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One of the hallmarks of good user experience is a sense of delight. Here is a story about something that delighted me.

Initially, I was a little sad to see this spork (combined spoon and fork) in my Trader Joe’s salad the other week. Even though I usually use a real fork, this looked sadly mangled. I was glad that it was inside a plastic bag so I wouldn’t have to pick bits of broken plastic out of the food.

The spork in the bag

A broken spork?

But when I lifted it out of the salad, I found an engaging surprise. My little spork was a new model!
Building the spork

The spork unfolds

It’s a little hard to see, but after you unfold it, a tab snaps into the back of the spork. This makes it remarkably sturdy.
The spork is ready to use

The tab snaps into place, making the hinge rigid

I kept the first one on my desk to fiddle with. I gave the second one to Jason for his young daughter. It would be handy to keep in the car or in a bag.

Someone took the time to thougthfully redesign this spork. I wonder if this version fits into a smaller space, reducing the odds of breakage. What do you think prompted this new design?