One of the most exciting results from the Ghana research was how it changed our perspective on the design, and gave us the user research we needed to get back to the drawing board.Fortunately, the feedback I got from users was a lot more pointed than I'd been expecting. Comments tended to focus on a few main things:
1. Interlocking: It's great because it causes the portlets to stay in place when rolling. It's not great because users find the portlets hard to fit together, especially over rough terrain
2. Grip: Many people immediately tried to grip the rubber covering when picking up the portlets, which is a pretty big sanitation concern for our NGO partners.
3. Size: Ok, maybe reactions to this weren't so pointed! One group of users, women who are the sole water collectors for their families, wanted to see the size of the portlets increased. On the other hand, children and older women liked that the units were light enough for them to pick up, and didn't want to see a change. So are we leaning toward efficency tool or aide tool on this one?
To answer some of these questions, we sat down with IDEO for an hour-long brainstorming session last week. We had a lot of fun-As a designer, it was hard to not completely geek out watching a team of design and engineering pros brainstorm for our product. As usually happens at these sorts of this things there were a lot of very blue sky concepts, but also some that we can certainly build upon.
I'm posting a montage of video footage from Ghana, which helped us identify some of the design challenges, and some of the best IDEO concepts.