Final                ReportJoshua Kitlas   Transforming an Information Vessel                The presentation and delivery...
Transforming an Information VesselTABLE OF CONTENTSOVERVIEW .................................................................
Final ReportTransforming anInformation VesselM O D I F Y I N G C H A R AC T E R I S TI C S AN D P E RC E P T IO NOVERVIEWP...
Transforming an Information Vessel      fuel used by the truck, train, or plane      and so on……This was an information ...
Final ReportI’ll Tell You WhyIn setting out to answer these questions, I identified several parties to contact:        Th...
Transforming an Information VesselI also contacted ISO – the International Organization for Standardization – to see if th...
Final Report                                                               In quantifying this assumption, I created      ...
Transforming an Information Vessel                                             shaped packages, could be shipped and stack...
Final ReportAPPENDIXPage 8
Transforming an Information VesselPackage Design                                            Page 9
Final ReportPrototypesPage 10
Transforming an Information VesselSpatial CalculationsOriginal PackagingFront, sides and back12                      cm lo...
Final ReportPackage Information IdentificationPage 12
Transforming an Information VesselPresentation                                         Page 13
Final ReportStoryboard ScrapsPage 14
Transforming an Information Vessel                          Page 15
Final ReportPage 16
Transforming an Information VesselSlides                                   Page 17
Final ReportPage 18
Transforming an Information Vessel                          Page 19
Final ReportPage 20
Transforming an Information Vessel                          Page 21
Final ReportPage 22
Transforming an Information VesselBibliographyB.F. Ascher. (2011). Ayr – The #1 Brand of Saline Nasal Products. Retrieved ...
Final ReportVagelos, R. (2006, April 17). The Future of the Pharmaceutical Industry, According to Former Merck CEORoy Vage...
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Transforming an Information Vessel - Modifying Characteristics and Perceptions

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The presentation and delivery of information on a product says as much about the product and its uses as it does about the manufacturer. In this study, I have reconstructed product information, including packaging, to tell a new story about the product and manufacturer, giving it a fresh perception.

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Transforming an Information Vessel - Modifying Characteristics and Perceptions

  1. 1. Final ReportJoshua Kitlas Transforming an Information Vessel The presentation and delivery of information on a product says as much about the product and its uses as it does about the manufacturer. In this study, I have reconstructed product information, including packaging, to tell a new story about the product and manufacturer, giving it a fresh perception.
  2. 2. Transforming an Information VesselTABLE OF CONTENTSOVERVIEW ................................................................................................................. 2 Problem ............................................................................................................................ 2 Why ................................................................................................................................... 3 I’ll Tell You Why ................................................................................................................. 4INTERVENTION........................................................................................................... 5 The Transformation .......................................................................................................... 5CONCLUSION ............................................................................................................. 7APPENDIX .................................................................................................................. 8 Package Design ................................................................................................................. 9 Prototypes ...................................................................................................................... 10 Spatial Calculations ......................................................................................................... 11 Package Information Identification ................................................................................ 12PRESENTATION .......................................................................................................... 13 Storyboard Scraps ........................................................................................................... 14 Slides ............................................................................................................................... 17BIBLIOGRAPHY .......................................................................................................... 23 Page 1
  3. 3. Final ReportTransforming anInformation VesselM O D I F Y I N G C H A R AC T E R I S TI C S AN D P E RC E P T IO NOVERVIEWProblemI was flat-out shocked.I had just purchased a product; Ayr Saline Nasal Gel with Aloe Veramanufactured by BF Ascher (B.F. Ascher, 2011), had opened it, and waslooking into the package. Of the entire volume of the secondary packaging(the actual tube of saline gel being defined as the primary packaging), therewas clearly more than 50% of it that was unused. What immediately affectedme was the extent to which this was so poorly designed and wasteful.50% of anything is significant.50% of a computer will not work on its own, 50% of electricity will not poweryour house, 50% of eyeglasses will not help you see, and throwing out 50%of dinner will leave you unsatisfied (and disturbed that you wasted so much).After some calculations it turned out that there was closer to 60% (see Appendix: Spatial Calculations),of the packaging vessel that was unused. Therefore, 60% of the packaging going unused is even moresignificant. Theoretically, reducing the amount of unused space could amount to considerably less:  ink used in the printing process  paper used to print the packaging information on  glue to seal the packaging  boxes to ship the product in  space on the truck, train, or plane to transport the boxes of the productPage 2
