The Personal Disquiet of

Mark Boulton

Small is beautiful

– November 21st, 2006 –

{title}When I left the BBC a few months ago, they were kind enough to give me an Amazon voucher with which I bought a new Apple iPod Shuffle.

Well, Amazon took two months to actually get the stock in from Apple (don’t know whose fault that was, but the delivery date kept on going back and back with no word from either party.) But all that aside, I received it yesterday and it’s a little thing of beauty.

The Unpackaging Experience

I’m sure Apple have dedicated a lot of time, energy and money into this aspect of buying an Apple product. It’s a really important one. I was talking to the Wife about it ages ago and she was saying it’s similar to buying really nicely packaged clothes or cosmetics. I guess what I’m saying is, the retail experience doesn’t stop when you leave the store.

I decided to document my unpackaging experience (the limited photos are over on Flickr). It was good but there was one slight glitch. It took me longer than I thought to work out how to open the plastic container. I then noticed this little sticky out sticker bit. All was good. I could get at my Shuffle.

Partial to green

Now, you know I like green. The previous Shuffle used a lime green in the branding and on the product. This has been carried through again to the packaging, branding and product of the new Shuffle. It’s all black, white and green (except for the silver of the Shuffle itself).

The proof is in the pudding

The new Shuffle itself is great. Really tiny and sits well in its little dock. The new earphones are great with much better sound and comfort than the previous models. So, all in all, as you’d expect from Apple. However, I’ve got one gripe. The controls are 90 degrees the wrong way.

If you clip the Shuffle to your trousers, all the controls are facing the wrong way. Also, the interface assumes you are going to clip it to your body on your right hand side (on the edge of a jacket or pocket for example), so all the controls are the right way up and you can get at the on/off switch etc. But doesn’t this mean you’d use your left hand to clip pit there? The natural place for my iPod is in the inside left pocket of my coat. Maybe I’m being a touch picky.

Well, tomorrow will be the proof. I’m heading off to Spain for the day for a client meeting and I’m just going to take the Shuffle for company. We’ll see after two flights and two bus journeys if the Shuffle still holds up.

Filed in: design, personal.

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