Archive for October, 2007

Yes or No


I bought movie tickets from one of those automated ticketing kiosks last weekend. While the user interface certainly won’t win any design awards, it seems pretty functional. But one screen always sticks out to me: the part where it asks you to swipe your loyalty card. This would be fine, except I don’t have such […]

For the second day in a row, I’m going to talk about product packaging. Today’s question: Why aren’t more packages resealable? I’ve seen this feature on raisins, cheese, and other small items (both perishable and non-perishable), but never on bigger things like bags of pretzels or tortilla chips. Working on the assumption that the CPG […]

Virtually every box of cereal, crackers, and other packaged foods has some sort of disclaimer that the box might not be “full” when you open it. Why? The contents may have “shifted” or “settled” during shipping. But since these items are sold by weight and not volume, the story goes, we as consumers shouldn’t concern […]

Broken promises


I read an article a while back about how some companies are paying design firms to make their billing statements easier-to-read. From what I recall, the goal is to reduce the chance that people will misunderstand the bill or miss key information like the due date. Thus, they will be more likely to pay the […]

Some companies love to tell you what you can’t have. Northwest Airlines is one of them. When selecting a seat, you are presented with at least three different groups of seats that you can’t select. Some of these are only for special frequent flyers, other aren’t available until one day before the flight, etc. There’s […]

I’m often frustrated by the number of businesses that don’t accept American Express. When you try to use Amex, they look at you like you just presented a bundle of sheep’s wool or some fresh berries or a bottle of goat’s milk. “I’m sure they’ll use another credit card,” the merchant thinks, while rudely saying […]

I have a new pick for the most useless error message. Some web-based apps are using the phrase “Your browser is not optimized”. What they actually mean is, “We don’t support your browser so you should switch to another one.”. Why can’t they just tell you that? Beats me. Maybe they don’t want to come […]