  4. 4. Transforming an Information Vessel  fuel used by the truck, train, or plane  and so on……This was an information problem of the highest order. The information system (the box with all of theprinted information) failed to impress me (the user) in how it failed to successfully delivered productand brand information. I perceived the company to be completely out of touch with their customer,world events, and marketing methods. I swear I heard Lester and Kohler screaming in my ear aboutperceptions of information. (Lester & Kohler, Jr., 2007, pp. 24-26)WhySurely, there had to be some kind of rationale behind this design. They would not just make thispackage larger than it needed to be just to do it. This drove me nuts. There were so many factors to consider.  Were there government regulations about this sort of thing?  Were there any industry best practices?  What does BF Ascher require to be on the packaging of the Ayr Saline Nasal Gel packaging?  What does the Federal government require there to be on the packaging of the Ayr Saline Nasal Gel packaging?  Are there any Federal regulatory bodies BF Ascher has to report to on the packaging design of the product?  Is there an organization that defines best practices for packaging design?  What defines the shape of the package?  Why is there a significant section of the packaging that is just ‘air’? To protect the product?  Did the distributors have requirements that need to be met?  Did the retailers have specifications for products and packaging relative to their distribution centers or in-store shelving systems? Page 3
  5. 5. Final ReportI’ll Tell You WhyIn setting out to answer these questions, I identified several parties to contact:  The manufacturer  Government agencies  Regulatory agencies, and  Trade associationsI started contacting the manufacturer on April 6 2011 and initially my conversations yielded results(Casey, 2011). Unfortunately, these results were short lived. After multiple attempts at reestablishingcommunication with the manufacturer, I ceased the effort. I have yet to receive any communicationfrom the manufacturer at this writing. I was hoping to have a strong dialogue with BF Ascher and eventually get the opportunity to share my findings with them. That did not happen. My conversations with government, regulatory and trade associations proved more fruitful. There really was not all that much any of these organizations provided me that ultimately influenced my design decisions, but their comments certainly expanded my view of just how much information goes into producing a safe consumer product. The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) NO REGULATION HERE subcommittee for Consumer, Pharmaceutical, and Medical Packaging provided me with valuable information regardingspecifics surrounding the secondary packaging. As it turns out, there are all kinds of regulations thatcover secondary packaging, none of which are very hard to comply with and are determined by “… thesize of the print, dosage, stuff like that” (De Jonge, 2011). However, these requirements are forpharmaceuticals and not over-the-counter remedies.The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission noted that they have no requirements for secondarypackaging. There is a Poison Prevention Packaging Act that requires certain products to be packaged inchild-resistant packaging, but in my case, this was not applicable. (U.S. Consumer Product SafetyCommission, 2011) They added that I might want to contact the Food Drug Administration, which I didnot do.Page 4
  6. 6. Transforming an Information VesselI also contacted ISO – the International Organization for Standardization – to see if there were any bestpractices in packaging that manufacturers should abide by. As it turns out, ISO standards are voluntary.ISO is a non-governmental organization and it has no power to enforce the implementation of thestandards it develops. A number of ISO standards - mainly those concerned with health, safety or theenvironment - are adopted in some countries as part of their regulatory framework, or are referred toin legislation for which they serve as the technical basis. However, such adoptions are sovereigndecisions by the regulatory authorities or governments of the countries concerned. ISO itself does notregulate or legislate. Although voluntary, ISO standards may become a market requirement, as hashappened in the case of ISO 9000 quality management systems, orISO freight container dimensions. (Martinez, 2011)My results were both helpful and frustrating. While I did not haveany specific federally mandated requirements on the secondarypackaging I was studying, I had no response from the manufacturerand therefore no insight on their internal branding or packagingrequirements.InterventionThe TransformationEnvironmental motivators drove my requirements for theintervention and transformation of the information vessel. I wantedto take the bulky, hard to decipher, environmentally incorrectvessel and make it an informative, ‘green’ and attractive object. Iwanted to make it very clear to consumers that BF Ascher was acompany that was committed to taking care of both theircustomers and the environment. I was driven to design an updatedpackaging model for their product that did not lose any of therequirements necessary to effectively package, ship and promotethe product.The biggest issue I had with the information system next to itsenvironmental shortfalls was that the box seemed to haveexcessive amounts of information on it. So much so that it was hard to even find the directions on howto use the product. Page 5
