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Applying Human Factors to Optimise the Usability of Packaging

Human factors are studied closely in product development, but these principals are also important in consumer product packaging. The discipline of human factors seeks to ensure that the package is safe and easy to use in the real world. The discipline of human factors has been applied to medical device development for many years, and these same methods also apply to the development of packaging and the issues are conceptually similar. This presentation will discuss what some of these methods are, and how they apply to packaging. Specific methods to be discussed include real-world observational research (contextual inquiry) and usability testing – how they can be used to make packaging more usable and how they can address regulatory requirements, when necessary.

Learning objectives:

  • Determine where opportunities exist for improving the life duration of a package.
  • Discover fallacies in how you may think your packaged product is being used.
  • Key questions to answer about the user and the product.


IoP_Feb2018Stephen Wilcox
Principal and Founder
Design Science

Stephen Wilcox is principal and founder at Design Science, a company specialising in human factors consulting for product development. The firm conducts ethnographic research, provides human factors support, designs user interfaces and conducts usability testing for its clients. Wilcox is a member of the Industrial Designers Society of Americas (IDSA) Academy of Fellows and served for several years as Chair of the IDSA Human Factors Professional Interest Section. He has a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Penn State University.

10 a.m. – 11 a.m. USA Central Time (CT)
February 8, 2018

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