Customer Discovery (Mari)

The Customer Discovery assignment really helped Amy and me narrow down our possible targets and final goal for our product.

The hypothesis that we established is:

We think that NYU shanghai community members suffer from a burden in bringing their shoe bags to the gym in the Academic Building and see an opportunity to change the way they mobilize their shoes in order to facilitate their commute.

Based on this, we initially created two user stories taking into account the fact that our product was meant for members of the NYU Shanghai community:

Person 1: Daniel, NYU Shanghai Sophomore student

  • Hobbies: likes to stay active. Is an NYU Shanghai soccer team member – has 2 football practices per week and goes to gym 1-3 times a week
  • Lives: Lives in Jinqiao residence halls
  • Commute: Mobikes to school
  • Additional information:
    • Doesn’t have a locker
    • Goes out for dinner often

Person 2: Tina, NYU Shanghai Administrative Officer, 31 years old

  • Hobbies: jogging on the Pudong side of Huangpu river, staying active.
  • Lives: walking distance from the AB
  • Commute:Walks 20 minutes to get to school in sneakers
  • Additional information:
    • Prefers to wear formal shoes during work.
    • Is unable to leave formal shoes in working place, so must use the bag to carry them instead

Insights: after creating these two personas, we realized our target market is a specific group of students in NYU Shanghai: those who frequently go to the gym and want to bring their sports shoes without carrying an extra bag or wearing them during the day. We figured that infrequent gym goers would not necessarily mind carrying an extra bag with them in the few days they would go to the gym, so they would not find a direct need for our shoe bag. As our bag is meant to be attached to the bottom of a backpack, it would not be appropriate to be fastened to handbags or computer bags and could even become an additional hassle if used in that manner. Though students are our primary users, we believe some teachers (like Tina), who go to the gym or do exercise right after work, might also benefit from our product as they would need an easy means to carry their shoes as well. 

 

User Interview 

My target user will be? Our target users are members of the NYU Shanghai community,  specifically those who like to stay active and frequently work out or go to the gym. 

The problem my user wants to solve is? Our user wants to find an easy and hassle-free way of carrying their gym clothing and shoes along with their school backpack and materials to facilitate their commute.

My user’s need can be solved with? An alternative means of carrying their shoes. 

Why can’t my user solve this today? Our user can’t solve this today, as the current shoe bags are rigid and are an additional burden to carry around while commuting or going from class to class (especially if the user doesn’t own a locker in the Academic Building)

The measurable outcome my user wants to achieve is?  The measurable outcome they would achieve is having and maintaining an active lifestyle with no additional external hindrances. 

My earliest, most visionary adopter will be? NYU Shanghai students. 

My primary competition will be?

  • Drawstring backpacks
  • Sports bags with compartments/more breathable material

I will beat my competitors primarily because of? We will beat our competitors primarily since our shoe bags attach securely to backpacks, have adjustable straps, and are visually appealing, overall making the process of carrying around additional shoes effortless. 

My biggest technical or engineering risk is? Our biggest technical risk is how well the bag fits and adjusts to the bottom of different backpacks, and whether people will use it as it is meant to be used rather than as an additional bag. 

What assumptions do we have that, if proven wrong, would cause this product to fail?

Some of our assumptions are that:

  • People prefer to carry a sport bag instead of stuffing gym clothes in their backpacks.
  • Shoes are the main component that makes commuting a hindrance with their gym clothes.
  • People would prefer to attach a shoe bag under their backpacks instead of carrying it in their hands altogether.

Customer Discovery Stories and Questions

To answer the Hypothesis Statement and User Stories we create a powerpoint for presentation: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1OczPgARsVHI9CtjYZnfE412yR6DsLcAsPHaB0kLu1f8/edit?ts=5ad46ac1#slide=id.g370574e83a_0_110

For other questions:

My target user will be? (Tip: how would you describe your primary target user)

Our primary target audience is for individuals who live in a city. This wallet is dedicated to people who are constantly on the go but do not want to carry unnecessary stuffs in their wallet. It caters to people who frequently use their wallet especially to swipe into school, work, or the subway.