  7. 7. Final Report In quantifying this assumption, I created my own identification system of information elements, as I had no support from the manufacturer. After some evaluation, I divided the data on the carton into two sections: branding/marketing and product information. As you might imagine, the branding/marketing category contained items like logos, web address, and company address. The product information category had items like product facts, ingredients, lot number, and expiration date. After compiling this data, I elected to use only one instance of each of the items in the branding category. This reduced the number of logos, product name representations, and taglines. I kept everything that I identified in theproduct information category including UPC code, directions, and weight/size information.The environmental aspect was an area where I thought the most improvement could be made in thepackaging. Using soy inks and recycled paperboard would really help to make BF Ascher stand out bothvisually, and make a mark on the industry as a ‘green’ player. There is the physical information and theperceived or unseen information. Using different materials would certainly help communicate the latterin a positive way.I came up with several models utilizing much of what Snyder wrote about in Chapter 4 of the ‘PaperPrototyping’ book. (Snyder, 2003) I created cylinders, boxes, and pyramid-shaped packagingprototypes. After several trials, I ultimately decided on using the pyramid. It had the least amount ofwasted space on the interior (see Appendix: Spatial Calculations), stood out among the standard box-Page 6
  8. 8. Transforming an Information Vessel shaped packages, could be shipped and stacked in a manner similar to the original design so there would not have to be any specialized display system. I found that the inside of the vessel was information barren and represented a great opportunity for the manufacturer to add supplemental information. Whether that information was about the company’s environmental practices, medical tips and tricks or coupons, this area would be great in getting corporate messages across. The box was going to be smaller, so there may be some in- store concerns with shoplifting. Utilizing RFID tags could easily solve this. They are small and can be embedded in the paper of the box. (Kageyama, 2007) I replaced the UPC code with a QR code which can aid in high-speed inventory scanning. In pulling together all the pieces to make the finalproduct, Ware’s imagery (Ware, 2008, pp. 30-35) was especially helpful in considering design andproportion from a consumer goods perspective. For a customer to walk into a store like Rite-Aid or CVSand buy a product, they need to be visually influenced to make that purchase. There are so manyproducts, people, and distractions in pharmacy-type stores and shoppers are probably not in the storefor an extended time evaluating products. They go to the section they need to and purchase theirproduct.ConclusionInformation happens on so many levels and this turned out to be a much richer study than I originallyanticipated. I am happy with my final product and that I was able to construct something that could beproduced en masse. Going through the process gave me the chance to peer into the psyche of themanufacturer, regulators and customers and work to satisfy each of their information needs. Page 7
  9. 9. Final ReportAPPENDIXPage 8
  10. 10. Transforming an Information VesselPackage Design Page 9
  11. 11. Final ReportPrototypesPage 10
  12. 12. Transforming an Information VesselSpatial CalculationsOriginal PackagingFront, sides and back12 cm long16 cm high192 cmTop and Bottom2.5 cm long5.5 cm high13.75 cmUSEABLE surface area205.75 cm Page 11
  13. 13. Final ReportPackage Information IdentificationPage 12
  14. 14. Transforming an Information VesselPresentation Page 13
  15. 15. Final ReportStoryboard ScrapsPage 14
  16. 16. Transforming an Information Vessel Page 15
  17. 17. Final ReportPage 16
  18. 18. Transforming an Information VesselSlides Page 17
  19. 19. Final ReportPage 18
  20. 20. Transforming an Information Vessel Page 19
  21. 21. Final ReportPage 20
  22. 22. Transforming an Information Vessel Page 21
  23. 23. Final ReportPage 22
  24. 24. Transforming an Information VesselBibliographyB.F. Ascher. (2011). Ayr – The #1 Brand of Saline Nasal Products. Retrieved March 21, 2011, from Ayr –The #1 Brand of Saline Nasal Products: http://ayrrinsekit.com/B.F. Ascher. (2011). Ayr Saline Nasal Gel. Retrieved March 20, 2011, from B.F. Ascher:http://www.bfascher.com/ayr/ayrsalinenasalgel.htmlCasey, R. (2011, April 06). RE: Comments from bfascher.com by Joshua Kitlas. Lenaxa, Kansas, USA.De Jonge, S. (2011, April 11). Re: Student question about packaging. n/a, n/a, n/a.Kageyama, Y. (2007, February 2). Hitachi shows off worlds smallest RFID chip. Retrieved frommsnbc.com: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17284751/ns/technology_and_science-innovation/Lester, J., & Kohler, Jr., W. C. (2007). The Impact of Information in Society. In J. Lester, & J. W. Kohler,Fundamentals of Information Studies: Understanding Information and Its Environment (pp. 1-37). NewYork: Neal Schuman Publishers.Martinez, J. (2011, April 13). RE: Student question about packaging standards. Geneva, Switzerland.Meadows, D. H. (n.d.). Chapter One The Basics. In D. H. Meadows, Thinking in Systems: A Primer (pp.11-35). White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing.Norman, D. A. (1988). The Psychopathology of Everyday Things. In D. A. Norman, The Design ofEveryday Things (pp. 1-33). New York: Doubleday.Snyder, C. (2003). Paper Prototyping: The Fast and Easy Way to Design and Refine User Interfaces.Morgan Kaufmann.Tufte, E. R. (1997). Visual and Statistical Thinking: Displays of Evidence for Making Decisions. In E. R.Tufte, Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative (pp. 27-53). Cheshire, CT:Graphics Press.U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. (2011, April 11). FW: Message from Email Form. n/a, n/a,n/a. Page 23
  25. 25. Final ReportVagelos, R. (2006, April 17). The Future of the Pharmaceutical Industry, According to Former Merck CEORoy Vagelos. (Knowledge@Wharton, Interviewer)http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=1443.Ware, C. (2008). What We Can Easily See, Chapter 2. In C. Ware, Visual Thinking: for Design (MorganKaufmann Series in Interactive Technologies) (pp. 23-42). Burlington, MA: Morgan Kaufmann.WebMD Medical Reference. (2011). Natural Allergy Relief: Saline Nasal Sprays. Retrieved March 20,2011, from WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/allergies/saline-sprayWikipedia. (n.d.). Packaging and labeling. Retrieved 21 2011, April, from Wikipedia:https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Packaging_and_labelingPage 24

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