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)
· Cooking and Eating
· Eating Out
· Household Cleaning Products
· Office Supplies
· Other Foods
· Package Types
· Paper Products
· Personal Care
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 firstname.lastname@example.org