The problem my user wants to solve is? (Tip: what does your user struggle with or what need do they want to fulfill)

The bulkiness and accessibility of coins on a person. To organize the necessories and get rid of the other unused messy. (As well as the accessibility of having a QR code available to network with other individuals.)

My user’s need can be solved with? (Tip: give a very concise description / elevator pitch of your product)

A concise wallet that is a multi-module wallet fit to cater to individuals who find themselves with few cards in their wallet as well as a frequent need of coins.

Why can’t my user solve this today? (Tip: what are the obstacles that have prevented my user from solving this already)

The user is constantly being award coins which leaves the user with an absurd amount of coins that will then just be misplaced or unused because of the inaccessible carrier of their current wallet.

The user can’t solve this is because there is no these kind of products existing in the market and it costs a lot of time to change a new wallet that is the same with the old one (the user did not have time to reorganize the messy).

 

The measurable outcome my user wants to achieve is? (Tip: what measurable change happens in your user’s life that makes them love your product)

The ability to carry coins whenever needed especially for subways or vending machines without having to fear that once they open the wallet the coins will fall out. Also to have the opportunity to have a slim wallet that caters to all your needs as well as being a multi module that gives the users their own creativity with it.

My earliest, most visionary adopter will be? (Tip: remember that you can’t get to the mainstream user without getting early adopters first)

My most visionary adopter will be the when we thinking about inventing a coin exchange machine so that people would have coins in a more convenient way when professor told us that it would be better to invent a wallet to hold coins.

My primary competition will be? (Tip: think about both direct and indirect competition, e.g., what substitutes might exist?)

Our primary competition will be other startup groups who have created convenient wallets. And the wallet only for cards that existing in the market.

I will beat my competitors primarily because of? (Tip: what truly differentiates you from the competition?)

We will beat our competitors primarily because of the uniqueness of having velcro attachable module parts for the wallet and places to organize the coins.

My biggest technical or engineering risk is? (Tip: is there a major technical challenge that could get in the way of actually building your product?)

Our biggest technical or engineering risk would be the coin holder module. It has been a tedious task to structure a coin holder that will make the wallet remain light and convenient as well

What assumptions do we have that, if proven wrong, would cause this product to fail?

If our target audience don’t carry the need to actually have coin in their person. Or if the coin module isnt ass study to hold coins as predicted. Another possible unforeseen failure would be if the velcro of the wallet would eventually wear down and loses its ability to stick the modules together.

The measurable outcome my user wants to achieve is? (Tip: what measurable change happens in your user’s life that makes them love your product)

When rushing to the metro station and the line to refill their card or the possibility not having a metrocard on you at that time has appeared and they are able to quickly whip out the coins from the wallet.

 

Customer Discovery Stories and Questions by De’yon Smith and Judy (Grewell)

Power Point Story Board: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1OczPgARsVHI9CtjYZnfE412yR6DsLcAsPHaB0kLu1f8/edit#slide=id.g388a6f6367_0_787

My target user will be? (Tip: how would you describe your primary target user)

Our primary target audience is for individuals who live in a city. This wallet is dedicated to people who are constantly on the go but do not want to carry unnecessary stuff in their wallet. It caters to people who frequently use their wallet especially to swipe into school, work, or the subway.

The problem my user wants to solve is? (Tip: what does your user struggle with or what need do they want to fulfill)

The bulkiness and accessibility of coins on a person. To organize the necessities and get rid of the other unused messy. (As well as the accessibility of having a QR code available to network with other individuals.)

My user’s need can be solved with? (Tip: give a very concise description/elevator pitch of your product)

A concise wallet that is a multi-module wallet fit to cater to individuals who find themselves with few cards in their wallet as well as a frequent need for coins.

Why can’t my user solve this today? (Tip: what are the obstacles that have prevented my user from solving this already)

The user is constantly being award coins which leave the user with an absurd amount of coins that will then just be misplaced or unused because of the inaccessible carrier of their current wallet.

The user can’t solve this is because there is no these kind of products existing in the market and it costs a lot of time to change a new wallet that is the same with the old one (the user did not have time to reorganize the messy).

