Yeah, they’re adorable. They’re a small handheld dessert. Also, they’re tasty. What’s not to like? Well, there are a few criteria one can use to evaluate cupcakes. Here are the criteria I have in mind when looking for a small dessert like this, in order of importance to me:
- Ease of consumption
Here are the criteria I think cupcakes were optimized for, in order of importance:
- (Screw everything else)
The overemphasis on appearance means that there’s frosting on the top of these handheld treats. It looks nice, but try to take a bite and you get frosting on your nose or upper lip. Tiny cupcakes that you can consume in one bite avoid this problem. But at any scale, try to transport one somewhere without a specialized case, and the delicate frosting gets squished and stuck to whatever you carried it in.
I find this kind of thing happens a lot in products too – optimizing buyer experience at the expense of user experience. Shout out to enterprise software! Also, it’s very much a thing in physical products. Once when I was shopping for a car stereo, I was mesmerized by the display animations in the store and ended up buying one with a pretty but annoying user interface in practice.
Let us elevate the humble cookie for avoiding vanity and keeping our noses clean.