Blendtec introduced the first Total Blender in 1996 (although it wasn’t called the Total Blender back then). This revolutionary machine was the first home blender to include blend cycles. Each of the six buttons was programmed with a unique blend cycle, but it wasn’t very clear which button was the right choice for a given blend (until you read the instruction manual, anyway). To address this issue, we replaced the numbers on the buttons with descriptive words, such as smoothie, ice crush, batters, and whole juice, making it much easier to determine which button to push. We also added speed up/down buttons to provide users with additional options. The Designer Series was developed with the idea of creating an ideal user experience. We brought together groups of people; placed them in a room with blenders and ingredients; and watched them make smoothies, milk shakes, and other recipes. We saw what worked and what didn’t. Then we used this information to develop the Designer Series. So what are the major differences between the Total Blender and the Designer Series? The first and most obvious difference is the industrial design. In talking to our customers, we realized that many people want to use our blenders to create healthier lifestyles. To do this, they need to use their blenders daily, sometimes many times a day, and leaving the blender on the countertop is a big convenience. We also found that people are more likely to leave a blender on the countertop if the blender fits underneath the cupboards and if the blender is beautiful. The Total Blender has always fit underneath kitchen cupboards, but the Designer Series is a definite improvement in style over the Total Blender! The Designer Series is a blender that I'm proud to display on my counter. The second area that we focused on is the user interface. We maintained all of the functions of the Total Blender but made them beautiful. Rather than using small text (which some people had a hard time reading), we developed intuitive icons to represent the blend cycles. We kept the ability to manually control the speed but also designed a slider control, making it possible to select any speed at any time with a single finger tap. Our new controls are capacitive touch, creating a control surface that is completely flat. Talk about easy to clean! The icons are backlit, and they disappear completely when not in use, leaving a beautiful, clean appearance. There are a lot of other small differences, including improved airflow for better cooling, better motor control, and additional colors and surface finishes so that you can select a unit that matches your kitchen. There are also some things we did not change. The Total Blender introduced commercial power to the realm of home blenders. Both the Total Blender and the Designer Series use the same motor and jars that are used in our commercial blenders. With the Designer Series, you get the same high-quality smoothie that you’ve come to expect from the Total Blender—you just do it with more style!