 

The measurable outcome my user wants to achieve is? (Tip: what measurable change happens in your user’s life that makes them love your product)

The ability to carry coins whenever needed especially for subways or vending machines without having to fear that once they open the wallet the coins will fall out. Also to have the opportunity to have a slim wallet that caters to all your needs as well as being a multi-module that gives the users their own creativity with it.

My earliest, the most visionary adopter will be? (Tip: remember that you can’t get to the mainstream user without getting early adopters first)

My most visionary adopter will be the when we thinking about inventing a coin the exchange machine so that people would have coins in a more convenient way when the professor told us that it would be better to invent a wallet to hold coins.

My primary competition will be? (Tip: think about both direct and indirect competition, e.g., what substitutes might exist?)

Our primary competition will be other startup groups who have created convenient wallets. And the wallet only for cards that exist in the market.

I will beat my competitors primarily because of? (Tip: what truly differentiates you from the competition?)

We will beat our competitors primarily because of the uniqueness of having velcro attachable module parts for the wallet and places to organize the coins.

My biggest technical or engineering risk is? (Tip: is there a major technical challenge that could get in the way of actually building your product?)

Our biggest technical or engineering risk would be the coin holder module. It has been a tedious task to structure a coin holder that will make the wallet remain light and convenient as well

What assumptions do we have that, if proven wrong, would cause this product to fail?

If our target audience doesn’t carry the need to actually have a coin in their person. Or if the coin module isn’t ass study to hold coins as predicted. Another possible unforeseen failure would be if the velcro of the wallet would eventually wear down and loses its ability to stick the modules together.

The measurable outcome my user wants to achieve is? (Tip: what measurable change happens in your user’s life that makes them love your product)

When rushing to the metro station and the line to refill their card or the possibility not having a MetroCard on you at that time has appeared and they are able to quickly whip out the coins from the wallet.

 

[Made in China] Customer Discovery (By Kev and Bruce)

Class: Made in China
Assignment (Week 10)- Customer Discovery

 

Hypothesis Statement:

  1. We think that commuters who rely on bikes to go to work or school are not making use of the front bike basket to hold their accessories and we see an opportunity to design an add-on to the basket in order to prevent accessories inside the basket from falling off.
  2. We think that commuters who rely on bikes to go to work or school are sometimes only using one hand to bike as he is using another hand to hold his phone which helps him to navigate the way. We see an opportunity to design a phone holder to the basket in order to allow the commuter to read the phone hands-free while biking.

Enhanced User Stories:

 This is the current design of our product “bike pad”:

Here are 2 examples of our many customers:

 

User Interview

My target user will be? (Tip: how would you describe your primary target user)

My target user will be commuters who rely on sharing bikes to travel to school or work or general frequent bike users.

The problem my user wants to solve is? (Tip: what does your user struggle with or what need do they want to fulfill)

  1. It is impossible to store small accessories, such as a book or a folder, inside the basket because it will fall off easily. The basket space is not utilized and commuters have to carry it in their backpacks as well, causing inconvenience.
  2. It is common for the bikers to use one hand to bike and another hand to hold his phone, no matter it is for messaging, navigating or other purposes. This may be dangerous to both the biker and the pedestrians as it would be harder for the biker to control the bike with one hand.

My user’s need can be solved with? (Tip: give a very concise description / elevator pitch of your product)

The Bike Pad is a multi-purpose add-on to any sharing bikes that helps users in 2 ways:

  1. By attaching it to the top of the basket, it keeps your stuff inside from bouncing off.
  2. The slot can keep your smartphone safe inside, and the transparent and water- resistant film on top will make it easy for navigating when biking.

Why can’t my user solve this today? (Tip: what are the obstacles that have prevented my user from solving this already)

There are existing add-on solutions such as elastic mesh and solid phone holder that can be attached to the handlebar. However, there is no existing solution that combines both functions into the same product, which would be easier for the customer to carry around.

