Observing Our Users

In our Design Thinking for Start-ups Module we analyse the different theories used nowadays in design thinking, these can be applied to many types of companies, whether it be a product or service. One of them is analytical thinking, which comes mainly from business. Separating itself from this, design thinking focus on two main things: problem solving and abduction.

What I find most interesting about design thinking is that is taking away the principle of creating a business or a service just because, it actually focuses on the consumer or, lets use the correct term, user. It is a theory that solves a problem for the user, it creates something for his/her needs. It’s all about having empathy.

This is a far more creative approach to business. It’s more about why is this or that important, what would change if this existed? It happens to us in the film industry all the time, we are always questioning ourselves why we want to tell this or that story. Why is this important? Who would benefit from it? 

There are several techniques that can be use to understand problems. One of them is by observation. Using this technique we did a very interesting and fun exercise in class. We were given the task to go around and ask people why did they chose the shoes they were wearing. To understand what were the main benefits of it, the cons, and if they would change something, what would that be. We needed to put ourselves in the “shoes” of our consumers, to be able to create a product that would fulfil their needs.

With my group, we targeted women because we wanted to create something that women would benefit from. When asking around, most of them were happy with their shoes. So our strategy was asking what they liked most about what they were wearing and why did they chose that. The unanimous response was that the ladies’ wanted comfort above everything else.

This is a city were you walk a lot, and you usually leave your home in the morning and don’t return for at least the afternoon or evening. So, that’s why comfort was the main reason when choosing a shoe. Other features were style (as in something they like) and colour (something that can be worn with everything).

Also, around 80% of the women we talked to wanted something that can be worn day and night. Because with busy lives sometimes they don’t have the time to go change and have to carry other shoes if they have an event in the evening.

So, we came up for a solution to this problem. Using the same principle as roller blade sneakers we came up with a flat style shoe that has a heel hidden inside. With only one click you can bring out the heel. This could come in different colours but mainly in black, as it is the most wearable for every occasion. 

We took into consideration comfort first. Women can use the flat shoes all day, and if you happen to go to an event and can’t change or don’t want to carry extra shoes (because who wants to carry heavy stuff?), then you can JUST CLICK and voila!: a whole new stylish pair of shoes.

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