Research and conceptual design of innovative household products

Research and conceptual design of innovative products for an internationally-known consumer electron



projectbackground


An internationally-known consumer electronics company needed to conduct research on innovative products. The purpose was tounderstand the composition of target users and the ways of information exchange and communication between family members. For example, how do they share digital media channels and what are the means of family entertainment? How do they communicate their emotions and manage family affairs? The objectives of the project were:



1. Help the enterprise determine the users of the product.

2. Help the enterprise understand the family life environment and user scenarios,

3. Understand the needs of users and their families, and propose a conceptual design based on existing technology and development directions.



Solution


Based on the research requirements, we implemented the plan in three stages: 



This was the first attempt of applying an iterative research methodology to heuristic qualitative research projects. Several rounds of research helped narrow down and pinpoint the final scope and supported the creation of areasonable and effective conceptual design. What’s worth noting is that this method must be conducted with the same group of samples. If there’sparticipation from other groups, the number of users and thus, the difficulty of project implementation and data analysis will be increased.


Final results


Understanding users’needs for life scenarios from their perspective, and screening and determining the feasibility of concepts from the client’s perspective. 


Determination of precise, rich Persona

Our interview with 12 family members was of great value in determining the personas, creating their life scenarios, and ensured that we could understand all details before doing data analysis. At the beginning, we set roles by family, but after the first round of interviews and analysis, we found that a family consisted of individuals. The interview with families helped us determine high-priority family roles. During the second round of research, we began to observe the scenarios of each individual in a family and explored their association with other individuals in the family.



Iterative optimization of concepts


The process from interview to design out put was actually a process of constant iteration of conceptual design, so were served adequate time for it. After the first round of interviews, we determined 7 conceptual points and set up a concept divergence workshop with the enter prise’s staff. We selected 5 from 7 conceptual points for further exploration. As described above, through this research method, we determined more refined Persona and created richer scenarios. After the second round of interviews, we proposed more comprehensive, detailed contents based on 5 conceptual ideas, worked with the enter prise’s staff to develop an assessment questionnaire and invited over 10 experts for assessment and scoring. The experts conducted a comprehensive assessment from aspects such as implementation, innovation, development, strategy, and corporate branding to select the 3 best conceptual ideas.


 

Complete concept development strategy


After the concept design was finalized, TANG gathered several senior consultants including researchers and experience designers to comprehensively analyze the concept ideas from the perspectives including form, application scenarios and development. Each concept was anachievable solution, instead of a design that could not be developed.




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