Review: SimpliciTEA3rd Dec, 2013
This tea timer tries to help you, but doesn't do a great job.
Many people take their coffee and tea very seriously. They spend time researching different brew methods and the science taking place in their cup in order to make themselves the perfect hot beverage. And while the science is pretty complicated, the basic “rules” of what you can do are pretty simple.
SimpliciTEA aims to help you with this process by providing useful timing and temperature information. You begin with a small shelf of glass jars labeled for six different types of tea; not and extensive list by any means. That said, tea probably falls into these major groups which means it’ll serve users well enough, but I’m not entirely sure (I’m now overly knowledgeable on tea). Choose the type you will be steeping and you’re ready to go.
The app features a uniquely designed timer that looks a bit like a kettle. It even bubbles as though the tea is boiling when you start it. The timer will adjust automatically to the recommended time for the type of tea you selected, but it can easily be adjusted in 15 second increments to better suit your tastes. The app will tell you the recommended range and steeping temperature, but it’s kept out of sight initially. Another disappointment is that the app doesn’t remember the adjusted time you set for each tea type so you’ll have to remember that yourself.
Accessing the information requires a mere tap (or swipe) on a little “bubble” next to the little pot of tea. Worse than the fact that it’s hiding from you is that the information doesn’t even fit within the bubble. The labels have to be cut off to display the actual information. SimpliciTEA’s entire purpose is to provide this information, and yet it treats it as a second class citizen to the animated timer. Ultimately what matters here is the information being provided to the user, but what the developers seem to have focused on is what the app looks like.
SimpliciTEA has a place on someone’s phone, I’m sure. But it could seriously use a redesign with the goal of providing information given a higher priority. As it stands, it’s a classic example of form over function.
SimpliciTEA: 3/5 piles of poo.