Tuesday, November 17, 2009

User experience: CD packaging

Today at Target, I picked up the new CD from Flight of the Conchords, titled I Told You I Was Freaky. I thought I would share the packaging because this is the kind of thing I love to discover when I purchase a CD...
First, the album art is great, and the cover is cut out to reveal the art on the next layer...

Next, you open the cover to reveal a plethora of awesome! A double sided poster, really nice packaging art, and a hilarious CD sleeve with emo pictures of Brett and Jemaine on either side. Plus, the CD itself looks really nice...but that's not all!

I open the booklet to find another surprise...there are also chords printed with the song lyrics! Why has no one done this before? I think it is a really fun touch.

I bought this CD for 9.99 at Target...pretty much the same price you would pay or an electronic download. These are the kind of experiences I was thinking about when I thought of the possiblity of tackling music packaging/user experience for my thesis. This experiece was so much more enjoyable than buying the CD online. If I were a musical artist, I would want my fans to purchase my music with this kind of experience...how can people be encouraged to buy "hard copy" music instead of digital? Is it really something that should be encouraged?

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Having surpassed the halfway point of this co-op quarter, the realization that I graduate in about half a year is hitting me hard....especially the fact that I will begin work on my thesis in January. That being said, I have begun to brainstorm some possible topic areas...this year, we have an overall "theme", which right now is loosely titled Intimacy. Really, the focus is the connection that we have with products as well as the way that products can connect people. I think this is a good topic because it really focuses on emotional design, which I am really interested in.

So far I have two major concept areas: Kids (no suprises there) and Music.

Possible starting points:

-heath: toys to promote health, encourage and educate healthy living. I like this idea but I think it is kind of overdone...maybe there is a new way to approach?
-connectivity: Maybe a system for connecting children in hospitals that are bedridden? Or play therapy?
-kids+music: product/toy that allows music creation/customization, self expression and creativity. "connect" with others to make a band....character based?
-exploration/nature: toy/product to encourage this. Geocaching specific GPS? digital nature log?

-exploring how we buy music...is the CD/album art dead? Is there a product that music can be connected to to encourage sales? I really love having something physical from my music, and I don't want to see the creativity that goes into CD packaging go away.
-How do we enjoy music? headphones, mp3 players, stereos....how can these be improved, altered, changed to create a new product?
-Again, music creation. Is there a "mixer for dummies" or something that anyone can pick up and create beats and mixes?
-karaoke. 'nuff said.

These are just a few initial thoughts, posted here more for me so I remember them...but if you have any comments or think any of these thoughts stand out, leave a comment!