Does Size Really Matter?

The age old question: Does size really matter? When we think about mobile phones, the size of these "packages" has shrunk over the past 20 years from a unit you could almost ride on to a phone as slim as a credit card. But in recent years, the size of phones seems to have grown again.

Adele Graham-King

Similarly with regards to medical devices, the original blood glucose meter was cumbersome, clinical, and not appropriate for use in the home environment. We now have "micro" devices that fit in our pockets, have small rubberized buttons, reduced graphical user interface (GUI), and overmoulding to make them cool. So where are we with regards to size -- does it matter anymore? Or are improvements in user attractiveness now more material driven and aesthetic than physical size?

Additionally, does size have a direct impact on usability? Original defibrillators were large, cumbersome, metal packaging-based devices that were for hospital use only. We now have smaller, lightweight, plastic packaged portable defibrillators placed in shopping centers, football grounds, and in the workplace.

Simple, minimal-step usage is so important in these devices -- but are we now at our "optimum" smallness? If we reduce the size of the packaging further, make the buttons smaller, and reduce the infographics, are we at risk or reducing usability and safety?

Where would you rank size now in your priorities? Can big still be beautiful, and where does the community see size in the future?

Stay relevant as a medical device packaging engineer

Adele Graham-King, Blogger

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