So what’s up with an envelope?
Such an outdated thing in a digital age of email and social media, right? I know, who uses an envelope these days?
Actually, you still use envelopes quite often even in today’s world even though many things have moved to a digital world. Sending checks, submitting application forms and so on.
With a traditional envelope, typically, you would have to lick the edge of a flip to “activate” the adhesive in order to seal it.
Licking an envelope has never been a pleasant experience for me. But I did it anyway, since that still seemed the easiest way compared to other ways, like rushing to a bathroom or a kitchen sink and so on.
Here’s Office Depot LIFT & PRESS envelope. Interesting thing is that it has a second flip on the other side of the envelope.
According to their description, “We use the patented Reveal-N-Seal technology & envelope design. To seal, lift up the lower flap to expose the strong adhesive. Then press the top flap down to bond the envelope closed.”
Another point is that there’s “no removable paper strips to throw away”, which is nice too.
Now, this is nothing super-advanced technologically. Everything is old school. But I think it’s a brilliant idea.
It’s just a slight modification from an ancient product that we are so used to using for ages. And yet, this small modification changed the user experience of sealing an envelope simpler, and most importantly, much more pleasant than it used to be.
The point here is that user experience is not just about fancy digital user interfaces that looks super-cool.
In fact, any products, any services will trigger user experience of some sort, whether physical or digital, old or new.
Also, user experience does not have to be about cutting-edge innovative technology. Actually user experience itself is nothing to do with technology.
User experience designer’s job is to solve a user’s problem and make the user experience better, easier, simpler, more pleasant and delightful.
That’s what this envelope is exactly doing. This envelope illustrates that even a mundane, ancient product could have a room to improve the user experience without any cutting-edge technology.
A practical, creative idea can make a huge impact on our everyday lives, potentially with just a slight modification of an existing thing.
And I think that’s great.
That’s one of great values that UX designers can bring to the table.