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Submission + - Worst Design Ever? Plastic Clamshell Packaging 1

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Rebecca Rosen writes that iIf you've recently opened up — or, more specifically, tried to open up — an CFL light bulb, you can sympathize with the question posted on Quora last year, "What is the worst piece of design ever done?" to which 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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Worst Design Ever? Plastic Clamshell Packaging

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  • There's a variation on the clamshell that has a one-time tearopen pre-perforated in back. Saw it on a universal car charger/flashlight that I bought recently. Because it makes a lot of noise when opened, it helps with pilferage control. Its easy opening solves the frustration without doing a damn thing about the waste. I make a point of opening these things at the cash and leaving the packaging behind. Sorry if you have to wait in line behind me, but stores have to learn somehow.

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford