Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Introduction: The One Handed World

Driving, eating, texting, surfing the internet, carrying a child, carrying groceries – we humans are multi-tasking more than ever. Increasingly, we are interacting with our world with only one hand, since the other hand is occupied.

Human beings are evolving, and companies that don’t adapt their product and packaging designs face extinction.

So, what can you do?

Market research studies offer a perfect view of the consumers’ past: their thoughts, behaviors, feelings and preferences. At best, a study captures a snapshot of the immediate present. Rarely, if ever, does a study offer a glimpse of the future.

This is one of those rare times.

In the One Handed World, consumer strategist and market researcher Kelley Styring of InsightFarm offers marketers the opportunity to gain deep understanding of the future of product and package design.

Styring, who previously garnered national attention for books about her studies of objects women carry in their purses and of items drivers store in their cars, conducted in-depth research with ARM AMPUTEES - men and women who live elegantly and efficiently every day with only one hand.

The One Handed World syndicated study provides in-depth information on how one-handed consumers spend their day, the results of one- and two-handed interactions with nearly 250 items across 18 different categories, and identifies 17 innovation platforms designers can draw on to innovate better and easier-to-use products and packages.

“Amputees are one nudge ahead of the rest of us in this evolutionary step,” explains Styring, “and that is what makes this study so exciting. Most market research captures the consumer’s past. With this study, marketers have the rare opportunity to understand the consumer’s future and go there before they do.”

· To purchase your copy of the One Handed World, email

· To schedule an interview with Kelley Styring or to book her as your next speaker, contact Sandi Straetker, PRiority Public Relations LLC at or 513-545-7146

About the One Handed World Study


About the One Handed World Study

Market researcher and consumer strategist Kelley Styring conducted in-depth qualitative interviews and a quantitative panel with arm amputees, as well as a survey of two-handed consumers. She discovered that our increasing use of handheld technology has changed the way people interact with a wide range of products, forcing consumer product companies to adapt – or die.

How we spend our days:
One hand occupied:       40%
Both hands occupied:     30%
Both hands free:             30%
When one hand is occupied, how much time is spent with:
Other hand free:                                 53%
Other hand completing tasks:             47%

The most common items occupying the hand:

·         Carrying Things 14%  
·         Cell Phone          13%

·         Writing Instrument  11%
·         Beverage                 1%
·         Steering Wheel  10%
·         Personal Grooming Item 8%

18 product categories studied (Nearly 250 items total)

·         Apparel
·         Beverages
·         Cooking and Eating
·         Eating Out
·         Electronics
·         Financial

·         Gum/Candy
·         Health/Medical
·         Household Cleaning Products
·         Office Supplies
·         Organization/Storage
·         Other Foods

·         Package Types
·         Paper Products
·         Personal Care
·         Snacks
·         Sports/Recreation
·         Tools

ONE IN FIVE two-handed study participants reported it was difficult to use everyday products.

That’s not good. So, what’s a product or package designer to do?

While Hands Free remains the gold standard for ease of use, that’s not always possible. Styring has developed 17 different innovation platforms designers can use to create or improve their products or packaging. For example, “One Handed Stabilization and Manipulation (OHSM)” identifies products that require one hand to do two different jobs: stabilize an item AND manipulate it at the same time, such as opening a jar. In the one-handed world, a product like that is a failure for the consumer. Recognizing this challenge, products can be designed to facilitate usage.

It’s a fact:

·         Smartphones now make up 40% of all mobile phones in the U.S., according to Nielsen.

·         79 million aging Baby Boomers will require easier opening and using products and packaging.

·         A global study of cell phone users found children in Japan raised with handheld devices began using thumbs instead of index fingers to ring doorbells or point at things.

·         Neuroscientists know what brain cells are connected to what nerves in every body part. They’ve proven that brain cells of more frequently used areas, like the fingertips, grow larger and stronger, and sometimes even “recruit” less-used brain cells to assist in their function, as well as causing phantom pain from missing limbs in amputees.

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Contact:   Sandi Straetker, PRiority Public Relations LLC 513/545-7146 or

Kelley Styring - Bio


Fearless innovator, insightful consumer strategist.
Savvy market resaercher, inspiring speaker, author.

She’s searched automobile interiors, photographed the contents of women’s purses, followed shoppers in grocery stores and questioned gum chewers. No, she’s not a stalker; she’s consumer strategist Kelley Styring, and her unusual activities are all part of a day’s work unearthing new information on consumers.

The founder of Newberg, Ore.-based consumer strategy and market research consultancy InsightFarm, Kelley helps her Fortune 100 clients grow their businesses by finding innovations that create new opportunities for growth. Kelley’s research and insight connects the dots between people and knowledge to identify new, or improve existing, products and services.

Kelley has also conducted syndicated studies on women’s purses and their contents, what drivers carry in their vehicles, and how consumers cope in the brave new one-handed world. Her books include In Your Purse: Archaeology of the American Handbag and In Your Car:  Road Trip through the American Automobile.

A frequent speaker at industry conferences, trade shows and corporate events, Kelley’s research has also been featured in USA Today, Reuters, Advertising Age, Brandweek, Fortune, Good Morning America, Quirk’s Marketing Research Review, the U.K.’s Research, on Adam Carolla’s CarCast and on TV, radio and blog-talk radio programs throughout the United States. 

Before founding InsightFarm, Kelley managed market research and introduced new products for consumer products giant Procter & Gamble.  She then joined Pepsi-Co’s Frito-Lay, where she managed market research for the company’s multi-billion snack product portfolio and served as Director of Consumer Strategy and Insights.  She’s also designed products for NASA and Black & Decker.  Kelley earned her BS in industrial design from University of the Arts in Philadelphia and an MBA from the University of South Carolina.  Her insatiable curiosity and passion for innovation developed during her Florida childhood, where she grew up inspired by the people and events that occurred where her dad worked - NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center.

Kelley makes her home in Oregon’s famed Willamette Valley wine country.  In 2003, she and her husband Steve traded in their Lexus for a tractor and their suburban Dallas home for a 40-acre farm, where they have grown a boutique winery from the ground up.  Styring Vineyards produces hand-crafted, award-winning wines following old world, artisan winemaking methods.

For more information, visit

Contact:   Sandi Straetker, PRiority Public Relations LLC 513/545-7146 or