Anyone who's purchased anything from Apple in the last decade knows how beautiful an experience unboxing their products is. In fact, there's a small team at Apple who take the subject very, very seriously.
Network World has been rooting through Adam Lashinsky's upcoming book, Inside Apple, and found some wonderful insights into why its packaging is so good. In fact, hidden away at Apple's HQ is a secretive packaging room only accessible to a select few. What goes on in there? According to Lashinsky:
To fully grasp how seriously Apple executives sweat the small stuff, consider this: For months, a packaging designer was holed up in this room performing the most mundane of tasks - opening boxes.
I guess to make a box that's a joy to open, you have to open a lot of boxes. That's why that same room is sometimes filled with hundreds — hundreds! — of prototype boxes, all made by Apple's designers. Again, according to Lashinsky, Apple always wants to use the box that elicits the perfect emotional response on opening. I feel manipulated. Anyway, to get those boxes so emotive, a lot of work's involved, explains Lashinsky:
One after another, the designer created and tested an endless series of arrows, colours, and tapes for a tiny tab designed to show the consumer where to pull back the invisible, full-bleed sticker adhered to the top of the clear iPod box. Getting it just right was this particular designer's obsession.
What's more, it wasn't just about one box. The tabs were placed so that when Apple's factory packed multiple boxes for shipping to retail stores, there was a natural negative space between the boxes that protected and preserved the tab.
I come away from this thinking two things. First, I'm glad that this happens. Rightly or wrongly, I still get excited whenever I open an Apple product. In fact, I get a little excited when anyone opens something from Apple. Second: I'm glad I'm not an Apple packaging designer. [Network World]