The measurable outcome my user wants to achieve is? (Tip: what measurable change happens in your user’s life that makes them love your product)

It is very hard to quantify the convenience brought by utilization of the bike space. However, we might find a reduced number of bike accidents since it becomes safer for our customers to bike and use their phone for navigation at the same time.

My earliest, most visionary adopter will be? (Tip: remember that you can’t get to the mainstream user without getting early adopters first)

We do not have specific visionary adopter in mind. But we can station at metro station exits or locations where people usually pick up sharing bikes and invite interested commuters to try our product.

My primary competition will be? (Tip: think about both direct and indirect competition, e.g., what substitutes might exist?)

As mentioned before, the primary competition will come from existing solutions such as elastic mesh or phone holders that are attachable to the handlebars.

I will beat my competitors primarily because of? (Tip: what truly differentiates you from the competition?)

We would be the only product that combines both functions of elastic mesh and phone holder. Since our design will also be easy to carry around and made with plastic, we believe portability and light weight will also be our key features.

My biggest technical or engineering risk is? (Tip: is there a major technical challenge that could get in the way of actually building your product?)

Since we are planning to manufacture it by plastic injection, the design of the mould will be important. We would be asking industrial designer Arlen for help and review.

What assumptions do we have that, if proven wrong, would cause this product to fail?

If no one is actually willing to put their stuff in the bike basket or no one is actually using their phones while biking, our product will fail.

Journal 9-Judy (Grewell)

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1AU0EJTxprGNujfqmUCn6Tm59NYAtDdlqL7acJ9QhqD8/edit#gid=611024358

For Journal 8, we did the product specification and Bill of Materials. In Journal 9 it would be better to catch up with the process we have made so far.

We decided to get rid of the QR code layer due to the manufacturer side. It turns out that it is hard to let the factory customize too much for you, so we choose the layers that are more easy to achieve, which is the cardholder layer and the coin-holder layer.

On the other hand, we also update the coin layer into velcro feature, so it would be more easy for the factory to process. We also going to apply the DAX cardholder into our card layer, which could hold more cards and maybe paper QR code as well. What’s more, velcro coins-holder would be more easy to combine with the fabric of cardholder.

It occurs to me that the innovation is so different from manufacturing, your imagination is hard to concrete into product sometimes. The barrier between concept and objects need thousands of testing and recreating, let me see some of the failure products in real life in a more critical way.

HW 7: sustainability review

For our product, we bought a few shoe bags from taobao. Below is a black one that’s made of nylon and designed for portability. It arrived folded in half and packed in this plastic bag.

At first sight it looked nice. It was packed thin and neat. However, I still found the plastic bag a little redundant and environment-unfriendly, so I came up with another way this bag might be packaged:

It can be folded more times and wound by the side handle. In this way it looks even more portable and can be easily delivered in a small paper box instead of another plastic kuaidi bag as how it came. I believe we can apply this to our final product as well.

Homework #8: Design for Sustainability

Regarding most of the items Amy and I ordered on Taobao, including multiple shoe bags, retractable cups, fasteners, and even a small pair of baby shoes, I realized that the biggest issue most of these items had in terms of sustainability was pertinent to their packaging.

In the case of the shoe bags, most of these were packaged in large, plastic bags. These were also ridiculously larger than the actual shoe bags, wasting quite a lot of the material. As such, a better option that we are considering using in our project is to simply use a tag with the details of the product on the bag, instead of using a whole plastic case for it. A possible extension to make this more sustainable would be to use recycled paper for these tags as well.

Another approach would be for the product to include an additional multi-purpose cloth bag where the shoe bag comes in from (as shown below). In this way, the packaging could be used as both a feature as an additional selling point, and as the package for the shoe bag. Image result for bag packaging

Homework #7: Alpha Prototype Presentation and Feedback

Overview

For our alpha prototype presentation, Amy and I focused on demonstrating the evolution of our concept through the different models we had developed. As we had explained in class, our original idea of finding an easier way to carry one’s gym shoes stayed the same, as any further changes would be too late and would be too complex to carry out in the remaining amount of time we had. Instead, we developed several “soft” and “rigid” models of what the new, re-purposed shoe bag could look like.

