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According to a recent Which? survey1 more than two-thirds of people in the UK are suffering from ’Wrap rage’ and get frustrated when trying to unwrap or open packaging for everyday products. What’s worse, 40% of consumers have reportedbeing injured trying to open packaging.

Interestingly, the study also suggests that 20% of those polled made purchasing decisions based on how complicated the packaging looks to open.

According to Which? moulded plastic packaging pose the biggest challenge for consumers who often resort to scissors, Stanley knives or even razor blades to open their products. However tin cans are considered the most dangerous, with an estimated 1 million people visiting their GP or A&E with related injuries over a 2 year period.

As competition for sales continually increases it becomes more important to ensure that what the consumer wants, needs and their limitations are considered and met. Failure to do so may impact on repeat sales and potentially cause long term harm to a company’s brand.

For most products the ‘user experience’ begins with the packaging, initially with the appearance of the product on the shelf and then with the opening or ‘unboxing’ experience. If this first interaction with the product is negative the consumer can become disappointed and frustrated right from the outset. This can mean that they will generally have less tolerance or desire to read instructions or confront unintuitive methods of use, and their perception of the brand can be negatively tainted.

At Cambridge Design Partnership we routinely design and test all aspects of the user experience when designing and developing new products for our clients. Our holistic, user centred approach helps to ensure that not only are our products engaging and simple to use, but they are enjoyable right out of the box!

By Karl Hewson, Usability and Design Engineer, Cambridge Design Partnership


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