The UX of contact lenses containers

How is the UX of contact lenses containers? It’s easy to overlook what we use daily, and yet everyday things are usually the most frustrating ones.

A few months ago, I switched my multipurpose lens solution from a famous brand to an off-brand. Everything went smoothly, until I put the right lens into my left eye, and viceversa.

This little mishap prompted me to understand what went wrong. Of course, I might have been sleepier than usual, or still used to the other brand’s containers. The fact is, I thought my eyesight deteriorated significantly overnight (ouch!).

Comparing Contact Lenses Containers

Something was off. After a quick search (the link opens a DuckDuckGo search window), I found out that the containers look very similar – excluding the novelty ones. They usually have two colours and one letter on at least one lid, just like the one I was using.

Off-brand contact lenses container
Off-brand contact lenses container
Famous-brand contact lenses container
Famous-brand contact lenses container

The colours of the lids are switched, and the letters on the off-brand lids are thinner.

An important detail that is missing from the off-brand container is the curved shape of the bottom of the single containers.

These details affect the UX of the contact lenses containers. How?

UX and Usability Considerations

One important consideration is for people with colour blindness. Either they won’t be able to recognise the colour, or it’ll be less meaningful to them.

Another important consideration is about the typeface. For many, it’ll be tricky to distinguish which letter is on the lid when the typeface is too thin or small.

The curved shape is significant because it makes it possible to tell which side should be in front of the person through a visual and tactile experience.

The shape and the letter L for left combined with the colour of the right lid are the crucial elements that define the user experience of the contact lenses container. When their implementation is correct, I know that I’m going to apply my lenses correctly.

Conclusions

Always give people more than one way to achieve their goals, and avoid relying on non-universal features like colour.

Sometimes, sticking to pre-existing conventions is good, but it doesn’t necessarily mean never to innovate. Give people enough clues and test, test, test.

The inspiration for this posts series comes from the best-selling book The Design of Everyday Things by Donald A. Norman. It’s a compelling read for anyone interested in design, psychology and understanding what makes the user experience of everyday things good as opposed to bad.

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