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understanding the experience in context to find new opportunities


EXPERIENCE DESIGNER august 2013 (photo taken in New York City

When I design...


I strive to bridge the understanding of consumer insights and the behaviors we want to encourage in our users. Ultimately, I hope to encourage behaviors I believe bring out the best (and new) in us. I value a team that supports each other and believe with great diversity comes a great, if at times challenging, process.


... I create for


an amputee 4Arms a novice cook CookMate a construction worker 2-way 2.0 a family ChorDoer



past projects reflect a needs-oriented design process, with an emphasis on insights related to product experience

4Arms designing for amputees Our focus for our final project was the long-term crutch user.  Although the disability lies in the lower extremities, crutches prevent the instinctive and fluid use of your arms, which meant a need to rely on others for help. We set out to give crutch users their independence back.  Capstone Project for Product Design studies program [with Stephanie Tomasetta]

Wayne Koniuk has been making leg prosthetics for decades, prototyping with new materials and technology

Bespoke Innovation has set out to “bring more humanity to people who have congenital or traumatic limb loss “. After walking around in crutches for days, alongside extensive user interviews, we pinpointed the moments that undermined a sense of independence. It’s the simple things that build up over time; stairs and uneven terrain we expected to be hardships, but the fact that we could not hug or reach out for someone’s hand spontaneously without fearing complications were painful moments we hadn’t anticipated. • we spoke to the target audience • we conducted ethnographic research • we surveyed current offerings

The Department of Veterans Affairs was a great source of inspiration, as well as concrete examples of what postamputation rehabilitation looks like.

Our solution needed to incorporate an understanding of the whole system of an amputees experience. This means it starts from the first conversation say a veteran has with his physician at the Veterans Association, to when he receives his crutches and begins the process of learning how to walk with them, all the way through the time his cuffs, and his grip, wear out.

Sunrise senior living provides care for both long-term, as well as temporary residents.

Stumps R Us is a community for amputees, with monthly athletic outings and brunches.

Current crutches address major issues: quality of style, usability, and comfort. From our ethnographic research, we recognized a fourth issue: quality of social interactions


Our competitive analysis included a wide range of current product presentations, including accessories, luxury goods, and replacements. • we spoke to the target audience • we conducted ethnographic research • we surveyed current offerings

FourArms IZI Magnetic Sheath Sunrise Tube Crutch Holder for wheelchairs Cane Holder Paddings/Grip Forearm Crutch Bag Grip cover for pediatric crutches Forearm Crutch Pads Ortho-Medic Crutch Cane Bag iWalk Free Hands Free Crutch Forearm Crutch In motion forearm crutch Walk Easy Platform Forearm Crutches Versa Crutch Pack Crutch Tote EuroStyle Aluminum Forearm Crutch Gel Ovations Forearm Crutch Pad GelRaps Ramm TLC OnlyOne Ultra Light Crutch Strong Arm Forearm Crutch Comfort Cuff Comfort Grip Adjustable Crutches Magic Soft Anatomic Crutch Grey Ergonomic Handles

Manufacturer FourArms Fetterman

Price $57.00 $29

Prevent Crutch Falling

Hands Free Bag Cap. Comfort Carrying Style

Walking Where Aid sold online

quickie wheelchairs Nova elastogel WalkEasy

$65 $9.99 $20 $24.95

online store online online

WalkEasy Crutcheze NOVA NOVA

$14.95 $29 $89.90 $14.95

online online online online

$394 $119.95 $89.95

online online online

Walk Easy Adaptable Designs EZ Access

$139 $23.95 $19.95

online online online




Gel Ovations



JustWalkers Smart Crunch Millennial

Ramm TLC


add to existing

service offered provide physical comfort

$49.95 $235

online online

Comfort Grip





open market niche

provide emotiona l support


Strong Arm The DeMay Med

Magic Soft

With that in mind, we took a look at the relationship between value proposition and the type of purchases of current products on the market:

buy new type of purchase

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We found our groove iterating around the cuffs, finding ways for them to connect temporarily. And then figured out how we could create a feasible model for mass manufacturing 4Arms is a set of forearm crutch cuffs that users can purchase to replace the standard crutch cuffs that are issued through basic health insurance. The shape of the crutch allows the user to temporarily attach one crutch to the other. This function enables the user to easily extract one arm.


