How do you represent temperature with colour? Easy, right? Blue is cold and red is hot, with all the relative shades in between, like on a weather map.

What about the difference between cold and colder, or room temperature and colder? It’s a tough one. I always have a bit of a brain freeze when I’m at a water cooler, and especially after I’ve drunk from the very cold tap. There’s a white tap and a blue tap. The white is on the left and the blue is on the right. Which is colder? And how cold is the less cold one? Is it chilled less or is it room temperature?

I never know which is which on a water cooler. Water is transparent in colour, and so is ice, pretty much, so that doesn’t help the choice of tap colour. Blue traditionally denotes very cold I guess, like ice bergs or branding on beers. So if blue is cold, is the white tap simply cool water or room temperature water? And why is the white tap on the left? Does it mean the taps go colder from left to right, or should they go warmer from left to right? Has no-one thought about this or agonised over it i the design or assembly phases?

I know, overthinking things. I should just try a sip of both, and be done with it. But these things bother me, because they’re about simplifying the message path between the sender and recipient.

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