Developing a Scoring Matrix to Evaluate the Usability of Consumer Packaging: A Pilot Study

The goal of the current study was to test a scoring matrix for evaluating and quantifying the difficulty of use of consumer packaging for an older adult population. Scores range from 0 to 100; the lower the score, the less usable the packaging design. Twelve older adults (9 females, 3 males; Mage = 69.5) completed an online survey in which they evaluated 15 everyday packaging types on frequency of use and difficulty of the functional tasks required for use (e.g., pick up and carry, remove seal, open, dispense, close). Blister packaging scored the lowest (M = 71.5) and could benefit the most from redesign. Microwave meal packaging scored the highest (M = 85.8), but this was the only score computed without all participants; only five participants reported using microwave meals. Pull tab cans scored second highest with a mean score of 84.2. In this pilot study, we are laying the groundwork for creating a tool to systematically evaluate and quantify the usability of all packaging types.