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Saraswati

Worst Design Ever? Plastic Clamshell Packaging

created over 2 years ago | Tagged: esteem, design, packaging, corporate hating, commerce, annoying, clamshell,

Sally

Rebecca Rosen writes that if you've recently opened up — or, more specifically, tried to open up — a CFL light bulb, you can sympathize with the question posted on Quora last year, 'What is the worst piece of design ever done?' The site's users have given resounding support to one answer: plastic clamshell packaging. 'Design should help solve problems' — clamshells are supposed to make it harder to steal small products and easier for employees to arrange on display — but this packaging, says Anita Schillhorn, makes new ones, such as time wasted, frustration, and the little nicks and scrapes people incur as they just try to get their damn lightbulb out. The problem is so pervasive there is even a Wikipedia page devoted to 'wrap rage,' 'the common name for heightened levels of anger and frustration resulting from the inability to open hard-to-remove packaging.' Amazon and Wal-Mart are prodding more manufacturers to change their packaging to cut waste. 'We've gotten e-mails from customers who've purchased scissors in a clamshell, which would require another pair of scissors to open the package,' says Nadia Shouraboura, Amazon's vice president of global fulfillment. Other worthy answers to the Quora question include the interfaces on most microwaves, TV remotes, New York City's parking signs, and pull-handles on push-only doors, but none gained even close to the level of popular repudiation that clamshells received."

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