Lean Pocket Info Fail

lean pocket info fail

cooking instruction fail

cooking instruction fail


Please take my word that I’m not entirely proud to be publishing my Lean Pocket experience because I doubt most people care about my eating habits. But I think by explaining what happened from an information failure perspective I hope people that are designing food websites might realize why someone would actually go to the site in the first place. My story is pretty simple, I was hungry, there wasn’t much food around and I didn’t feel like ordering in. I went to the freezer and grabbed a single doughy thing that I could microwave. To my amazement the cardboard slip to cook the doughy thing had instructions into how to place it in the box, but not the actual time to microwave it. I also wasn’t the person that originally bought it so I had no idea who made the thing. There was zero branding from the outside. Figuring that I had nothing to loose I opened it. I was a bit surprised to find out that on the inside of the box there was indeed branding of who made it and a url. Thinking that a food website would actually have instruction on how to cook the thing I went to the site. Clicking on http://www.leanpockets.com left me confused. It was overly art directed trying to be “smart” when all it needs to be is informative. I took a guess that I needed to go to products though food would have been a more appropriate title. When’s the last time you ate a product? I did end up finding my food but all the page contained was nutritional info, even the FAQ’s didn’t have the simple cooking instructions on how long to microwave it. So after wasting a bunch of time on a product site that didn’t even contain the info to cook said product I placed my Lean Pocket in the microwave, pressed the number 2 and hoped for the best. After the two minutes was up—it was cooked thoroughly but I couldn’t help but think that 90 seconds would have been better. I only wonder what the info suggested the cooking time to be.

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  • kleinpaste

    I have been in the same situation before. I think I ended up Googling it, after going to the companies website and thinking 'no way I'm going to find what I need.' Definitely a big hole/missed opportunity in the brand architecture and execution if a customer would choose to go to a website other than the companies to get general product or food information (not product reviews).

    PS. I really enjoy your flow charts and mind maps.

  • http://designnotes.info/ michaelsurtees

    baffling isn't it? it's always the most important info that's taken for granted…

  • http://www.designtank.ws/ Chris Raymond

    Michael, LOL–I was JUST having this same internal dialogue this week about the same issue–they sell these things 2 to a package. Naturally, you probably bring one to work, like I do. So then you try to figure out how long they need to cook, and you, like me, find zippo instructions. If they can print the folding info on the sleeve, they can put the cooking instructions on it. A failure in information design, for sure.