Design Goals and Attention Differentiations among Target Groups: A Case of Toy Packaging Design Attracting Children and Parents’ Purchasing Decision

By Wichanat Tiwasing, Nopadol Sahachaisaeree and Kevin Hapeshi.

Published by Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal — Annual Review

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

There is potential conflict between the design preferences for users of toys, games and other children's products (the children) and the purchasers of those products (the parent/guardian). This is a challenge for packaging design, since users and purchasers are attracted from different perspectives and distinctive interests. Adult purchasers may be influenced by the product's contribution to physical, social and intellectual development, as well as safety and price. On the other hand, children will be influenced by factors that suggest the product will be fun to use. With many toy products, a conflict may exist between needs of children, and trust and valuation of guardians, who may also recognize the toy can engage and promote the child’s imaginary and creative thinking. The present research uses a generic three-dimensional image of packaging in an exploratory case study to test the research design for tools based on the semantic differential, which was then used to test the principles in a larger study involving images of a more realistic packaging. Overall, the findings showed a consistent pattern of preferences in children and parents, which is good news for designers. The designs need only focus on what the children (toy users) like; this will also satisfy the parents (purchasers). The only difference was that parents prefer packaging that enables them to make informed judgments, by making product features visible. We conclude that the semantic differential approach to packaging design works well and can be usefully employed in further studies to explore other factors in design preferences and packaging information using a variety of products.

Keywords: Visual of Children Perception, Visual Perception worthwhile Psychology and the Confidence of Parents, Package Design

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal — Annual Review, Volume 7, 2013, pp.29-43. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 989.689KB).

Dr. Wichanat Tiwasing

Student, Study Leave Instructor, Ph.D. Associated Arch.D. Program in Multidisciplinary Design Research, Faculty of Architecture, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology, Ladkrabang, Bangkok, Thailand

Prof. Nopadol Sahachaisaeree

Head of Doctoral Program in Multidisciplinary Design Research, Faculty of Architecture, King Mongkut's Institute of Technology, Ladkrabang, Bangkok, Thailand

Kevin Hapeshi

Head of School, Computing and Technology, Computing and Technology, University of Gloucestershire, University of Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire, UK