• What? UX research applied to ceramics
• Role: User research, ideation, mid-fidelity prototyping
• Duration: 4 weeks, 2020
• Context: self-employed Designer
• Process: user “homework”, user interviews, affinity map, pictures map, sketching, cardboard prototyping
• Tools: Audio recorder, Skype, Google Suite, InDesign, Photoshop, sticky-notes, pens and paper, cardboard
For the past year, I’ve been making ceramics in my little studio in Berlin. I love to experiment with graphics, texture, shape, and be rather spontaneous with it.
I had the project of making ceramic boxes in the back of my head for a while but I somehow didn’t know how to tackle it, and the project never came to life:
“What type of container can I make? To store what? Of what size, shape, opening system, texture?”
I realized that conducting UX research on that topic (which isn’t the traditional way to go in that field) would allow me to define precise use and characteristics for those containers, and make sure it responds to my clients’ needs.
I organized the data from the interviews in an affinity map. I put the focus on people's main motivations and the concrete characteristics of satisfying tidying systems.
During the interviews, I asked people to comment on the pictures they sent me. Then, I made a map with the most insightful quotes associated with their pictures. I sorted them by category of objects and satisfaction level (red sticky-notes represent frustrations and green ones satisfaction). I found 3 big categories:
Among the 3 big areas I outlined in my research, I chose to focus on things that are used on an everyday basis, where the need for an efficient tidying solution isn’t currently fully met:
From those insights, I started sketching a bunch of ideas and I chose to work on a unique container that could be used in both contexts. The object is made of 3 parts that are working as a whole or as individual units:
In addition, I’ve been working on the texture of the surfaces to add more flexibility to the different elements:
Then, I built a mid-fidelity prototype in cardboard to refine the dimensions:
To finish, I put the prototype in context (in both an office and a bathroom environment) to try out its features: