Consumer Foresight: The one handed world by Kelley Styring @InsightFarm #AMAresearch #MRX

Welcome to this series of live blogs from the American Marketing Association’s Research & Strategy Summit in Las Vegas. Any errors, omissions, or silly side comments are my own.

AMA market research event

Kelley Styring, Principal, InsightFarm, Inc.

  • Products and packages have not been designed to be operated with one hand. Not can openers, not shoe laces, not opening boxes, not open CD wrappers.
  • People who only have one hand are the research subjects here. Study extreme populations to give you foresight – not every weirdo is a market.
  • Watch a one handed person tie their shoes. It’s a cool trick, a proof of competency.
  • One of your hands is full of a coffee or a steering wheel or something else, so really we should design for a one handed word
  •  Look for compensatory behaviours.
  • 40% of the time, 1 hand is occupied with something. 13% of the time its a cell phone. After that, carrying things, smoking etc.
  • A one handed world means a better world for everyone. Differs from universal design which is “access for all”
  • Phase 1 was qual, 6 people. Interviews with show and tell and deep probes.
  • Phase 2 was quant. What’s most difficult? Tools, health and medical, cooking and eating, snacks, beverages
  • Key themes:  Holding an apple is manipulating. Using a cell phone is stabilize and manipulate. Flossing is manipulate with two hands. Two handed manipulation is the worst when it comes to one handedness.
  • “Cling wrap is my mortal enemy”  🙂
  • Hero products – slip on shoes, sweatpants, handsfree dispensers
  • Liquids in flexible packages like a juicebox – this is terrible. Spills all over.
  • Pull tabs on packages don’t open consistently, rips without actually opening the package, or it spills all over. Food in a plastic bag in a box, like cereal. This is an innovation opportunity.
  • What about pull tabs on glued surfaces – eg tube chips or mouthwash bottles or bandages.
  • Anything difficult with two hands is twice as hard as one – think of those produce bags at the grocery store. And what about the heavy products like laundry detergent or cases of water.
  • Surface friction can determine success to incorporate friction into design. E.g., dishes are slippery in the sink so people put a towel in the bottom of the sink.
  • Total Fail products – dental floss, food requiring expensive can openers, juice boxes, shoes that tie
  • Innovation opportunities [you’ll have to ask Kelley for the details on each of the following]
    1. intuitive design
    2. self stabilizing products
    3. one handed stabilization and manipulation, e.g., putting on chapstick one handed
    4. toothiness – products intended to be opened with the teeth
    5. friendly friction
    6. bottom dispensing – use gravity – upside down ketchup
    7. packages that want to be opened, a simple squish pops it open
    8. air as a propellant – squishing a chip bag
    9. Lever effects – push to open something
    10. Finger pry
    11. finger twist – opening a ziplock bag by twisting the bag
    12. finger scissors
    13. Hovering thumb like using a phone
    14. shopper consideration – weight, handles, gripability
    15. hands free alternatives – no tie shoes
    16. soft packages with rigidity
    17. packages that ALWAYS open properly
    18. full grip pull tabs. the tab is never big enough
  • Had people hold a baby doll while they tried to open a baby bottle
  • Be broad in your consumption of knowledge
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