User-Centered Wearable Design
Balancing Form & Function
Kaleidoscope Innovation designers developed a concept to leverage transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) technology as an everyday consumer product to help provide attentiveness and mental focus. Creating a market-winning wearable design requires a complex relationship between functionality and form factor to balance technology and the user’s needs. Sensors, wireless electronics, a battery, and an intuitive user interface must be considered to create a truly meaningful wearable. Plus, with the newness of the tDCS technology to the market, the product needed to convey an approachable appearance that blends into the user’s lifestyle and to enhance adoption in the consumer marketplace.
Our user-centered design process starts with a detailed research plan to dive into users’ needs. The plan included both secondary and primary research and a competitive analysis of the current wearable market. The insights and findings helped us understand the struggles and unmet needs of users. This led to the creation of design personas and consumer journey maps to visually communicate their pain points throughout their day. Next, design themes were developed to visually describe users’ expectations and preferences. Design language was derived from the theme boards, including specific design elements such as color use, form approach, detailing, materials and textures. These aspects define the way a product looks, feels and interacts with the user, as well as the desired impressions, feelings and emotions it evokes. As part of our Kaleidoscope Innovation processes, the personas, customer journey maps, and design boards were used next for brainstorming workshops, sketching, prototyping and concept refinement.
Concept that Delights
Kaleidoscope Innovation created flō, a wearable design concept that provides focus during low-energy times of the day. It also provides daily activity monitoring to identify trends and will alert you when you may want a non-caffeinated bump. Most of all, flō provides an excellent user-centered design example of how the best innovation starts with the users’ needs and ends with a delighted consumer.