Friday, October 22, 2010

"Plastic surgery," industrial version :(

I just bought two Foxcroft® Wrinkle-Free long-sleeved shirts from Appleseeds. Check out the colors here--the white one is, well, white, but the rose violet one is absolutely gorgeous, and a perfect color for me, since I look good in anything mauve or rose-colored.

But the packaging? Oy, don't ask. :(

Apparently, some efficiency expert has come up with the allegedly brilliant idea that the quick and easy way to pack shirts into plastic bags is to fasten them shut in the folded position with the same kind of I-shaped plastic fasteners that are used to attach a price tag to a garment. Even worse, the plastic fasteners used are less than 1/2 inch long, much shorter than price-tag fasteners, which results in the customer having a hold-your-breath moment while attempting to cut them: slip of the scissors = shredded shirt. :( It took me about 10 minutes just to unpack the two blouses.

I find "user-resistant" packaging more than an annoyance. I believe that it shows a total disregard for the convenience, and even the health and safety, of consumers. Some months ago, I bought refill brushes for our Sonicare electric toothbrush, and actually cut myself getting the brushes out of the stiff plastic packaging material, which is quite sharp-edged when cut. As far as I can see, there's no way to open this package without cutting it and risking getting cut. Does Sonicare want to be sued? More recently, I bought more refill brushes, and found that I had to first use the point of the scissors to punch a hole in the packaging, then cut the packaging in four different places in order to remove the brushes. This was roughly a ten-minute project.

In all seriousness, what's going to happen when I get older and more arthritic? Will I have to pay a person to come to my home once a week and open all of my packages?

Bottom line: Packaging designers should spend less time figuring out how to protect products and more time figuring out how to protect people!

Note: This post is the newest addition to my "design" series.


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