The making of a UX strategy


2009 Case Study


As Hewlett-Packard's sole packaging strategist sitting in the IWS Design team, responsible for the packaging strategy and design for $12B worth of ink, printer and paper products per year, I was charged by corporate with creating the 2010 packaging strategy for developed and emerging markets.

In order to develop an eco-strategy, I wanted to first know how "green" was defined by our consumers. I wanted to understand the motivators/incentives and infrastructure driving environmental practices in developed and emerging markets. I decided to create research that would unveil what I believe are the factors that contribute to human behavior:

  • instilled culture

  • physiological demands

  • macro and micro economics, such as government and business decisions and incentives

For several preceding months, I worked with an external India-based research team to coordinate in-home, in-store, and infrastructure i.e. garbage dumps and recycling facilities research in India, China and Singapore.

I asked individuals, families, retailers and city workers to define - verbally and by show-and-tell - environmental practices.

Here I am in a living room in India, asking the family about their environmental practices, if any. Faces intentionally masked.


User-centered Frameworks

After spending two weeks in India, China, and Singapore, I observed three key factors that intersect and significantly influence environmental behaviors in these countries: consumer needs and preferences, governmental environmental maturity, and business environmental policies.

I discovered that in the emerging markets, many individuals were not familiar with terms like environmental, eco, green, or sustainable. They admitted to not actively practicing environmental consciousness, but upon further investigation, I found that the majority of them were actually engaging in recycling activities to either save or make money. Since their motivation was primarily financial gain, these participants did not perceive their actions as being done "for the environment". This insight highlights the complex relationship between economic incentives and environmental practices in these regions.

In part to drive empathy, I built out these frameworks explaining our consumers' current environment and beliefs. This led to a country-based environmental packaging strategy that the teams could understand and relate to.

To foster empathy, I developed comprehensive frameworks that delve into our consumers' present circumstances and beliefs. I also formulated a country-specific environmental packaging strategy. Through an in-depth understanding of the local context, we tailored our packaging solutions to address relevant environmental issues and cater to the specific mindset of each country. This strategy not only facilitates comprehension but also cultivates a sense of shared purpose among our teams, who can now genuinely relate to the packaging initiatives we undertake.