Read about criteria for user-friendly packaging and how you can analyse and optimise the user-friendliness.


Criteria for user-friendly packaging

A Scandinavian research project has identified the following criteria for user-friendly packaging:

  • The opening mechanism has to be visible
  • The opening mechanism has to be easy to grip
  • The packaging needs to be easy to hold and lift
  • The force needed for opening should be low
  • Minimise the need for using both hands to open the packaging
  • Consider the stiffness and smoothness of the packaging material
  • Minimise the risk for leaks in and breakage of the packaging
  • Avoid the packaging being broken during opening
  • Minimise squirts and waste of the product when opening the packaging
Reference: Final report of the NICe – project EASYOPENPACK 2006-2008 (PDF 118 pages)


Three kinds of problems when opening a packaging

Problems when opening a packaging result in one or more of the types below:

  1. Cognitive problems – When the opening mechanism is incomprehensible or not perceived as intended.
  2. Visual problems – When the opening mechanism is not clearly marked on the packaging
  3. Physical problems – When the end user doesn’t have the necessary strength to open/handle the packaging



Analyse and optimise the user-friendliness of the packaging

You can optimise the user-friendliness of your packaging by analysing the four focus areas essential for the user-friendliness, optimise them and then test the improvements with the end users. Tests are important because in the end it is always the end user who is the most capable to evaluate whether a packaging is user-friendly.


The four areas which are essential for the user-friendliness are materials, design, graphics and choice of colour as well as the force needed by the end user to open the packaging.