In our Design Methodology class we learned about the stages
in a typical design project, including various kinds of research and which
kinds were most appropriate for what stage in a given project. Though not our
main studio, we did have a small semester long project where we utilized what
we had covered in-class.
Students at Auburn
University have the good
fortune to work with many exceptional companies. Many of our studios and
projects are sponsored, making the studio both more affordable for our students
and providing valuable insight and experience that one can only get working for
Johnson & Johnson is one of the fantastic companies
we've had the opportunity to work with, and this semester they sponsored our
Methods project. They both supplied us with the products we would be using in
our redesign and sponsored a contest for best design solutions in the class.
Our project was to redesign existing Johnson & Johnson
packaging based on the results we gathered from our user research. The winners
of the contest were decided based on who was able to best solve the problems
they discovered while designing a product that could reasonably go into
production. For my particular project, I was to research and redesign travel-sized
Listerine mouthwash. For my travel-sized pouch design, I won second place out of
54 students and received a $200 gift card courtesy of Johnson & Johnson.
Surveys are always an integral piece of our user research. With our surveys, we collected information including basic demographics, frequency of use, use preferences, and more.
Another key piece of research is the user experience. The best way to find what needs improving is hands-on testing.
The main two problems I found from my user research were that, first, though it was by no means an insurmountable problem, no one liked the child-proof cap. Second, though each bottle had roughly four uses if you went by what the recommended dosage was, no one knew exactly how much that really was, and wound up using way more than necessary, normally half the bottle.
There were a number of other secondary issues, such as the travel-size packaging was fine for packing in a travel bag, but most people surveyed said that while they'd maybe keep them in their vehicle, they wouldn't just carry them around. I also found that many people stuck to only one flavor, and never tried any others.
Given the issues I found, my solution was a pre-measured, easy-tear packet, fashioned in much the same way as existing condiment packets. To get individuals to try out the different varieties of Listerene, an initial pack would come with a thin plastic carrying case and an assortment of Listerine flavors, while refill packs could be sold in specific flavors.