Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Design for "Accessability"

Who hasn't encountered a product wrapped in such a way that it takes all your might to get it out of its packaging? The worst I have encountered are the hard plastic packaging that is molded around the product. You need to cut the plastic with a pair of scissors to get it off. The edges are so sharp, most often you get injured trying to cut this thing off. And, to top it all, you end up cutting the user manual that is hidden inside the packaging.

Packaging seems to have gone from Tamper-proof to Impossible-to-open.

These impossible-to-open packaging have become the common staple of our packaging industry. I don't know if they do it to protect us (which they are obviously not doing) or to protect the product (what harm would a pair of scissors get into, if not packed this way?).

What happened to the nice "pull me" plastic string sticking out of the plastic packaging of the yesteryear CDs? It was so convenient to pull the string and tear through the whole shrink packaging in one shot. It was a pleasure to unpack those CDs. They served their purpose of protecting the CD as well as sealing it from tampering. They also served their purpose of being easy to remove.

It looks like this kind of packaging was conceived to protect from shoplifting, but I don't see a shoplifter shying away from a product just because it is wrapped in impossible-to-open packaging. All this is doing is push away prospective buyers to products that are more elegantly packaged.