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Josh Benjamin McDonald Glasgow School of Art Product Design Year 3 2013: 07894742545

“Design A Business Strategy, Enabled By Design, That Crowd Sources Customers And Funding To Deliver Bespoke Products To Individuals Enabling A More Independent Lifestyle�

DISCOVER. 03 - 10 Researching how to create a service blueprint and how to effectively use crowd funding within that service. Desk research of existing services and products on the market. Gaining insights through discussions with potential users.

DEFINE. 11 - 14 Processing the collection of insights and interactions to highlight possible design opportunities with the selection of one and how we can improve it.

DEVELOP. 15 - 26 Development of service utilizing potential user as persona. Product prototype for user to test in situ. Feedback and refinements.

DELIVER. 27 - 30 Refinements required from testing in relation to feedback from potential service users. Finalization of product and service within user journey.








Stuart Bailey was the main Glasgow School of Art tutor on this project. His knowledge and practice of service design, product prototyping and manufacturing allowed us to turn to him for guidance while developing our service and product.

Denise Stephens is the cofounder of Enabled by Design and we would be pitching our service and product ideas directly to her. She was on hand to tell us about Enabled by Design and what their ethos is.


Francis Henry was our main service user for the project. She suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and so we designed a product to help her with day to day life.


Enabled by Design is a social business operating on a not-for-profit basis for the benefit of the community. The business comprises a community of people who are passionate about

design for all. They are strong believers that good design can support people to live as independently as possible, by helping to make day-to-day tasks that little bit easier and in turn more manageable. The main aim is to provide their community with a space to share and discuss independent living products and services already on the market. To look at ways in which they can be improved, exploring ways of “hacking� or modifying products to make them more accessible and easier to use. Enabled by Design also look at developing strong relationships with designers and manufactures to inform the designs of the future with the aim of mainstreaming accessibility. Enabled by Design were the clients for this project and the outcome was for them to implement our product into their existing service.

enabled by design


+ service design workshop, gsa skypark

Before service design could begin it was crucial that we understood how to design and develop a service and be able to create a service blue print. Therefore it was arranged that we take part in a two-day workshop on service design. We broke down a service we all had experience of, in our case which was going to the hairdressers. To map down the service and touch points. Employing a persona to use throughout the service allowed us to think outside of our own experiences and concentrate on what others would be like. Using Post-it notes and a “Line of Visibility� we wrote down the physical and direct user interactions and placed then above the line and what happened behind the scenes within the service we placed below. This conveyed every step of the service and even by doing so made me realize how much interaction was involved without thinking. Previously I had just thought of services being with users but there are different aspects of service design to take into account, not just physical things but interface,s layouts and human-to-human interactions and experiences.



As part of the project outlines we were to exploit crowd funding/sourcing. To assist us with this we undertook a workshop with Generation Brave who specialize in improving businesses. One way in which they do this is through crowd sourcing and funding on social network platforms and the web. Kirsty Burnham and Rebecca Welch from Generation Brave held the workshop where they gave a brief introduction into crowd funding, what it was, ways in which it could be secured and in what form. The workshop would plot the journey of three designers trying to gather funding/

support for their product over a three year period. The only way the companies could communicate to the public was through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube mocked in the form of blank sheets of paper and Post-it notes. The class was split into four groups; three would be driving a product while one group was the general public. I was a member of the public and we all took on the personas, this would ensure the feedback varied depending on interests and priority’s.


+ rebecca welch, kirsty burnham & stuart bailey, crowd funding workshop skypark


+ francis at her home in clydebank



Beatrise and Kathryn interviewed one of the members of the GDA (Glasgow Disability Alliance) while I went to visit my aunt, Francis Henry. Francis has suffered from rheumatoid arthritis from many years. Unfortunately there isn’t a cure and she finds it quite painful to deal with.

I went to her flat in Clydebank to spend the day observing her daily rituals and find out more about her condition and how it can affect daily life. I took notes, photographs and video interviews in order that I could share with my group the insights from my visit. She was able to show me the products that she uses to help her carry out various tasks and how effective they were. She had products ranging from egg breakers to automatic soap dispensers. One of the insights that came from the interview with Francis was her struggle to open bleach bottles. It is a legal requirement that the bottles are fitted with a safety cap. Due to her arthritis it is impossible for Francis to open the bottle with just her hands. Not to be defeated Francis has devised with a technique to open the bottles, which she showed me.

USER research 09

She would attempt to loosen the cap -1, adjust her grip of the bottle with her knees -2, make sure the two pressure points were in the correct place -3, jam the bottle in the hinge of the door -4, pull it closed -5, hold the door with her foot and then turn the bottle -6. It was quite a laborious process and never worked on every attempt.








