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Matthew Bowman 2017

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TOOLBOSS Self directed 4 month project - 2016


of contractors report back pain


Contractors often work bent over on the floor which is inconvenient, unsafe, and causes back pain

Why are existing products not always used?

Electrician Research

Observed 3 work sites Observed training/time-lapse videos Interviewed 6 contractors Tradesman forums and articles

Work surfaces

Toolbox preferences

Setting up a worktable is not worth the time it takes for short jobs.

Toolbox/toolbag hybrid kits

Any raised surface is automatically used.

Small/light enough to carry

Quick access to tools


Different mechanisms were explored for the work surface to extend up from a toolbox. Trade-offs between storage volume, workspace area, tool access, and simplicity of set up were evaluated.

Shell becomes base

Suitcase/folding table

Side becomes table



Research was conducted on the visual design language within the tool and tool storage market. This was used to refine the final appearance.

Visual design language reference products.

Final Design

Simplicity ended up being the most effective solution. A traditional toolbox shape with folding legs. A top flap folds out to increase the work surface area.


Tool Access

Legs easily fold and lock in place and the Toolboss can be carried with the duffle bag style handles or a shoulder strap.

Items on the worksurface do not have to be moved to access tools inside. Side pockets provide quick access to common items.

Dresser Project Assistive dresser for people with Alzheimer’s. 2 month project - 2016

5.3 million Americans in 2015 had



Getting dressed becomes increasingly difficult with Alzheimer’s. Maintaining independence with daily activities is important for both patient and caregiver.


Overwhelmed by choices Confused by extra stimuli Steps out of order/forgetting items Differentiating objects visually

Empathic modeling

To understand the experience of someone with dementia, I performed daily routines under a dementia simulation involving limited vision, limited joint movement, and while listening to confusing audio.


Goals Minimize stimuli Eliminate unpractical choices Group items and present items in order High color contrast and visibility

Final Design

A dresser which a care provider sets up once per week (rather than needing to help daily). To reduce visual stimuli, labels only appear when touching the drawer.

Item Isolation

Retracting handle

Each item of clothes is placed in order and separated by dividers so there is only one thing to focus on at once.

When the drawer is empty, the handle automatically retracts to further reduce unhelpful visual stimuli.

Breather Inhaler design 2 month project - 2016

3,630 die

from Asthma every year (US) though most deaths are preventable with an inhaler

yet only 45%

of people with asthma keep their inhaler at all times


Standard inhalers are too large and bulky Causes embarrassment for some Cheap looking and forgettable


Slimmer and more comfortable in pocket Enjoyable/cool to use rather than burden Create a sense of comfort and security

Mood Board

Reference products

Images were collected that conveyed the desired emotional responses.

Analogous products were researched which people enjoy carrying around and convey a sense of fashion or identity.


Explorations of different mechanisms to reduce the size when not in use.

Feedback on concepts


Styles and forms were refined based on user feedback on Reddit.

A survey confirmed that a smaller cannister with less medicine would be preferable for a large segment of users if it was slimmer.

Final design

Feedback also indicated that most users felt it was important to still be recognizable as a medical device for easy identification.

OcuCheck Product development for InnSight Technology 2 month project - 2016

InnSight Inc

InnSight Inc is developing a breakthrough medical device. They needed help developing the appearance and ergonomics of the device.

Currently evaluating corneal wounds requires this large “slit lamp�. InnSight Inc is developing a device which is handheld and portable.


Goals Comfortable stable grip, Allow for lower fingers to brace against face for stability, Reduce anxiety of patient

Grip exploration

Empathic modeling

Found existing items to quickly test different general forms and hand ergonomics.

Experienced and observed the use of similar ophthamology devices.


Appearance inspiration

Several foam models were made and tested for ergonomics by an ophthamalogist.

Art and products were selected and approved of by the client to convey the desired look.

Final design

Two high quality appearance models were made for presenting at medical conferences and demonstrating to potential investors.

(Extras) Engineering experience and CAD

Engineering experience

Experience designing for manufacturability: injection molding, CNC machining sheet metal bending, aluminum extrusion.


Matthew Bowman Industrial Design Portfolio