$  $






6&$/( :(,*+7 

With 4Arms: temporarily stow away, greet friends, pick up, hang, and be on your way.

Crutches make it easier to walk. 4Arms makes it easier to live.

watch a short video of 4Arms in use here

CookMate designing for novices Once you’ve left the nest, you’re living on your own. We worked on a system of cooking necessities to make learning how to cook a more intuitive, and a more sustainable, experience. This challenge is future-forward, and so the presented solution is scoped past currently implemented technology BOSCH Challenge [project led by Prof. Banny Banerjee] [with Kevin Ho and Avantika Agarwal]

“what I know of cooking...? some amount of some ingredients... are combined... but it’s all a mess if I try it.”

We aim to strip away the stress around using kitchen ware in order that a novice can focus on the act of cooking.

I just wish my kid would get to the point where cooking & baking is fun, when you stop worrying about the basic structure, and spend time and energy adding new things to the dishes. That’s the magic of cooking.

top barriers we saw:

Experiments now become part and parcel of the routine-- because the script hasn’t been written. Your process? Saved for another time, should you want access to your experiment later.

opportunity areas: where pain points and needs meet

how can we leverage the existing products that are already in use for similar activities?

• missing know-how • missing proximity to family’s kitchen • difficulty remembering what worked last time how can we link disparate seeming needs?

•Suite equipped with RFID readers • Weight sensors (calculates needed

RFID reader, or wireless input, to track ingredients

amount with information about ingredient)


Don’t trust the weight sensors to calculate your ingredient amounts? A system of clip-on receivers on your measuring utensils communicates with “cook base” -- the bowl.

•Temperature reader •LED light indicator •E-inked surface handles

We were excited to explore the possibilities of the“Internet of Things”-- empowering everyday objects to communicate information. Currently you can receive data directly, and interact with it. In addition, we were curious what would happen if you let devices talk to each other. This in turns opens up a whole new world of behaviors to benefit from. Our project concluded with opportunity scenarios around a mixing bowl, which acts as a central control for baking.

•Temperature reader •Weight sensor •Gyroscope to track movement •E-inked surface •LED indicators

While this scenario is currently too big a system to implement, the smart CookMate mixing bowl would suffice to act as a recipe guide.

You, or one of your family members, sends over a recipe to the bowl.

Two different sets of bowls can be linked, to create a cooking experience at any distance

The bowl will let you know when you have poured the right amount.

We created a scenario in which learning how to cook becomes a more fluid experience. Inputs are guided by a system of clip-on accessories to your ingredient storage containers and cooking utensils. Our priorities were that:

• the novice cook maintains a sense of agency in the process

• there be multiple ways family and friends can join in the process

• the experience be fluid enough to handle the great variance in types of recipes and baking habits

Even out the other ingredient proportions in the event of a mistake, or save it to be your personal version.

The bowl, along with other utensils, walks you through each step, including the speed of mixing needed.

Paired with a CookMate cutting board, preparing hearty meals is next on your lesson plan.

2-way 2.0 designing for construction workers SONIM has won accolades for their rugged phones, but find it hard to convince the industries they target that these ought to be indispensable. My team chose to focus on construction workers, and aimed to present a new direction for the company. SONIM Challenge: ME 216a Needfinding [with Cecilia Corral, Dylan Ferris, and Griff Whalen]

Physically, seemingly nothing can break this phone. But it has to get into the right people’s hands first. Safety is a huge concern at a construction site, but there are existing safety measures in place, and asking someone to contend with the fact that these may fail has not been a successful way to increase a large-scale adoption.

out in the field: SONIM is looking to introduce newer, “smarter”devices to their product offerings. We spoke with managers, with construction workers, and with contractors, to find out what “smarts”are needed on a site, and where information gaps happen. • Information trickles down (as in most organizations), but communication channels change • Management sits in one physical spot, and tries to keep track and contact additional workers and supplies when necessary • Each team and each build stage brings with it

Ideally, the device would live on the outside of a construction vest, so as to be easily accessible, and one would readily note the light indicator. The harness itself transmits any vibration alerts directly through to the jacket material.

the digital hard hat.

