Usability of PackagingBy Denis M. Sweeney
February 14, 2012
My desk is not an uncluttered surface, and I know I'm not alone. Today, I happened to have both of these fine products on my desk today... Afrin nasal inhaler and Gorilla Glue... both about the same size and shape... what could possibly go wrong?!
|Reach for that and spray it up your nose...What could possibly go wrong?|
In the usability world, we try to establish and stick to a logical set of rules so users aren't surprised by buttons where they don't expect them, or doing steps in an odd order.
The other big glue product that comes to mind is Elmer's Glue-All. --How does it compare?
Elmer's glue does sport the same basic shape, but what it has going for it, is that the orange part of the cap is not removable, and its iconic, bright colors make it unmistakable as glue.
|Our old friend, Elmer's Glue|
If Gorilla Glue shipped with a stay-on cap, I think that would go a long way to avoiding possible confusion.
I know the Darwin Award fans among us believe that mistakes like this "thin out the herd" but I think the responsibility falls on the manufacturer to make their product packaging unique to address this kind of issue.
Stupid stuff does happen, all the time, to everyone. All I'm saying is that manufacturers should think about this kind of thing. Clearly there isn't a government agency responsible for checking to see whether medicine and glue manufacturers are using the same/similar packaging but it should be on somebody's radar.
Just as I'm completing my rant, I was adding some links to the companies mentioned in here, and what do I find?! --Gorilla Glue now comes with a new "anti-clog" cap!
|Shocking new cap design!|
Gorilla Glue's angle is that it prevents clogs, and I'm sure it does, but I think the larger point is that the shape of the bottle and the experience of opening it, is unique to the glue, and isn't at all like using a nasal spray anymore. Well done sir; well done.
I am still pretty happy that I didn't spray glue up my nose, nor did I attempt to fasten objects together with 12-hour nasal spray.
The universe is, once again, in balance.