Feedback on presentation: Nick’s feedback for us was mostly related to our concept and idea choice. He proposed we perform more user testing as to pinpoint the exact features or aspects that people are really looking for in a bag. Some questions he posed which were useful for us to note regarding further improvements of the model or functionality of the bag included: What is the typical user? What category of people would this bag appeal to? Taking this into consideration, what situation would people use this object in? He also emphasized the importance of giving sample bags out to people to actually test the efficacy of our concept and model. Overall, this feedback was really useful, but as we were already almost halfway through the process and could not afford to go back and re-define our idea or concept, we decided to take these questions in mind when narrowing down our models along the way.

When creating these models, these were the specifications we considered:

  1. Material: Would have to be light, flexible, and durable. Nylon, polyester, and a flexible mesh are our primary materials as these are usually used for shoe bags, and make the bag breathable enough as to avoid any bad smells. If possible, waterproof would be a good addition.
  2. Function: The optimum placement for the bag would be attached to the bottom of a backpack. The zipper would be located at the top part of the bag to avoid anyone from opening the bag from the back or the sides. Straps with adjustable sliders and fasteners would be added on either side of the bag to allow it to be attached to the backpack. The original idea of making the bag retractable had to be dropped, as after talking to Christian, Amy and I established that trying to adapt the retractable function from the cups to be able to work well with fabric would be an additional complication, which could overall detract from the user experience as well.
  3. Form: 
    1. Soft Model – our alpha prototype, the soft model shown below consisted of adding an extra strap and fastener on one side of a nylon shoe bag. As is shown in the images, the functionality of the bag works, as when we tried it it did not add a lot of extra weight and was not uncomfortable, but the lack of rigidness in the model distorted the form of the bag. As such, this model was a good preview of the functionality we are looking for in our bag, which would need possible improvements. As such, we developed a new concept for our “rigid” model.

2. Rigid Model: our rigid model consists of a bag that has the same functionalities as the soft model we created previously, but has wires and a firmer structure that would not only make the bag look sleeker, but would also make it fit better to the bottom of a backpack. This is the final model we created in Fusion360 we would like our manufacturers to make:

The bag would fit in this manner, attached at the bottom of a person’s backpack.

Uncertainties: We would like to follow the design shown above as closely as possible, but it all depends on the extent to which the manufacturers can customize our bags. We are in the middle of the process of reaching out to manufacturers in Taobao and Alibaba, and although we have received some responses, the MOQ some manufacturers have requested is 1000 units. As such, we are still trying to find a manufacturer for our final product. In the case that the organic structure we designed is not possible to be made, we would request to have our basic functionalities added into existing bags, as to maintain at least the essential aspects of our bag.

 

 

Design for Sustainability

  • Material
    • One piece > several pieces = reduce cost of components
    • Using materials instead of electronics (paint>light)
      • 荧光漆 1 kg Paint = ~ 40kuai-100kuai
    • Size – kids size = smaller cane = less material used
    • 6R> recycled material? Is it possible for a coating
  • Maybe focusing on China?
    • Cut delivery prices
    • Smaller carbon footprint
  • Packaging
    • The use of recycled paper for the product manual.
    • Product packaging using recyclable corrugated paper.
    • Product cartons bearing the recycle system mark.

[Made in China] Design for sustainability (By Kev and Bruce)

Class: Made in China
Journal (Week 8) – Design for sustainability

 

We have ordered an inelastic mesh (with hooks) from Taobao. However, we suspect that there are 2 main areas that could be improved to make the product more sustainable:

  1. When we unpacked the product, there was a strong irritating chemical smell from the mesh itself. We guessed this was due to the dyeing process. In addition, the dye might probably pollute the environment as well. We suggest that designers should use natural dye or low impact dye instead.
  2. The mesh came with a thin layer of plastic packaging, which was wasteful as it went to the trash bin directly. Since it may be impossible for them to completely get rid of the packaging, we would suggest the designers to wrap the mesh with recyclable materials instead to minimize environmental, such as using recycled papers rather than plastic.