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Who Designed This Crap? Product Packaging, Where's My Chainsaw?

Cut, Cut, Gash, Gash

Mobile computers and accessories are cool. However the way they're packaged is a real horror show, almost literally. With impenetrable shipping envelopes and boxes as well as plastic blister packs sealed tighter than most tombs, it seems like vendors really don't want you to get to their products.

I have it on good authority that back in the "good old days" most shipping boxes were sealed with a little plastic tape and things like notebook security locks came in packaging you could open with one hand. Nowadays you need a pair of strong hands and a scissors or better yet metal cutters to open many shipping boxes and most product packages. Sometimes my frustration rises to the point where I'm ready to take a chainsaw to the fool things, caring no longer that I might slice the product itself into many pieces in the process of opening the package.

Consumer Reports tested a bunch of different kinds of packages for toys and such a holiday season or two ago. It found that opening some toy packages could take the average adult as long as 20 minutes. And, the opening process often opened a few cuts and gashes on the opener's fingers and other appendages.

So, what's happened? Why is it so hard to open shipping boxes and product packages? When it comes to shipping boxes, there are three reasons: theft, careless shippers and brain dead designers. For product packaging the answer is fairly simple: theft and brain dead designers. Let's take a look at some of the really screwy packaging "solutions" that shippers and vendors have designed.

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