User experience is a hot term in the tech world, and a growing profession to boot. Derived from human factors, it studies how people use and interact with technology or technological products in an environment. Companies use it to build and redesign websites, to improve customer experience journeys, and basically any level which their online presence interfaces with customers. It can also be used in other areas; human factors, for example, has long been embedded in medical device design. Packaging USB drives is another industry that could use some user experience research as well.
Using Contextual Inquiry When Packaging USB Drives
Contextual inquiry is one mode of research relating to user experience. It seeks to answer three basic questions about users or customers:
- – Who is the user?
- – What are they trying to accomplish?
- – Where are they trying to do this?
Apply these three questions to your own customers. For example, let’s say that you are handing out custom flash drives at a conference.
- – The users, then, are probably potential and/or current customers.
- – The user is accepting the custom flash drive because they want to learn more about your company. Maybe they just want a free flash drive, but that’s where the content on the drive takes over.
- – They’re picking it up in at a conference. They’re probably picking it up and dropping it in the standard conference bag, a somewhat mindless action.
Knowing all of these things, we can start to get to work on how creating custom packaging will help your organization.
Essentially, we can say with some level of certainty that they probably won’t remember much about your organization from looking at the drive. Popping the custom USB drive in a FlashPad, or FlashPad Wallet, ensures that it has the necessary context for them to remember you and your company. These custom created packaging pieces for USB drives are sturdy and use the same quality materials that we employ when designing luxury packaging. The example to the side includes a message to the recipient–a great example of how to build rapport with a prospective customer–and foam presentation packaging elements to ensure the custom USB drive is safe and secure, perfectly gifted every time.
This is just one potential application for contextual inquiry. Depending on your organizational practices and business, contextual inquiry and user experience research can inform many points that might have previously rested on assumptions.
Packaging USB Drives with Strategy
Conducting contextual inquiry, or other types of user research, is dependent on getting feedback from actual users. It’s important to get out and ask people outside of the organization. As much as your employees might like to think they can morph their brains into a *user mindset,* they can’t. It’s literally impossible to consciously aside our previous experiences, assumptions, and everything else we bring to the table. Starting to ask people what they think will help to shed light on new ideas, confirm old ones, and, ultimately, make any process and product better.