mark cerqueira well-rounded nerd

Data Plans, Mysterious Fruits, and Ice Cream!

This past August, Verizon reworked their wireless data plan offerings. Here’s how they sold them.

My thoughts?

  • What fruit is used for the 3 GB plan? My best guess is a hairless coconut. Also, why does this mysterious fruit not cast a shadow like the other fruits?
  • The “Best for” cases will only confuse customers. What does it mean to use “Facebook once in a while?” Am I a “gamer” needing extra data if all I play is offline games? And then there’s the stupid obvious: of course “big-time data users” pick the beefiest plan.
  • Why are the leaves of the pineapple clipped on top!?
  • The fruit analogy is a bit forced. Yes, a watermelon is heavier than an orange. But fruits have varying prices per pound. For example, take a watermelon and a weight-equivalent amount of avocados; the avocados will cost more. You’re literally comparing apples to oranges, but the apples are watermelons in this case. That said, if you overanalyze everything, everything is a bit forced.

I took a screenshot of this and months later finally sat down to write this post. Fortunately, revisiting this page today I saw Verizon made many positive tweaks to this page!

  • Everyone knows this absolute truth: ice cream is one of the best things ever. Fruit is nice, but ice cream is infinitely better. For the record, if the new version had used vegetables, I’d lose it.
  • My guess at the flavors: Strawberry, French Vanilla, Matcha Green Tea, Blueberry, and Vanilla Bean.
  • The header changed from “One plan. Four sizes.” to “One plan. Pick a size.” Adding a call to action helps guide users to the ultimate goal: helping them pick a data plan.
  • Using scoops of ice cream to differentiate plans is simple and natural. More scoops means you get more ice cream, but you’ll pay more. Everyone’s gone through this experience (some more than others) when buying ice cream.
  • Scoops are also just more aesthetically pleasing. They are coherent. A single scoop of Strawberry next to a double scoop of Strawberry and Vanilla will always look more natural versus a watermelon sitting next to a pineapple.
  • The “Best for” in the original version was a brave, but foolish endeavor. Removing it completely was a good move.
  • Some people will always go with the most expensive option and Verizon loses nothing someone uses 1 GB of the 18 GB XXL plan. Adding an XXL option will impact revenue in positive ways.
  • I don’t like chocolate, but most people love chocolate. Is there a kindred chocolate-hater on the Verizon team that refused to add a scoop of chocolate to even their 5-scoop XXL cone!?
  • As scoops are added across plans, the new scoops somehow magically get added UNDER the previous scoop. See how 1 GB is a scoop of Strawberry, but 3 GB has a scoop of French Vanilla UNDER (and not OVER) the scoop of Strawberry? It’s a bit unnatural and quite unnerving for this ice cream lover.

In short: I thought the fruity implementation was a bad joke, but I’m actually quite fond of and impressed with the ice cream implementation. It works well. Kudos to the Verizon design team!