Packaging is the most visible and recognizable part of the brand, and it should be more than just visually appealing to ensure that the product sells.
Your product packaging should also be user-friendly. In other words, it should satisfy your customers’ needs while also protecting the product inside.
So, a company targeting customers with arthritis must ensure that its packaging has easy-open caps to help them open it easily. And a company targeting eco-conscious customers must ensure that their packaging is made from sustainable materials and give the packaging a chic feel, so customers buy from them.
However, not a lot of brands take into account the impact user-friendly packaging has on their bottom line so this article will guide you through:
Why packaging needs to be user-friendly
The packaging of a product can help make or break a sale. A well-designed package helps you earn a space in your consumer’s cart, while a non-consumer centric design ensures that your customers switch brands and buy from your competition.
So, increasing your sales and retaining your customers are important reasons to make your product packaging user-friendly. But that’s not the end of it. Here are three more important reasons to add user-friendliness to your packaging.
1. Improves customer experience
The packaging is as important as the product itself as consumers pay attention to the unboxing experience as much as the product itself. They want functional packages that are easy to open and close. In one survey, 62% of consumers said that packages that are difficult to open could negatively impact their chances of shopping from the business again.
However, this doesn’t mean that they’re willing to trade the unboxing experience with the functionality. Consumers want functional and aesthetic packaging, and the best example of a brand that fulfills both is Apple.
The brand’s packaging is minimalist, usable, and direct. But they also don’t cut corners on visual appeal and ensure that the customer has the best unboxing experience.
2. Caters to consumer needs
Consumers look for reusable or recyclable packaging with the growing demand for sustainability. A study from BillerudKorsnäs also supports this fact. It shows that consumers expect their packaging to be sustainable and have a beneficial second and third use.This could mean using the same package to buy in bulk or store other household items.
So, sustainable packaging is a growing consumer need, and if you fulfill it by making highly-functional, aesthetic, and useful packaging, you’re automatically making it user-friendly.
For example, these tapered cosmetic packages have caps on the sides to dispense products as required. It’s user-friendly because it’s made of sustainable materials, and you can get refills whenever you run out of the product.
3. Makes products accessible for all users
People with restricted arm mobility, learning disabilities, or visual impairment often struggle to find products that fit their needs. So, designing inclusive packaging that’s accessible for all demographics makes your packaging user-friendly and shows these customers you actually care for them.
For example, take a look at Jack Black’s lip balm range. Apart from sporting vibrant colors so people with disabilities can easily spot the product, the collection also has stripes in different colors so people with a reading disability can pick up a product based on its flavor. They also differentiate products based on their purpose, so people with disabilities can easily know if they choose a shampoo or facial cream.
Your ultimate checklist to design user-friendly packaging
Now that we’ve looked at the importance of user-friendly packaging, let’s look at 3 steps to make it user-friendly.
1. Check for ergonomics
Ergonomics is the science that studies human limitations. When applied to packaging, it means the packages you design should protect the product and be convenient for the user to interact with.
To start with, ensure that your packaging has visible cues to indicate various functions. For instance, if you’re designing a packet, you can add a cue on top to indicate how a person should tear off the package, like in the image below.
Then, assess your target audience and adjust your packaging according to their needs. For example, packaging for kids has to be lighter so they can lift it with ease, while packaging for the elderly should include caps they can unscrew easily and provide grips to secure the product.
Lastly, consider the environmental factors as well. Packaging for chips should be different from packaging for products that should be kept under high pressure.
2. Make labels readable
Visual appeal is an important factor in making your product fly off shelves. But it’s also important to create legible labels for your consumers as they won’t purchase products with illegible text. Plus, legible labels also make your products accessible to people with cognitive disabilities, so it’s another advantage.
To make your labels readable, choose easy-to-read fonts like sans-serifs and serifs instead of script fonts, use the right font weights, and pay attention to contrast so your label appears conspicuous and prominent. Here are two examples of labels with conspicuous text.
To keep track of these minute details and ensure that your labels are readable, you can use a platform like Artwork Flow’s to create an editing checklist for your reviewer. You can also use Artwork Flow’s font checker features to check the font on your label and increase its size.
3. Use sustainable materials
Currently, most products use plastic packaging, and once the consumer exhausts it, the waste inevitably ends up in landfills. But what does this have to do with making packaging user-friendly?
As we mentioned earlier, consumers demand more sustainable initiatives from brands they do business with. So, using sustainable materials would make your packaging user-friendly as it meets their demand.
You don’t have to go out of the way and search for exotic materials to make your packaging sustainable. All you’ve got to do is stick to commonly available materials like glass, metals, paper, and foils to manufacture your packaging materials.
If you’re manufacturing shampoos, you’ll probably still have to use plastics, but in this case, you could offer refill options, so your consumers can limit the plastic usage. Here’s an example of a sustainable shampoo brand that sells shampoo in aluminum containers. The brand refills empty containers so the packaging lasts long and doesn’t need to be replaced. If the container breaks, consumers can recycle most of it and avoid too much waste.
Making your package user-friendly is crucial to your business as it shows consumers that you care about them and makes them feel included. Reusable packaging will help you get more customers and scale your business long-term.
You’ve to make your packaging ergonomic, add readable labels, and use sustainable materials, so it becomes user-friendly and has more than just visual appeal. Talk to us today if you’d like to streamline your artwork labeling process and make your packaging more user-friendly.