1" Short from Getting it Right

Let's take a look at the packaging.

Sandwich package, closed

It's actually a rather neat package, airline-wise, as it allows easy and space-savvy stacking in the tight, space-hungry aircraft environment. It might be not entirely environment-friendly, but it sure helps storing and handling. And it looks stylish, Italian name and all (What? On KLM flights? Never mind).

Sandwich package, stacked

Anyway, the usual scenario goes like this. Just when you are about to fall asleep you receive your sandwich package from the friendly flight assistant, so you fumble to open up your small tray table, you mumble a 'mmthnkya', and you get ready to eat your share of global food. The package looks friendly and easy enough. That little extra plastic jutting out on the left corner says 'pull me' in a soft soothing voice. It's aligned with the way we are supposed to scan the package, in a left-to-right fashion reinforced by the writing and the labeling. This is also consistent, ergonomically, with the majority of us being right-handed. Opening it up in your tight little personal bubble doesn't feel too constrained or cumbersome. Cool. You do it.

Sandwich package, being opened

The foils comes away easily, the package deflates in that reassuring way that drives away all fears of botolinum and you smile that 'see, it was the altitude, I told you' kind of smile. And obviously, since the package peels from left to right, you tend to eat the sandwiches on the left first. You may even consider not stripping away the protective plastic foil at once, as you never know what to do with it then. And here disaster strikes.

Sandwich package, miserably falling on one side

The package falls miserably to the right as it gets unbalanced. And if it was too close to the tray edge, it is probably already resting on your dress, suit or shoes. Well, you say, after all it's just a plastic sandwich package for airline use, for heaven's sake. Mh. I beg to differ. First, that's precisely the situation where you do not want this kind of things to happen, since you may spill pesto sauce or chili dip on your lap quite easily and do not get to have extra clean pants for nightclubbing until you are back from Hong Kong, which kinds of spoil the fun. Second, the package actually can stand even while you are eating away. Check this:

Sandwich package, proudly standing

No tricks. In this picture it's just that the sandwich on the right was the first to go. In terms of user experience, the only real issue is the peeling: it should go from right to left, and not left to right. A rather trivial change at basically no added cost can make a great difference as far as your social life on the plane and in Hong Kong is concerned.

And for the sake of being picky, it would require just a little extra to make it even more visible and affordable with a little color, to win over that extra-resistance to actually open it up with your left hand. And finally, the plastic foil could be glued in the middle as well, where the package is split in two, to state the idea of 'eat these first' even more. Honest to God I'll stop falling for it and would not need a stain remover from the flight assistant ever again.

My Dad's portable Underwood
Let's get banzai on KLM. They have this plain sandwich package they serve to passengers on European flights. It's a decently tasting line of sandwiches, and they even manage to have a fair turn-around so if you travel frequently you actually get to taste a number of different recipes, but that's not the point.

Big rock small rock

Information architecture, way-finding, user experience, and design.

Usability banzai

Title says it all. The Takeshi's Castle of web site usability

Life in the tech lane

I used to be a sysadmin, and I still rsync now and then.

Daglig Svenska

The undersea adventures of getting settled in Sweden. Just details from a very small picture.