I had to buy a new mouse for my wife’s laptop and ended up buying the Logitech Mini. At Rs.640/- (approx $14) it was a good bargain. And it looked pretty good, what with India tricolours and all.
The problem started with the simple task of opening the pack. Frankly, I didn’t know where to start and an ordinary pair of scissors was of no use when I tried to cut it open. After several cuts emanating out of the sharp, thick plastic, I decided to use a cutter or a Swiss Army knife. After a good 20 minutes, I managed to yank out of the mouse and the package looked as if it had got the treatment from a bull terrier.
This is not the first time I have struggled with packaging especially those of gadgets – I remember buying the Windows 7 pack and staring at it for a good 5 minutes to figure out where to start. I couldn’t help comparing these experiences with those of Apple products. The packaging design of Apple products is known to be minimal…aesthetically pleasing. But its more than that – its about ease of use. The Magic Mouse for example was just this:
The Magic Mouse my cost several times more than the Logitech one – but it was totally worth it. I guess this aspect of packaging – the unboxing part, is the one where manufacturers need to pay more attention. All the effort seems to be on the aesthetics, the visual appeal. According to a New York Times article (hat tip to @chupcap for sending this):
Amazon has been trying to get manufacturers to adopt “frustration-free packaging” that gets rid of plastic cases and air-bubble wrap — major irritants for consumers and one of Amazon’s biggest sources of customer complaints.
I can understand caution when it comes to packaging especially for online delivery – the stuff has to stay in tact. But with stuff picked off the shelf like the Logitech mouse, do they have to resort to such extreme measures and make the first interaction with the product an unpleasant one?