A few years ago I bought an inflatable air mattress that had a giant plastic/electronic tag attached to it. There was no way to pull the tag off by hand, so I used a hack saw to cut it off. While cutting it off, I sliced through the tip of my finger and bled all over the air mattress. Then I found out the air mattress was the wrong size because they had packed it in the wrong box. I tried to return the mattress to the department store but they refused to take it back because it had blood on it. I still have the too-small air mattress in my garage.
rob, thanks for that list. My fave is those potato chip bags. I use scissors. My second fave is your number 4--it's called clamshell packaging and is practically indestructible. I keep a special pair of "junk" scissors to use on them and other tough plastics, since cutting them open ruins scissors for use on lighter materials like paper. A box cutter also works, but you're more likely to slice your thumb off using them.
Laughing over here ,,,, actually co-miserating with your "too-familiar" scenarios. My contention has always been with the generic pharmaceuticals. (See the earlier post, just below: Container Engineering vs. the Actual Product) .
But secure plastic packaging IS the American Paradigm. Think about it: what would you think of a product (particularly an electronic device of any kind) if it WASN'T marketed knee-deep in clear wrap, Styrofoam and 4-color box – all of which gets thrown away, yet drives up the product cost. Particularly the accessories, like the AC adapter. If its not packaged in a clear plastic bag, our culture doesn't consider it "new". We've been programmed since childhood.
@WILLIAM K: When those sorts of packages are really fun is when you finally get into it and discover the product is damaged, the wrong size or any other reason you may want to return it. Trying to repack the item is impossible. Convincing the clerk that you did not damage the item when opening up the package can also be a challenge. Quite often the solution is to put it away and try to recoup some of your money at a future garage/yard sale.
It should not take more than a few seconds with a sharp knife to trim the runner remains so that they never catch in the threads, but there may be more to it than that, since the perforated top would not naturally be in the concave mode, I would not think.
As for the plastic packaging on glasses, batteries, and whatever else, that is what a sharp pocket knife is for. But you must stow it in your checked bag when you fly, and even there it may well be stolen.
The secret of opening many of those packages is to use scissors and simply trim off the heat sealed seam that holds the two sections togather. Of course some items do seem to be sealed tight enough, probably for anti-theft protection, so that it does take quite a bit of time to open them. For those items, more patient trimming of the packaging with the sharp scissors, or, "snips", the ones that can cut metal, is in order. Using a lot of force with a box cutter is almost always the wrong choice.
The worst one I've come across, robatnorcross, is the plastic anti-theft package for non-prescription eyeglasses that you can buy from the local Walgreens. The idea is to keep shoppers from placing the glasses on their nose and walking out with them. The problem is that it takes a steak knife to saw through the package, after which you may have damaged the glasses or damaged your hand.
I've always thought that there was a special place in Hell for packaging designers.For example:
1- The potato chip bags that tear half way down the side no matter how carefull you are to only open the top.
2- One serving cracker packages that you can't open with out a pair of vice grips or a box knife.
3- CD and DVD "seals" that could confuse a safe cracker because you can't open the damned things in the car without tools and have to wait until you get home.
4- Those clear hard plastic 3d things (don't know what to exactly to call them) that things like D cells and drill bits from Home Depot come in that requires you to use a utility knife to completely destroy while slitting your fingers with the plastic sharp edges. These should come with a couple of band aids included to stop the bleeding.
5- Things packaged in what ever the plastic film is that has an electro static charge so strong that it clings to your fingers and you can't get rid of it.
6- That "foamed-in-place" goo that if the plastic film breaks it leaks into the product, hardens and ruins the product inside.
7- Shampoo bottles that have the little four pronged "protection" seal thing under the cap that is impossible to remove if you're already in the shower.
Beth, I forgot to mention one of the side benefits of this style container. When used over a steaming pot of whatever you are cooking, when done properly a sufficient amount of steam will enter the holes to cause clumping of the product. In which case I refer you back to the ice pick I mentioned in the original posting.
It is not only blood pressure affected by salt. Google Menier's Syndrome. I am mostly on a sodium free diet now (my wife uses the popcorn salt) and unless you have tried it, one has no idea of how hard it is to avoid sodium in prepared food. Even cooking it yourself with no salt added, it can be hard. Look at the sodium content on uncooked chicken breasts or whole turkeys.
On the other hand it has advantages, none of which has to do with taste, and I cannot recall what the others are. I know I must be healthier, but I sure have discovered that the majority of low sodium foods are higher in calories. I do not know why, but it has been my experience.
What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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