The Re-Design experience

My previous blog post on what entrepreneurs need to know about the design thinking process introduced the concept and the steps therein. In this blog, I will explain another distinct but related step i.e. redesign. A few weeks back in my class, we were tasked to redesign either a product or a service of our choice that we thought needed a little re-designing. The re-design exercise was to give us an experience of having a more practical approach and understanding of the design thinking process.

Following the process steps, we went on a fact-finding mission of problems facing our community. My team and I brainstormed on different problems that we thought were either affecting our community but that was not really conclusive since we had to engage the target group. We further agreed to have a day off just to observe and understand our surroundings better. On the next day, we concluded on a problem that seemed to affect many shoppers who we empathized with, i.e. carrying heavy grocery bags.

We then quickly designed a questionnaire to make our interaction and interview with the shoppers. The questionnaire had to capture the right information in the shortest time possible considering that most shoppers are always in a hurry. A number of challenges were raised by the shoppers regarding some of the grocery bags on the market. The main issue related to the poor quality of bags as demonstrated by low durability of the fabric used. Others did not have compartments to carry different items while others had fragile handles and could easily break. This means they were unable to carry groceries in one bag and had to carry multiple bags, et cetera.

As a team, we thought of how we might make the shopping experience for the shoppers better, especially for those that are looking for a shopping bag with all the good qualities combined. This was indeed going to take a lot more creativity to redesign the right bag. We then decided to brainstorm on a number of ideas and zeroed down on the most appropriate. This process birthed the collapsible grocery trolley bag.

On to creating a prototype, we had to get materials that we could easily play with but suitable for building our first sample that could easily be seen but also experienced. We therefore designed a portable two wheel collapsible trolley bag with folding handles that can be crumpled and carried in one’s handbag. It also has compartments that can carry a lot more items and we intend to use recycled material. We believe the bag will resolve the problems that our target users identified.

Team DT4 at work prototyping collapsible grocery trolley bag
Team DT4’s final collapsible trolley bag prototype

The practical experience was amazing and we learned that designing a product/service requires a lot of interaction and engagement with the actual users/target group from the initial stages to the end. This process minimizes errors and enables one build a solid and quicker solution to the problem.

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