While shopping a few days ago, I noticed the packages of convenience food shown in the picture. The upper product seems to be a newer version (product 2.0, so to speak), and I assume that the lower one will be phased out.
The contents are basically identical for the two versions; the difference is mainly one of visual package design.
- The first striking difference is the toned down colouring scheme for the upper package. Instead of using vivid colours, the package is mainly black, with colours mainly used for logos and product name banner.
- The opening in the package is smaller for the upper one in order to have more space for graphics and text. (It’s not a picture of the product being shown, it’s the actual contents, sealed with a foil.) Size of graphics and text are not increased, though. Instead, they are reduced in size, to allow for more white space (or in this case: black space), which results in a more balanced and uncluttered appearance compared to the lower package.
- Finally, the label “gourmet” has been dropped for the upper package, probably because the class of the product shall be communicated via the visual appearance instead of merely declaring it via a label.
So, with content and interaction design remaining the same, it’s the change in visual design that distinguishes the two products. Which is appropriate, since there is no chance to taste or “handle” to product before buying – the user has to judge the book (or in this case: chicken) by the cover.