For this last assignment we’ll be designing a product for someone we know. The design process will be broken up over several weeks:
- Week 4: Propose our ideas before selecting just one
- Week 5: Create an Experience Map (a timeline in the form of a chart) and User Journey (a story in the form of images)
- Week 6: Develop a working prototype of the product
- Week 7: Conduct user testing of the prototype with five users & Make final changes to the prototype based on user testing
Here are my four proposals! We were asked to think of three people and imagine products that might solve a problem in their life. Instead, I chose to ask people directly instead of imagine something. Within this kind of scope, people know their lives best & what they want!
Idea #1: Recording Studio Open Hours
A Friend’s Need: A friend of mine is a 30-something musician and now successful producer and engineer. He says he’d love an “uber or airbnb for recording studios” – a way to post your private recording studio and its open hours, say midnight to 5am. There are a lot of private studios in apartments with separate entrances or in basements, besides the usual big ones in midtown.
Proposed Product: An app or website. Further research interviews with my friend and other musicians and engineers will lead to specific features. For example, does this group of creatives use business cards? If so, is this service worth including in the site.
- App/website: www.airbnb.com
- Business cards: https://www.vistaprint.com
Idea #2: Song Saver Dongle
A Family Member’s Need: I have a family member who is a music expert. He’s collects vinyl records for years & knows a lot about certain genres of music. Now he’s in his late 30’s and has two daughters and less time. He wants to have “an app or product that continuously “shazams” or listens to sound coming out of the audio output/headphone jack on computer or mobile phone and produces a list of music played”
My Proposed Product: A small product that you pop into your audio jack and uses wifi or bluetooth to send the audio or song titles and artists to a list or spreadsheet. Note that I’m purposefully not recommending an app or software. This is because I want to stay away from designing things that listen to your whole life and connect that information to the general ecosystem of your online life . Instead, as a creator, I’d want to want to create something “dumb” enough that they are separate from your other accounts and physically communicate that by being a separate piece of hardware.
- Chromecast stick. https://store.google.com/product/chromecast_2015
- USB mini stick for mice. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logitech_Unifying_receiver
- Dongle for iphone ear buds that no longer work with audio jacks. https://www.apple.com/shop/product/MMX62AM/A/lightning-to-35-mm-headphone-jack-adapter
Idea #3: Getting newborns around the city
A Friend’s Need: A friend in her 30’s was severely homebound for several weeks after giving birth to newborn — even though she wanted to get outside! She couldn’t travel with the baby because she had a C-section, it’s hard to carry a baby and collapse a stroller at the same time, most subway stations don’t have elevators, and cabs require car seats but few have them.
My Proposed Products:
- Extender for strollers to hook onto handrails in subway stations.
- Add flat section to stairs that make it easier to roll strollers and bikes up and down subway stairs.
- Porters at subway stations who carry stroller down stairs.
- Special buses with sections for strollers, like Portland has for bikes.
Idea #4: Sock Service
Family Members’ Needs: Two people in my family get holes in their socks. For at least one of them, it is a source of real frustration as they buy seemingly perfectly good socks but yet they still fall apart. The product’s failure can make them feel like they have something wrong with them — when it is the sock that has failed in that it’s not made well enough. In turn, the sock’s failure turns into another errand for the owner. Why not turn this frustration into a delight? New socks especially good at preventing holes could be delivered at home.
Proposed Product: An app or website for a monthly sock service for those that get holes in their socks, not necessarily for fashion.
Reference: FYI – there are several services out there already. Images are available across sites.