Design Project Assignment 4: Problem Definition

Images: find a stock photo for your user, and maybe 2-3 other images that represent their lifestyle. Remember to cite your sources! (The images don’t all have to have the same human being in them)


Problem Area: Having a lack of motion with one hand use
Goals of Future Solutions: Allow for amputee victims to be able to reach difficult points of their body such as the back of their hand or same side armpit.
Problem Statement: Design a product that allows amputees to reach areas of their body that they cannot reach with one arm.

Problem Area:
Not being able to stabilize objects
Goals of Future Solutions: Allow for amputees to be able to stabilize an object while their hand is being used to do something else.
Problem Statement: Design a product that solves the other problem areas to reduce the time spent doing other tasks

Problem Area:
Everything requires a large amount of additional time to complete.
Goals of Future Solutions: Lower the amount of time needed to finish tasks.
Problem Statement: Design a product that will allow the amputees to perform these tasks more efficiently time-wise.

Problem Area:
There are conflicting design features of certain types of items (i.e. different) that inhibit amputees because products are tailored for the largest number of people rather than the abilities of specific individuals.
Goals of Future Solutions: Allow for a universal design that is able to utilize other products.
Problem Statement: Design a product that can work on its own and also work well with existing products.

Problem Area:
Losing a sense of independence, feeling like you can’t do as much as other people
Goals of Future Solutions: Provide enough functionality in at least one area of their life to help them regain some independence and dignity.Problem Statement: Design a solution that allows the user to regain some dignity, pride, and independence through it’s utility.



Design Project Assignment 3: Research

The work done for this project will be divided up into multiple pages that mirror the rubric. 

Understanding the Challenge:

Before we decided on our topiMindmapc and constraints, just like any other good design project, we started to brainstorm ideas and activities that might be challenging for people with one arm.

We used the in-class time to create a mindmap and connect relevant topics and activities that fell in similar categories.
At the end of the process, we decided to focus on the challenges everyday health and wellness activities might bring to people who had their entire non-dominant hand amputated.

Immersion and Shadowing: 

With our population’s condition in mind, all five members decided on 4 different health & wellness everyday activities that could potentially pose a challenge if done with one arm. The goal of this exploration was to find pain-points in activities that able-bodied people take for granted.
Because of conflicting schedules, we weren’t able to shadow each other. Our solution to that was to record ourselves performing the tasks and later reflect on the experience in a summary statement attached to the video.

Immersion tasks were divided in the following order:

Christian: Putting on deodorant; Putting on a bandaid; Styling hair (blow drying and brushing); Plucking eyebrows with tweezers.
Ivan: Tying shoes; Opening medicine pill bottles; Tidying up a bed.
Jack: Refilling a water bottle; Getting ready for class; Vacuuming; Making a snack.
James: Brushing teeth; Putting on moisturizer; Shaving, Zipping up a jacket.
Ross: Folding clothes; Clipping fingernails; Washing hands.

All videos and summary statements are available on the Immersion and Shadowing page.

Background Research:

By the time we were done with our background research we wanted to better empathize with our target group, understand their pain-points in everyday activities, identify potential design solutions, and know the products and technology available on the market that help these people get through their day. Our topics of research were inspired by the suggestions in the assignment prompt but weren’t limited to them.

Research topics were divided in the following order:

Christian: Current Events
Ivan: First-hand experiences and design solutions
Jack: Standards & Best Practices
James: Current Products
Ross: Statistics and Demographics 

Some findings and conclusions are unique in their own right and others overlap. All are available on the Background Research page.