Construction workers will often wear gloves, and so it was a priority to make everything easily accessible, and tactile.

Instead of a full-service smart phone, SONIM brings a sleek device that incorporates on-site needs. It does not strive to compete with your personal phone, but instead takes on its own responsibilities, including SONIM’s vanguard safety features direct line to your team

actionable information flow in real-time time-sensitive tracking of changes

--looks-like prototype made for client presentation

Colleagues see a visual cue for incoming messages, and an identifer lets them know which team is calling


The foreman can identify necessary schedule updates, and immediately notify team members, some of whom may be out in the field


As change orders come in from the contractors, plans can be scanned and immediately replace earlier versions on all devices.


Dust Dust

Walk me


ChorDoer designing for families

Set table Clear table Wash dishes Set dishes away

Families are a complex network of individuals that change all the time. Chores can exemplify and exacerbate sensitive dynamics. How do you set up a routine that keeps family members accountable? Is there a way to engage the entire family seamlessly?

Feed me

Clean up after me

Project: communication via digital interfaces. Course taught by Enrique Allen (wtr 2010)

Get groceries

Play with me

“By the time we’re all back at home together, I want to enjoy what little family time we have. Fussing over something that wasn’t done earlier seems... trivial in comparison.”

“I catch myself going ahead and finishing chores that were half-way there.”

“I find myself living a very routine life, and so unless taking out the trash fits seamlessly into my habits... it is almost impossible that I remember to do it without someone needing to remind me.”

I met with family members both on campus and around the city of San Francisco, engaging in conversations around routine, and when things do not go according to plan. These conversations oftentimes ended up branching off, to include topics such as family honor, and sometimes even some family history,

“I just know I won’t do as good a job as some of my other family members... My mom is usually the one that makes dinner, so I feel like she knows how she wants the kitchen to be best.”

“Oh I definitely get mad at my parents sometimes when they tell me I have to go “do this” or “do that”...”

Major take-aways were:

•Timing is important •A chore must be obvious / clear •Accountability is hard to establish after the fact By walking through a users’ experiences doing (or not doing) chores at home, I teased apart the types of barriers to completing chores. Next was identifying some unifying item. At the time of the project, in 2010, it seemed far-fetched to some that everyone in the house would be connected. This is by now a moot point.

When phones are in use:

How phones are used:

Virtually all the time, but peak hours are: •as soon as you get up •in-between classes / meetings / commitments •early afternoon hours, as friends and colleagues (and acquaintances) get off work Generally speaking, top activities include: (my interviews focused on the spur-of-the-moment activities) •quick, one to two-minute communication (as opposed to conversation) with friends / colleagues •if photo-user, photo-sharing •if an avid Twitterer, then almost anything can trigger a tweet

positive feedback at the right moment reinforces behaviors icons that pulse allows for a reaction to change, something the eye picks up much quicker than the mind options are readily available per pending action

ChorDoer creates a world of chores for the whole family, who accrue points by completing chores. The gamification of real-life actions jumps on the wave of similar implementations across other industries. This was an exercise in connecting the dots between disparate lifestyles, with the house itself as the tangible center, and the chores a new type of currency, illustrated with updates by anyone in the family and good for a sibling swap for a favor. ChorDoer adds an element of easeof-communication we see lacking in other task-related apps.

integrates with 3rd party apps such as msg carriers or social media outlets

customization of chore details is key, including video and photo footage options

Thank you for taking a look at my past experiences! Please feel free to contact me with any additional questions at


Ariana’s credentials, at a glance



EDUCATION Stanford University - STANFORD, CA B.S. in Product Design - December 2012 RELEVANT COURSES: • Cultural Maps | Ethnographic insight as it relates to design; course at design institute ( • Design Methods | Core in product design program; design process • Design & Manufacturing | CNC, lathe, mill, casting, woodworking Kolding School of Design - KOLDING, DENMARK Masters-Level course certificate - November 2012 RELEVANT COURSES: • Nudge: Designing Positive Behavior | design sprint with local corporate clients

