Art and Design Research Centre
Packaging Ergonomics is important in an ageing society
Society is ageing resulting in significant chances in the demographic make-up. This ageing results in a host of significant challenges for policy makers, engineers, designers, manufacturers and academics. Not least is how to design for a society where a significant proportion of that society has reduced strength, dexterity and cognitive capabilities. Alaster's work has concentrated on understanding the issues surrounding the accessibility of packaging for older people and people with disabilities. The initial work concentrated on looking at ways to measure consumer's strength in a more realistic fashion using a bespoke measuring device.
More recently Alaster has been developing ways to measure and understand dexterity in relation to packaging accessibility and is currently working on the development of a new dexterity test. Alaster is the UK's technical expert for BSI on packaging accessibility and has given advice to both CEN and ISO in the development of new standards in this area.
As part of his work with Design Futures, he has worked closely with industry to facilitate a range of 'Easy Open' or ergonomically improved designs, such as the 'Orbit' closure, the 'Easy Lift' and 'Opti-lift' ring-pulls for cans, the 'Eco' milk bottle. Alaster is currently working on a range of 'Easy Open' projects to be launched in 2014.
Dr Alaster Yoxall - Principal Research Fellow in Human Centered Engineering