+ insights from both interviews

breakdown of insights


Once back at the studio it was time to debrief each other on our visits to potential users. We wrote down on Post-it notes all the flaws or negatives that we discovered and put them all on the wall. By doing this we were able to see were how much was wrong in the users eye and what had to be changed. To make more sense of all the insights we had gathered and to find a trend we broke them down into sections; Body, Society and Emotions. By doing this we could target where the problems lay whether it be the way society treats people with disability or the emotional stigma of asking for help. One of the issues we wanted to change was the terminology people used, Francis didn’t like the term “problem� because it made her feel less able and her own independence was the most important thing to her. All these things would have to be taken into consideration for both the service and product.




As a group we decided to design a product that would help Francis open bleach bottles. This came from the rich insight and unexpected way in which she dealt with the issue. There has been no design consideration put into the bottles which would assist people with disabilities or limited hand strength, even though it is a safety feature. Our aim was to design a product that could be used by all to help open bleach bottles.


Design began by buying a bleach bottle from the local super market. However once there we discovered there was slight variation in the shape of the cap and so bought several bottles enabling us to consider all types of bottles. Having the bleach bottles at hand while designing the product meant we could test the product and look at other ways of opening it. We took the bleach bottles down to the workshop to begin developing and testing and began by analysing the cap and how it functioned.

To open the safety cap you have to squeeze two pressure points for the lock to release. Creating enough pressure was what Francis had difficulty with. We then began to look for things around the workshop that could create pressure to use as inspiration or to hack and adapt. Our main issues were creating the pressure to release the child lock, creating grip both on the cap and handle, and turning the cap. In addition to these issues we had to make sure that the design of the product was simple, easy to use and light weight. The idea was to design a product that could be used by everybody to help open bleach bottles.



+ testing of products


From this we decided to use metal strips, which we bent into shape to fit around the cap. The curve of the strip would fit over and onto the cap and with raised bumps on the inside it would squeeze the cap. After testing various shapes we finally decided on a design. However after showing it to Francis she indicated to us that she had the same difficulty opening mouth wash bottles. We saw this as an opportunity to try and solve both issues with the one product and so designed the product to be double ended. One side would open the bleach bottles and the other small enough to open mouthwash bottles. To solve the problem of grip we cased the metal in a rubber sleeve. This gave the product grip against the plastic cap and although it was just a rough prototype it worked consistently.


+ beatrise creating models in the workshop




+ final model made from aluminium coated in black rubber



With insights in mind we began to develop our service. We started by writing down everything our service had to be. Doing this in relation to the insights meant we would be able to design something that the user would not only want to use but enjoy using. This went down to little details such as the terminology and text that would be on our service. As our service was going to be based on the Internet located on the Enabled by Design web page we had to think of ease of use and accessibility. We started by using Post-it notes and colour coded them to show the different aspects of the service: Yellow as the Facebook and Twitter feeds, Green as the stake holders, Pink as the service steps and Blue represented what happened behind the scenes. Doing this helped us to visualize the service and focus on each step in the service with fine detail.




+ service blueprint


Having created a service structure we then created a persona based on our user, Francis to run through the service as if it were physically happening. Although this was all suggestive, putting the persona through the service allowed us to think as the user and highlight any flaws. The result was that when it was time to present the service blueprint to our user we already had an understanding of how she might use it. As there were multiple stakeholders in our service from Enabled by Design to manufactures, it was important that we were able to convey the relationship and communication between all those involved. We had to show when they would come into the service, whom they would be in contact with and when they would leave the service. We displayed the service blue print and user map digitally in simple, clear graphics. This was how we delivered the service part of the design as it was key that it was understandable to someone who had no knowledge of the project

+ relationship map


With the service and product finalized I thought that the most effective way of conveying it to others was through a video, showing both the product and service. I went back to Francis’ flat where she agreed to help and let me film her as if she was using the service. Unfortunately I didn’t have the working prototype to hand for the filming and so had to use a foam model. However the video effectively showed how the service would operate. The video showed the journey of the user using the service however it didn’t show what would be happening behind the scenes the service blueprint was able to convey this.

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+ snap shots of the video



This was easily one of my favourite projects and one that I felt I had made a great impact on. The whole group was able to work well together and our final design met the needs of the brief and the users. Designing a service was something new to me and I feel that now I understand how to approach the different design aspects. Making videos is something that I became really interested in whilst working on this project and I will be looking do this again in other future projects.


Enabled by Design  
Enabled by Design  

Design a product and business strategy for Enabled By Design that crowd sources customers and funding to deliver bespoke products to individ...