Process model

If you are a producer or a packaging designer who wants to develop a more user-friendly packaging it will be beneficial for you to divide the process into eight phases. Read about each phase here, its purpose, who are involved from inside and outside the company and what activities are implied.  Click here for the process as PDF (8 pages).



Phase 1 Insight

Purpose: Starting a process resulting in a more user-friendly packaging.


Result: Deciding which product/products to continue working with and whether to change an existing packaging or develop an entirely new one.


People involved: Project manager in co-operation with management/decision makers.




In order to carry out phase 1, see Working document for packaging analysis without mechanical test (PDF 2 pages). If a mechanical test has been made please use Working document for packaging analysis with mechanical test (PDF 3 pages).


Tip: A projekt on user-friendly packaging has a broad scope

A project on user-friendly packaging gives a broad insight into the end users’ approach towards the company’s products and this insight can be used for a lot of other initiatives than just user-friendly packaging. If the company faces changes in packaging or investments in packaging lines the time spent on end user analyses is of great benefit.



Phase 2 Research

Purpose: To gather knowledge to be used when choosing types of packaging and designing questions for end user studies.


Result: A clear description of the purpose of end user studies as well as a work plan for these.


People involved: Project manager and marketing department.



  • Competitor analysis:
    a) How are similar products packaged?
    b) Which packaging mechanisms are present on the market which would be useful for the company’s products?
  • How does the new packaging stand out?


Examples of focus areas:

  • Opening of packaging with and without tools.
  • Usage situation e.g. on-the-go or at home.
  • End users’ serving needs and shared needs.
  • Re-sealing and storage.
  • Disposal.


Competitor analysis and design of questions can probably be made based on the existing knowledge in the company concerning market, customers and competitors.


In order to carry out phase 2, see Working document for research (PDF 3 pages).


Tip: Single out one purpose for the end user study

Often the companies wish to know everything when they design questions for the end users. The best result, however, will be obtained by singling out one primary purpose for the study.  We recommend no more than 5 products per end user study, otherwise it can become quite confusing for the end users.


Phase 3 End user observations

Purpose: To use interviews/video observations to identify the end user's actual use of the company's products and inspire to further innovation.


Result: Video clips with essential insight regarding the company’s products and possibilities which can be used in the workshop involving the entire company.


Persons involved: Project manager and interviewer



  • Selection of 3–5 end users from the target group.
  • Procurement of products for testing.
  • Implementation of end user studies.
  • Watching and selecting video clips.


In order to carry out phase 3, see End user observations – this is how you do and Working document for end user observations (PDF 2 pages).


Tip: Ask neutral questions and document the end user study

It is important to ask neutral questions during the interview in order to obtain as credible results as possible. The study needs to be well documented enough in order to make a person who has not been present understand the correlations and points. Alternatively photos and detailed notes can replace video.


Phase 4 Workshop

Purpose: Initiating the first idea generation concerning more user-friendly packaging and obtain a shared insight in and understanding for userfriendly packaging throughout the company.


Result: To obtain a shared understanding in the company regarding issues concerning as well as concrete ideas for more user-friendly packaging.


Persons involved: Make sure that all parts of the organisation are represented: Development, production, sales and marketing, packaging supplier and management.



  • The person responsible for insight and research from phases 1 and 2 makes a presentation for the workshop participants.
  • Possible presentation from external participants e.g. regarding new packaging technologies.
  • Divide into groups of 3-5 persons with different backgrounds.
  • The groups watch video clips from the end user studies and notes insights on video cards (PDF 1 page).
  • Idea generation – insights from the videos can be used to develop new packaging solutions for the company’s products. If possible use concept cards (PDF 1 page) to register the different ideas. See also Idea generation – this is how you do.
  • Presentation of ideas (good to catch on video).
  • Prioritisation of ideas and deciding who’s responsible for the future work.


In order to carry out phase 4, see Workshop – this is how you do and video cards (PDF 1 page) and concept cards (PDF 1 page).



Tip: Make a representation covering all angles

Make sure that the groups consist of persons with different occupational backgrounds in order to ensure that all occupational angles are covered and that all parts of the organisation accepts ownership.



Phase 5 Concept analysis

Purpose: To gather knowledge and work on with the ideas from phase 4 as well as determining which ideas can be realised.


Result: To select and make a detailed description of realisable concepts.


Persons involved: Project manager, marketing department, production department and packaging supplier, possibly designer/ graphic designer.



  • Prioritisation of ideas from phase 4.
  • Making groups of ideas into concepts.
  • Identify and verify requirements for each concept.




In order to carry out phase 5, see Working document for concept analysis  (PDF 2 pages).


Tip: Involve technical knowledge

It can be useful to involve technical knowledge in this phase and document why some ideas are dropped in the process.


Phase 6 Prototype

Purpose: To produce a prototype which can be used in end user tests and tests on internal company representatives.


Result: A prototype which is as close to the final packaging as possible so it can be tested regarding function, re-seal, durability, graphical communication etc.


Persons involved: Project manager, production, packaging supplier, marketing, possibly designer.





  • Offers for selected packaging solutions are obtained.
  • Production and the first adjustments of a packaging prototype.


Tip: Test the prototype

It is important to test the prototype on the end users before it is put into production.


Phase 7 Evaluation

Purpose: To evaluate the user-friendliness of the final solution as well as initiate any adjustments needing to be made before the solution is put into production.


Result: Final solution ready to be implemented in the production.


Persons involved: Project manager and management/decision maker






  • End user observations of the prototype.
  • Mechanical test of prototype.
  • Estimation of the significance of the new packaging concerning production, distribution, economy etc.
  • Adjustments of prototype.


In order to carry out phase 7, see Evaluation – this is how you do.


Tip: Involve the end users

It is important to involve the end users in this final phase of the process to ensure the user-friendliness all the way through to the final product. Furthermore representatives with different occupational skills can once again be involved. After having made the final adjustments of the prototype the packaging can be put into production.