Wednesday, March 1, 2023

A Better Box?

You always hear museum folks say, "Think outside the box!"

But what if we just need better boxes?  This came to mind recently as I encountered the "better box" that my mother-in-law's new blue iMac computer came in.

Once you opened the exterior brown cardboard shipping box, the white box inside containing the actual computer started us down a delightful little design path.  

First off, as you spun the box around, each section was printed with a photographic view of the iMac inside -- as if you were seeing "through" the box to view the front, back, and sides (see images at the top of this post and below.)  the box practically begged you to open it!

When you flipped open the iMac's box, the very first thing you were greeted with was the word "hello" printed on the removable paper screen cover.  A friendly welcome to the set-up process and a clever throwback to the opening screen message on the very first Macintosh computer.  

Those two arrows on either side orient you and show you what to do next -- to reveal the computer inside like opening the curtains on either side of a stage.

Once you lift the computer out of its cardboard cradle, you see some clear graphic indicators of where your peripherals, like the mouse and keyboard and cables, are located.

But did Apple just throw all the loose peripherals into a cardboard void?  Of course not!  Each component is carefully placed into sections arranged like a Bento box.

Initial delight followed by an orientating welcome capped off by clear, clean graphics showing thoughtful directions and details?  

I think that's just the sort of  "better box" that can frame all sorts of visitor interactions inside museums -- from the lobby entrance sequence to the labels and graphics inside a highly-interactive exhibition space.

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Paul Orselli writes the posts on ExhibiTricks. Paul likes to combine interesting people, ideas, and materials to make exhibits (and entire museums!) with his company POW! (Paul Orselli Workshop, Inc.) Let's work on a project together!

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