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Paper Abstract

GMP 1

The product below is a box that can attach to the ceiling of a fridge, allowing you to store food inside of it as well as magnetically attach bottles to the underside. To make sure that food placed inside of the box does not rot, the interior will be covered with insulation so that the box is not deflecting the cold air that the fridge provides.  The objective of this product is to save space within a fridge by lifting up the bottles away from the bottom of the fridge shelf. To ensure accessibility to the visually impaired, our product has a braille-like texture around the openings where the bottles attach. 

DESIGN PROBLEM

There is often a lack of space within a fridge and users are constantly struggling to keep everything organized. There is also the problem of children being able to easily obtain alcoholic or other dangerous beverages from a fridge without anyone noticing. This speaks for a need to create something that can result in a more efficient organization system within a fridge and a product that can keep dangerous beverages out of reach of children. 

DESIGN PROCESS

RESEARCH 

My group and I took a top-down approach within the research phase. We treated a box as an “object-to-think-with.” This meant that we tried to break out of the traditional use of a box, which is to transport objects from Point A to Point B. We wanted to create a box that solved an everyday problem. We broke down these problems and reflected on how to create a box that can solve one of these everyday problems. We reflected on how we traveled from one place to another or how we did simple things like eating. This pointed us to an issue we never focused on before; the lack of space in a fridge, and the struggle to keep everything organized. That is when we found the everyday problem of fridge organization and decided to create a box to address this problem. 

IDEATION

Through our ideation process, we ran into some challenges. One challenge was creating holes or openings along the underside of the box identical in diameter to various bottles, as these openings would be what grips the bottles underneath the box. This seemed especially an issue for narrower bottles since the bottles would simply fall out. We bounced ideas around as a group and found that these narrower bottles generally have a magnetic lid. This allowed us to tweak our product by incorporating magnetic circles on the bottom of the box to be used for these narrower bottles with magnetic lids. Our largest hurdle was finding a magnetic strip that was powerful enough to hold the box to the ceiling of the fridge. When we initially put in our magnetic strips and attempted to attach the box to the top, it would fall off. The trick was to incorporate a stronger magnet to the top, rather than the weaker magnetic strips. 

PROTOTYPE

SAVE SPACE

Eliminate wasted space created by bottles sitting on shelf

SECURE BOTTLES

Keep alcholic bottles out of reach from children

INSULATED

Insulation inside of box isnt deflecting cold air from fridge

ERGONOMIC

2-in-1 concept; storing food as well as holding bottles

ACCESSIBLE

Braille-like texture around openings

SAFE & SECURE

Bottles secured to bottom of box through plastic slab inside box

TAKEAWAYS

An important lesson that I learned throughout GMP 1 was the importance of thinking out of the box. We often limit ourselves by going down a traditional path and doing what everyone else is doing. We often do this so that we can feel "normal", as we do not want to be judged or feel "different". However, if there is anything that this project has taught me, it is to now allow judgment to hold us back. Instead, we must think critically and push boundaries that no one else has before. Being judged and being different is what leads to innovation, and it is something that I can take with me as a UX designer. Having the ability to be "different" and bring in a wide array of perspectives will allow me to build greater empathy and understanding with my users. 

GMP 2

My group and I created a folding board that is accessible to those with arthritis, allowing them to fold their clothes with ease. We made this folding board into a briefcase by incorporating Velcro on each flap so that the flaps can close on each other. We then incorporated a long and thick strap so that the user can hold the briefcase. The idea of a long and thick strap is to redistribute the pressure from the user’s fingers onto their shoulders, as the longer strap would allow them to place the briefcase on their shoulders. 

DESIGN PROBLEM

It is vital to create a socially responsible design that works towards the creation of a holistic design. However, product designers often ignore “niche” groups of users, but it is critical to create a product that is inclusive and accessible to all users. Those with arthritis have trouble with their day-to-day tasks such as tying shoes, playing sports, and folding clothes. Our goal was to create a product that allows those with arthritis to easily complete a day-to-day task without discomfort.

DESIGN PROCESS

RESEARCH 

My group and I researched all aspects; arthritis within the workforce, arthritis within mothers, and arthritis within seniors over 65. Our findings are shown below: 

MOTHERS LIVING WITH INFLAMMATORY ARTHRITIS

  • Mothers had to give up sports or shopping with children

  • Lack of strength, dexterity, and mood made it difficult for them to do day-to-day tasks for their children

 

  • Inability to perform or choosing to forfeit specific activities

A STUDY ON THE EXPERIENCES OF MEN WITH RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS

  • Reduction in strength and abilities – which results in loss of independence

  • Challenges to masculine identity and role – men accustomed to being in control and do not want that control stripped from them

 

  • Loss of power and control leads to feelings of helplessness

WORKFORCE EXPERIENCES OF WOMEN AND MEN WITH ARTHRITIS DISABILITY

  • 2.3% of working age (25-64) - population reported arthritis disability

  • More severe pain and disability associated with being out of the labor force

 

  • Employed women with arthritis require more accommodation in workplace and reported more limitations to activity than men

WORKS CITED

Backman, Catherine L., et al. “Experiences of Mothers Living with Inflammatory

Arthritis.” Arthritis & Rheumatism, vol. 57, no. 3, 2007,pp. 381–388., https://doi.org/10.1002/art.22609.

 

 

Flurey, Caroline A., et al. “‘You Obviously Just Have to Put on a Brave Face’: A Qualitative Study of the Experiences and Coping Styles of Men with Rheumatoid Arthritis.” Arthritis Care & Research, vol. 69, no. 3, 2017, pp. 330–337., https://doi.org/10.1002/acr.22951.

 

 

Kaptein, Simone A., et al. “Differences in the Workforce Experiences of Women and Men with Arthritis Disability: A Population Health Perspective.” Arthritis & Rheumatism, vol. 61, no. 5, 2009, pp. 605–613., https://doi.org/10.1002/art.24427.

IDEATION

When we first created our product, our goal was to have a hamper that sticks underneath a folding board. However, we ran into an issue when attempting this - the hamper would simply get stuck in between the flaps when folding clothes using the folding board. The idea behind the hamper was to be used as a tool to easier transport clothes. Our solution was to make the folding board into a briefcase by incorporating Velcro on each flap so that the flaps can close on one another. We then incorporated a strap so that the user can hold the briefcase. This is when we ran into another issue, those with arthritis would have difficulty carrying the briefcase due to swollen fingers. As such, we decided to increase the length of the strap and make it thicker. This would redistribute the pressure from the user’s fingers onto their shoulders, as the longer strap would allow them to place the briefcase on their shoulders.

PROTOTYPE

TAKEAWAYS

Throughout GMP 2 I have learned the importance of inclusivity. I learned that although most product designers claim to be inclusive, they rather are "exclusive". Product designers fail to keep in mind those with disabilities when creating products, which leads to the creation of products that are "exclusive" to those without disabilities. This leads to the group of users with disabilities feel that they lost their sense of independence, identity, and control. When creating a product geared towards inclusivity, you should be conducting user research along with usability tests, and ensuring that those with disabilities are part of your test. This is a rule that can be used in both physical and digital products, as a UX Designer it is vital to keep in mind accessibility issues within your experience or application. 

The picture to the left is a perfect example of inclusive design. Microsoft created "Microsoft adaptive accessories." These products are geared towards people with physical impairments. 

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