"Seeing What's Left": Transparent Window Position on Product Evaluation

Published: 03-07-2018| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/vpj5kfyzs8.1
Gregory Simmonds,
andy woods,
Charles Spence


The position of design elements on product packaging has been shown to exert a measurable impact on consumer perception across a number of studies and product categories. Design elements that influence the consumer through their positioning on the front of the pack include product imagery, brand logos, and the basic shapes that are used. However, as yet, no empirical research has focused specifically on the relative position of transparent windows; an increasingly prevalent element of many modern packaging designs. This exploratory study details an experimental investigation of how manipulating where a window is positioned on a range of visually-presented packaging designs influences consumer evaluations and judgements. The results are contrasted with similar effects previously identified by varying the position of other design elements. Window position was found to be a non-trivial element of design, with a general preference for windows on the right-hand side being evident. That said, few of the previously-identified effects of the vertical position of design elements were replicated when transparent windows were used instead. Specifically: window position was found to significantly impact upon scores for expected product tastiness and design attractiveness across all four of the product categories tested, with higher scores attributable to windows positioned on the right-(vs. left-)hand side. Effects on perceptions of powerfulness, overall liking, quality, and willingness to purchase were identified, but were inconsistent across different product categories. The expected weight of the product was not significantly influenced by the position of the window. The implications for academics, designers, and brand managers are discussed, and future directions for research are highlighted. [Taken from pre-peer-reviewed manuscript absrtract]