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The Usability Blog
A Practical Guide to User Experience Insights

Even the Bubble Wrap

You’re probably familiar with this process. You order something online, you get a cardboard box in the mail, you open it and throw out the packing materials, find the actual product packaging, then open that and now you have your product. Some might look at that process and decide to focus only on the shopping/ordering process as well as the usage of the product. But that decision relies on the false assumption that the customer experience is a collection of isolated touchpoints.

Image of iPhone in boxRather, the customer experience is a story, and the littlest things can change how users tell that story. Consider how companies like Apple revisited the unboxing of a product to ensure that the experience of opening the box and seeing one’s product for the first time is exciting and exhilarating. It’s clean, simple, and elegant, and stands in stark contrast with products shoved in a box, covered in foam, or buried beneath accessories.

The Fidget Cube

I recently backed the Fidget Cube (by Antsy Labs) on Kickstarter. This is a product that is designed around the idea that people want to fidget, they want to do something with their hands. When I received the package and opened it up, I was surprised and delighted by what I found.

Bubble wrap encourages customer to "pop a few"

In designing this unboxing experience, they chose to use bubble wrap and encourage customers to play with the bubble wrap. It flows so naturally from the product’s purpose. Of course, some people were probably going to play with the bubble wrap anyway. However, this accomplished two key things. One, it conveys to me that the people I purchased this product from really do understand me; they understand the market they’re serving. I know that Antsy Labs knows not just what they’re selling, but why they’re selling it. And two, it’s a cute and charming reminder that put a smile on my face.

Though simple and seemingly non-important, this effort increased my trust in the brand and my satisfaction with the product. It’s also noteworthy and unique and influences how I tell people about the product when they see it in my hand and ask about it. It’s part of the story I tell, and even the littlest things impact that story. Even the bubble wrap.

-Matt Daughtry, Manager of Customer Success, Usability Sciences


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