Size of Toilet Paper Sheet


I am talking about those perforated sheets in a toilet roll.

Accept for the some communities within Africa, parts of the South Pacific islands and parts of China, most people around the world know what I am talking about.

It puzzles me as to why these perforated sheets are sized the way they are.

Whether you are male or female, I believe the standard size perforated sheet would not be large enough for any conceivable use. If no one would ever find these standard size large enough, then why are they perforated the way they do?

A typical manufacture would normally analyze the usage pattern of their end users and then improve on their products over time. As far as I my knowledge, I do not believe the toilet paper manufactures have ever exercised this practice.

Constant iteration is the bases for modern Customer Centric Designs and developments. Without constant iterations, these products and services will probably not satisfy the business requirements they are target to address.

The iterated user centric design will start with:

  1. the analysis of the target customers of their potential needs
  2. outline the goals of the business objectvies
  3. brainstorm and design solutions addressing these end user needs and business requirements
  4. development of the solutions
  5. through out the processes (4 – 5) constant verifications and analysis of the metrics measuring the satisfaction of requirements

Not only is this a good way to design, develop and refine a product or service. It is necessary for the rapid changing lifecycle of of today’s environment.

So if anyone works with product development at one of the large toilet paper manufacture; like Procter & Gamble, please help me shed some light on why toilet paper sheets are sized the way they are.

2 Replies to “Size of Toilet Paper Sheet”

  1. I think the size is more optimized towards a subset of the actual size needed. It is never assumed that you would use one sheet but if you made it larger then there would be more waste. No matter what size you define some people will decide it is inadequate so use two or more pieces. With a smaller size you reduce the waste based on user preferences. This same principle is employed in paper towels where people seldom use just one square.

  2. Joe,

    Thank you for your contribution. That is a good point.

    Although, for me I do use one sheet of paper towel because I do not want to waste it.

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