The Vital Impact of the Unboxing Experience.
Digital imagery is dominating our brainwaves. Everywhere we look we see flat panels of electrified OLEDs filled with rich images. We engage with more interactive digital content and broadcast from anywhere in the world than we read on the printed page. When was the last time you found yourself without an electronic device to help pass the time? These devices are extremely efficient at connecting us with goods and create desire for those goods. But what happens when we get this object of desire on our doorstep? Is that where our consumer experience ends? Or is it just the beginning?
The effect of shape in hand
Viewed from one perspective, a structural design will look flat. Considering only the x and y values in the design to communicate a creative idea is somewhere in the middle of the process. First, we must understand what final shape this design will take in the physical world. We ask ourselves:
- How will the shape impact the human that encounters it?
- How will that human interact with the unboxing experience?
- How is the product being revealed during this experience?
- Will the unboxing experience itself support the story of the product that was used to sell it?
Digital technology attempts to persuade us that a simulated reality can be as convincing as the real world by eliciting emotional responses from us as the observer. But putting actual human hands on a created object makes us participants. If the emotional response as an observer does not line up with the physical and emotional responses as a participant, then the product has a much lower probability of success. How many times have you been disappointed when you received a product that did not meet your expectations? Perhaps the quality was not there, or the packaging was shoddy and torn. “Don’t want it anymore,” or “Not as expected,” or “Damaged” are prominent reasons for returns.
As with much of what we work on, intent defines the tools necessary for success. If a digital creation of pixels, constructed by a program like Adobe Photoshop, is all we intend to create, a tool set with no simulated physics in its core programming would be adequate. However, if our intention for this digital creation is to exist in the physical world, software programs specifically created to output vector numerical data are required. These programs can even simulate the substrate characteristics that will be used in the production process. As a result, the 3D modeling we do can virtually test the integrity of the design by folding the simulated material into its intended end shape. This type of modeling is extremely important to the efficacy and integrity of the design; as you can plot the unboxing experience, the creative, and content that goes along with it.
Delivering the promise
So, the next time you pick up an object in a store or receive that package on your doorstep, think about the quality of the steps it takes you to get to your physical reward. How this reward is presented will set an expectation that we barely understand. Neuroscience is complex, but most of us admit we judge by first impression. A great structural unboxing experience for a consumer product can deliver on the promise of that product and contribute substantively to its success.
If you want to know more about the structural design process and how our team can help create this success for your goods, please reach out.
Now if you will excuse me, I just got some packages delivered by Amazon, gotta do some unboxing!