Great Design Knows When to Stop

This post is really more of a rant than anything else BUT it does have a point. We can all learn a valuable lesson from the disaster of the ‘Deluxe Collectors Edition’…

When I was 11 or so I bought Titanic on DVD, at the time the Deluxe Collectors edition was on sale at the same price as the ordinary version. I was persuaded to get the collectors edition because with all those extra features it was clearly the best value for money!

Big mistake! 

The issue with this DVD is that they have simply added too much. They have added so many features that the film no longer fits on one disc.

Let that sink in for a moment before I go through the devastating  implications.

Due to the large amount of special features and behind the scenes stuff included on the discs in the Collectors edition, just as Mr Andrews declares the sinking of the ship a “…mathematical certainty…”,  the screen goes blank and the message “Please insert Disc 2”, pops up… Nightmare. I then have to get up, remove the disc, insert the second one and then go through the myriad of menus before I get to rejoin the Jack and Rose.

This is far from ideal. This process though not that long or difficult really ruins the drama of the moment, and importantly causes this DVD to fail at the one thing it was supposed to succeed at!

A DVD has one job- to allow you to watch the film that’s on it.

I think this is the perfect illustration of when less is more. Sometimes designers think that they need to keep adding more to their products to make them stand out. They add more controls, more compartments, and in this case more commentaries until the entire product becomes cluttered and the primary function has gotten completely lost.

Anyone can see that for this collection of DVD’s they should have simply put all the special features and ‘behind the scenes’ videos on the other 3, available discs and left the first one free to host just the film, because at the end of the day people don’t buy a film for the pleasure of watching the alternative ending…


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