The Vicarious Pleasure of Unboxing
Virtually every project I work on involves gaining an understanding of the OOBE - the out-of-box-experience. What is it like to take the product out of the box for the first time, look through the manual, and get everything set up and configured the first time. This has become an area of increased attention for many manufacturers over the last few years, partly because they realize it’s an important element of overall customer satisfaction, and because a well-done OOBE can reduce costly product returns due to users not being able to properly set up and use the product the first time.
Thanks to the web we have seen an increasing number of OOBE’s documented by the product purchasers. The spectacular original iPod packaging in particular prompted several people to post photos showing the multiple steps involved in unboxing the iPod.
Now a site has come along dedicated entirely to this activity. It’s called, not surprisingly, unboxing.com. “Share in the unboxing ceremony!” is their motto, and points to how the OOBE has become more fetishistic and elaborate as more attention has become focused on it. For those of us that need to do quick comparative studies of OOBE’s, this is like manna from heaven!