, etc)?

      Comment by theuserexperience — September 24, 2009 @ 9:00 pm | Reply

  5. Hi
    Actually if the can is used a number of time its spray head catches the color inside and reflects same by which any body can identify color.
    Maker use the same bottle for all colors this lead to great cost reduction. If any access thing done they will charge it to user.
    what do you say?

    Comment by Deepak — October 20, 2009 @ 1:13 am | Reply

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