Internat’l School of Beijing - BEIJING, CHINA Internat’l Baccalaureate Certificate - 2009 Urawa Lutheran School - SAITAMA, JAPAN Independently organized year abroad - 2005 – 2006 John-F-Kennedy School - BERLIN, GERMANY Deutsche Mittlere Reife - 2005


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email a k o b l i t z @ a l u m n i . s t a n f o r d . e d u

COMPETENCIES Language English (native) German (native) Chinese (proficient) Japanese (JLPT Level 2 certified) French (4 yrs high school proficiency) Software CAD: Solid Works CATIA Adobe Suite: Photoshop Illustrator InDesign

HONORS & AWARDS EARNEST CHILTON AWARD (June 2012) given to the outstanding Product Design student of the graduating class MEMBER, Cap & Gown Women’s Honors Society (November 2010-present) FELLOW, Stanford Haas Center Public Service Leadership Program (November 2009-September 2010)




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email a k o b l i t z @ a l u m n i . s t a n f o r d . e d u CORPORATE PROJECTS

RESEARCHER DESIGN CONCEPTS MADISON, WISCONSIN April 2012 - (expected July 2012) Conducted field research for both physical products and medications. Analyzed qualitative data for needfinding, including facilitating analysis settings with our clients. Presented a strategic path borne out of the needs analysis. INTERN (MechEng) LUNAR DESIGN SAN FRANCISCO June 2012-September 2012 Generated concepts in mechanism, human factors, and user experience/usability design. Conveyed complex ideas of our prototyped products (medical, toy, household) to our clients in presentations.

INTERN (PD) LITE ON MOBILE BEIJING, CHINA June 2011-August 2011 Designed injection mold tooling of cell phones during the latter stages of manufacturing. Aided the communication with their client’s American counterparts, clarifying needed changes.

PROJECT LEAD STANFORD & BERLIN September 2009-August 2010 Designed & implemented qualitative research project on designer & user relationship, analyzing decisions and workflows. Received ME Summer Undergraduate Research Institute grant to pursue project, which included developing independent coursework to prepare for ethnographic research & case study in Berlin on designer-to-user relationship, analyzing decisions and workflows of Ursula Wunsch, a designer specializing in wooden toys for disabled children in Berlin



MANAGEMENT EXPERIENCE SECTION LEADER ME216a: Needfinding September - November 2012 Teaching staff to a course taught by Dev Patnaik of the design consultancy Jump Associates, Inc. Led weekly discussions on readings, graded weekly assignments

VICE PRESIDENT | STANFORD PRODUCT DESIGN STUDENT ASSOCIATION (PDSA) May 2011- August 2012 Oversaw all development of PDSA programs (created a mentorship program, recurring community development events and initiated a closer communication between department faculty and students) Led directorship training (collaboration methods, event organization, management skills training)

RESIDENT ASSISTANT ROBINSON DORM (September 2010 - June 2012) Main contact concerning residents as a staff of Stanford’s Residential Education program. Developed dorm programming to introduce residents to my academic pursuits as well as interests


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LEADERSHIP NOTES Stanford University - STANFORD, CA: • Negotiation | Stan Christensen | Tactics and methods based on Harvard Business Review • Associated Stanford Student Body Leadership Program Meyer Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) last taken: July 2012 ENTP -Extravert -Intuition -Thinking -Judging STRENGTHS QUEST: Communication Activator Individualization Arranger Adaptability REFERENCES Stefanie Norvaisas ( Director of Strategy & Research, Design Concepts, Inc Jonathan Downing ( Lead Mechanical Engineer, LUNAR Design David Kelley ( Professor, Stanford University & co-founder of IDEO




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ENJOYS SPENDING TIME creating Mixed-media art pieces (check out trekking (Tibet, Cambodia, Torres del Paine (Patagonia) ... ) swimming, and at one time playing rugby jamming on the flute


email a r i a n s k y @ g m a i l . c o m

Ariana Koblitz: case book of experience design '13  

A brief overview of past projects, 2012-2013

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