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What if Microsoft designed the iPod box?

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  • User profile image
    Cairo

    brian.shapiro wrote:


    so get off microsofts back about this


    Microsoft made that video, brian.shapiro. But you go ahead and defend Microsoft's designers against... er, Microsoft's marketers?

    Scobelizer wrote:
    It was done by Microsoft marketing for an internal meeting with its designers, I’m told.



  • User profile image
    brian.​shapiro

    Cairo wrote:
    brian.shapiro wrote:

    so get off microsofts back about this


    Microsoft made that video, brian.shapiro. But you go ahead and defend Microsoft's designers against... er, Microsoft's marketers?

    Scobelizer wrote: It was done by Microsoft marketing for an internal meeting with its designers, I’m told.





    yea and if meant as a perfectly serious critique then microsoft marketing should give its designers more credit than that.

    but at any rate microsofts designs arent 'exactly' like that as ive seen some posters say in response to the video.

    and what youre mocking me for pointing out that XPs packaging design was very simple? it was.

  • User profile image
    Karim

    ScanIAm wrote:
    Crist on a cracker....are our lives so empty and hollow that the visceral experience of opening a paper and styrofoam package will somehow fullfil us?  Are we all a bunch of eskimos looking for someone to sell us some ice-cream?


    Who said anything about being "fulfilled?"  You're exaggerating.  I said opening the iPod box made me smile.

    Products have packaging; Apple's packaging just goes above and beyond the call of duty.  It's part of an aesthetic that says even the stuff that "doesn't matter" -- the back of a device, the way the cables are wrapped, the box it comes in -- should get painstaking attention to detail.

    Do you know what is meant by "presentation," in a culinary context?

    Let's say we are all eskimos looking to buy ice cream.  And it's mostly all the same: a lump of frozen milk and sugar.  What flavor?  Cup or cone?  Here ya go, kid.  Plop.  Ok, move along, we got other customers.  NEXT!

    Ice cream, ice cream, ice cream.  It all looks the same, it all tastes the same.  Who cares.

    Except at the Apple ice cream store.

    They don't just dump your ice cream in a cup at the Apple ice cream store.  First they put down a plate.  Then they dust the plate with confectioner's sugar, to make it look like snowdrifts.  Then they stick a couple of minature husky dogs and a sled sculpted out of fondant on one side of the plate.  Then they take your scoop of ice cream, and -- ha! -- it looks exactly like an igloo, like it was made out of little blocks of ice or something -- and they set it down in the middle of the plate.  And then they put a little engraved cardboard sign in front of the dish that says "Enjoy."

    Did they need to do that?  No.

    Will it make the ice cream taste any better?  Probably not.

    Is it nice that someone in this world is so passionate about ice cream that they care about how it's presented?  Yeah, I think so.

    ScanIAm wrote:

    Sorry, Charlie, it does always have to be.  Unless you get stuck in some kind of stasis chamber time-warp, your 5Gig iPod will eventually be as timeless as buggy-whips and whale-blubber reading lamps. 


    The article agrees with you.  It's all temporary.  Hell, we're all temporary.  In the history of the Universe, YOU are about as ephemeral as iPod packaging.  "All men are like grass, and their glory is like the flowers of the fields."  i.e. here one season, gone the next.

    That to me says, make the most of it.  If you have to open a cardboard box, let it be a good cardboard box.  Let it be a cardboard box that makes you smile.  Big Smile

    ScanIAm wrote:

    Self affirmations to the effect of "I've been sold a quality product, look how great the package is" reeks of elitism and auto-erotic brainwashing.


    It's certainly natural to think, if the details are finessed, then the big picture probably is too.  Human beings make superficial assumptions that way.  Good culinary presentation doesn't mean the food's gonna taste good though.

    I don't think elitism plays into it at all:

    This is the point. Detail and nuance and texture and a sense of how users actually feel, what makes them smile, what makes the experience worthy and positive and sensual instead of necessary and drab and evil.

    These are the things that are nearly dead in our mass-consumer culture, things normally reserved for elitist niche markets and swanky boutiques and upscale yuppie Euro spas and maybe cool insider mags like I-D and Metropolis and dwell.  They are most definitely not to be expected of mass-market gadget makers. This is why it matters. This is why it's important.

    They are most definitely not to be expected of mass-market gadget makers. This is why it matters. This is why it's important.

    Oh sure, Apple's elitist. This is the common line.

    ...

    Fewer and fewer manufacturers of consumer landfill crap give a damn for how consumers might actually, dare I say, care about the fit and finish of the products they decide to allow into their lives. And this is exactly the sort of nuanced stuff we so desperately need more of.

  • User profile image
    brian.​shapiro

    Karim,

    You didn't find opening the XP box sort of nice also? ESPECIALLY compared to previous versions of Windows boxes, or boxes for other software.

    And even though I never fully liked XP's luna interface I think it gets hit too much and people ignore that there are a lot of positives in it that would be worth repeating. People also praise the OSX interface while ignoring a lot of bad taste in it. I think this Apple is the god of style and MS is the devil , is just plain wrong

  • User profile image
    Karim

    Mike Dimmick wrote:
    W3bbo wrote: Microsoft designs software boxes like washing detergent:


    Should we be surprised? IIRC Steve Ballmer used to work for Lever Brothers, or Proctor and Gamble (can't recall) marketing soap powder, before he joined Microsoft.


    Note subtle spotlight in background:



    Note subtle spotlight in background:



    Not-so-subtle spotlight in foreground.  ("Think different?")

  • User profile image
    Karim

    brian.shapiro wrote:
    You didn't find opening the XP box sort of nice also? ESPECIALLY compared to previous versions of Windows boxes, or boxes for other software.


    Not especially... I remember being slightly annoyed that there was no CD case, just a foam peg in the cardboard folder that also had the product key plastered to it.  I remember thinking, "Oh great, I gotta keep this whole huge FOLDER now instead of just a CD jewel box."

    The box itself was an ok design... SIX YEARS AGO.  I thought the point of the video was that they can take an "ok" design... and over time... as it is designed by committee... add more and more and MORE crap to it.  The "now includes SP2" triangle is just ugly.  (Who came up with the sliver of cloud???)  Why not just change the color of the box?  Or go with a tiny, discreet "SP2" badge?

    In fairness, I don't remember anything particularly nice about opening a box of OS X either.  It was certainly no iPod box.  And even the current iPod boxes (nano, 5G) are nothing compared to the old iPod cube boxes.  I remember opening my 5G iPod box and thinking, "That's it?  That's all there is to it?  It's just... a box?"  I remember feeling vaguely cheated.  Big Smile

    But, as I tried to say earlier, it's not really about a particular this box or that device... more of an opinion about the overall aesthetic.

    brian.shapiro wrote:

    And even though I never fully liked XP's luna interface I think it gets hit too much and people ignore that there are a lot of positives in it that would be worth repeating. People also praise the OSX interface while ignoring a lot of bad taste in it. I think this Apple is the god of style and MS is the devil , is just plain wrong


    I am pretty much the only person I know who likes Luna... (Didn't Frogdesign do both Mac OS and Luna...?)  I'm just miffed that they left it at Blue, Silver, Olive Green for six years.  Ok I think last year they gave away "Royale" for Tablet PC owners.  <rolleyes>

    I've worked with enough Apple products to know they are less than perfect.  (Do not even get me started on Apple customer service.)  But when it comes to design, they're one of the few companies that really does seem to care.  Their products are by no means perfect, but they seem to really care about ergonomics, making sure things are the right size/weight/proportion, making sure things like the iPod have rounded edges and are comfortable to hold, have tactile or audio feedback, animations, etc. 

    Whereas Microsoft had the Philippe S+ARK mouse... LOL  I can see the meeting now... "We need to prove we can do this design thing, that we're fresh... let's get one of those young hip designers..."

    This was the peak of Microsoft design:



    That was perfect.  LOL

  • User profile image
    buggy123

    Word is that this was made by somebody inside Microsoft, and that they're in hot water now that this has come out.

    If true, that's foolish. Denying the reality is a move from weakness. As is using power to suppress the discussion. Seems like a poor idea to punish people for being talented and expressing dissenting opinions; the obvious lesson for employees and prospects to draw is that Microsoft would rather have a mediocre monoculture.

    Of course, if that's what the execs want, it's easy enough to get.
     

  • User profile image
    Doctor

    I think that this may be a good idea of what we could expect if MS redesigned the packaging for the iPod.

    http://www.stupidvideos.com/video/just_plain_stupid/Microsoft_iPod_Resdesign/?c=&p=2

    Cheers,
    Doctor

  • User profile image
    Stephen

    'Microsoft spokesman Tom Pilla on Tuesday confirmed with iPod Observer that his company initiated the creation of the iPod packaging parody video.' via Digg

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    Karim wrote:
    I am pretty much the only person I know who likes Luna... (Didn't Frogdesign do both Mac OS and Luna...?)  I'm just miffed that they left it at Blue, Silver, Olive Green for six years.  Ok I think last year they gave away "Royale" for Tablet PC owners.  <rolleyes>


    No, Frogdesign came up with the new Windows logo and some WMP skins.

  • User profile image
    Karim

    W3bbo wrote:
    Karim wrote: I am pretty much the only person I know who likes Luna... (Didn't Frogdesign do both Mac OS and Luna...?)  I'm just miffed that they left it at Blue, Silver, Olive Green for six years.  Ok I think last year they gave away "Royale" for Tablet PC owners.  <rolleyes>


    No, Frogdesign came up with the new Windows logo and some WMP skins.


    This page says frog also did "the Windows Start bar," though it's unclear whether they mean "Start Menu" or "Taskbar."  Perplexed

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    Karim wrote:
    This page says frog also did "the Windows Start bar," though it's unclear whether they mean "Start Menu" or "Taskbar." 


    Both are evil.

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