Packaging Design for Web-based Products

by Luke Wroblewski December 5, 2006

Digital Web magazine has published a new article by me about applying the principles and lessons of packaging design to Web applications and services:

Packaging Design for Web-based Products

Though hundreds of years of packaging design history and best practices may have influenced your offline shopping behaviors and decisions, the lessons learned in this enduring discipline didn’t have much of an influence on early web designs. After all, early web sites were primarily tasked with promoting or explaining offline services, companies, and products.

Following on the heels of these brochure-ware sites came a wave of e-commerce applications: buying, selling, or trading physical goods or services. It wasn’t until web applications became services, products, or content destinations unto themselves that concepts long known in the packaging design world—such as central and peripheral messages, shelf-space differentiation, and self-retailing—came to be significant considerations online.

As a product designer, I’m responsible for ensuring that web applications not only resonate with their target audiences but also embody appropriate brand propositions. As such, I’ve taken it upon myself to dive deeper into the principles and lessons of packaging design in order to learn what lessons can be applied to the world of web applications. Here’s some of what I’ve found so far. Read more...

Thanks to the Digital Web team for asking me to contribute to their great magazine.