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This internal research project’s goal was to increase wipes usage occasions by making them more accessible in new business locations and in home or on-the-go settings. We set out to learn how users are currently using wipes and to identify pain points and opportunities that are available for improvement.  We conducted preliminary research using Dscout then dove deeper with Contextual Inquiry at user’s homes and a variety of business settings.

My Role: 

I conducted and planned all aspects of this project.

My strategy manager was great to bounce ideas if needed

and to review plans and deliverables as I completed them, 

plus take amazing notes during interviews.

Research & Activities:

Exploratory Research (Dscout) - used to get a base understanding

Contextual Inquiry - in-context field research to dive deeper

Feature Rank - to understand what attributes are highest priority to businesses

Timeline Fill-in - used to understand daily cleaning activities of businesses

Word Association - to uncover what user's feel is important in each usage occasion

Ideation Exercise - to uncover user's ideal packaging in different usage occasions


Design Strategy Manager

Industrial Designer

Biggest Challenge:

With having worked on many projects

focused on wipes, we were apprehensive

about uncovering new insights. 

Favorite Part of Project:

A grand story about "back in the ol' days" grocers needed to sweep up cigarette butts off the floor.


531 Applications              35 Scouts

393 Entries                        5 Parts


Asked questions regarding what types of

wipes they use, how frequently, and 

preferences within wipe types.


Learned what types of wipes users buy and their

favorite/least favorite products and packages.


Learned what users are using products for,

how the packaging impacted the moment,

and if they are ever used for things unintended.


Learned how user's behaviors changed

when using wipes in different settings

- home, on-the-go, and public wipes.


Asked users to identify at least three opportunities

where wipes would be useful, but don't currently exist.


We learned how scouts use wipes within their

workplace, particularly in industrial settings.


CONSUMERS - 60 min. sessions

8 Participants

518 Observations


Prior to meeting with consumers we asked

them to document every every moment they cleaned or wanted to clean, but didn't.


The discussion was geared to learn about

user's experiences and interactions with

packages. Topics covered include handling,

barriers, storage, public use, and on-the-go.


Users kept one or two cleaning tasks aside

for us to observe while we were visiting. Here

we looked at user's behavior and their

intuitive interaction with the package.


Users identified what is important for packages

to include while at home, on-the-go, and pubic.

They then used their attributes to develop their

ideal package for each usage occasion.

Dscout Logo.png

BUSINESSES - 90 min. sessions

9 Places of Business

354 Observations


We provided the business with a blank timeline

and asked them to fill out their typical cleaning schedule including what product they use.


The discussion was focused on how each business uses wipes, what difficulties they run into, and what encouraged them to implement wipes.


While visiting businesses we observed how they used the wipes, refill them, store, and dispose of them.


Stakeholders within the businesses ranked 10 features in order of importance, we then used

this as an opportunity to understand why

they valued each feature as they did.





Wipes packaging as developed an association with out

of sight storage. Out of sight means out of mind so people

often choose other options in potential wipes moments.


Wipes packaging is perceived to be frustrating and

annoying because of the way wipes are dispensed. People

are frequently using work-arounds and enduring unnecessary challenges which are ultimately barriers to usage.


Wipes have a bad reputation for drying out. Nothing

is more disappointing than frantically dispensing a

wipe to clean up a mess only to find out it's dry.


Wipes are often needed away from home, but faces

several barriers in these situations. People are challenged

to find a designated home away from home for wipes to fit,

remain protected, and be disposed of after use.



Key themes identified in the consumer segment also found

their way into businesses. While each business group had their

own challenges with wipes, nearly all struggled with having

wipes readily accessible. With wipes stations or storage not

easily accessible, companies ran into problems with a lack of

usage, used wipes not properly disposed of, and customer's

not being able to easily find the containers.





TOP RANKED FEATURES (66 possible points)











Put wipes within arm's reach of every mess?

Dispense a single wipe one handed?

Make wipes packaging perfect for

year-round storage and use in the car?

Make wipes packaging

automatically reclose/reseal?

Make it impossible for wipes to dry out?




Make wipes available at every

table while keeping them out of

the way and easy to change?


Make wipes available within three

steps of any location in the gym?


Make wipes easily accessible

in every classroom?


Make a perfect wipes system

for child-care centers?



Currently this project is beginning

the ideation refinement phase. We

held four ideation sessions focused

on key takeaways, dotted and

narrowed our ideas, and rated them against key attributes derived from research to unveil the top performers.

The industrial designer within our

team will be refining the sketches

and developing the mechanisms in which each concept will operate,

we will then narrow, conduct quick iterative sketch feedback, then build models for further refinement

Throughout this process the

research findings and I will provide guidance within decision making moments to ensure the user is

always the primary focus.




Dscout - Overview.jpg
Screener - Most Used Wipes.jpg

application statistics

With typically applicant numbers into the hundreds when using dscout, I try to generate some quantitative data from users. Questions like what types of

wipes do they use, how frequently, and what types of packages do they prefer help get an understanding of where we should dive deeper within the mission and later in contextual inquiry.

Screener - Flexible VS Rigid - Copy.jpg
Part 1.jpg

user preferences

With Berry being a packaging company, understanding the user’s experience, how they interact with packaging, and uncovering their intuitive preferences drives opportunities for packaging improvements. Within the Dscout application users were asked what their most and least used products were and what their most and least preferred packages were. This gave us an understanding that users prefer flexible packages as they are able to be squeezed and mushed to fit in small areas, and rigid closures as they seal better retaining moisture in the package.

Users Perceptions.jpg
Part 2 - Packaging Moments.jpg

During this part of our mission we asked users to record any moment they interacted with wipes and their packaging. The characterized the moment as helpful or problematic, then discussed why in follow up questions. This graph shows the ratio of helpful vs problematic with each package type. Moving forward we used this to help guide out contextual inquiry to better understand why different packages provide helpful or problematic moments.


packaging moments


Part 2 - Disinfecting.jpg

wipe uses

During our moments mission, we asked questions regarding their typical wipes usage, but we also asked if they ever use them for things they aren't necessarily intended for. We noticed that people were more willing to use wipes with less chemicals, like baby wipes, for other reasons as they view it safe with little potential to damage things. On the other hand, wipes used for cleaning or very specific purposes like leather wipes were rarely used for other purposes. 


Part 2 - Baby.jpg
UCD Wipes Dscout Overview1.jpg

For our last part I always like

to gauge what people may be looking for or desire their packages to do for them. We asked users to describe their ideal packaging for each usage occasion, home,

on-the-go, and public.

ideal packaging

Part 3 - Home VS On-the-Go.jpg

wipe desires

Part 4.jpg

Another potential opportunity

we identified was wipes that don’t exist. We asked users to develop three ideas of wipes that they

want, but currently aren’t available. We got many ideas ranging from sunscreen or bug spray wipes to wipes in movie theaters.


CI - Overview.jpg
Consumer Usability Layout.jpg
Persona - Busy Mom.jpg

personas &

journey maps

Within wipes we identified two main user groups with a focus on baby and disinfecting wipes, the clean freak and the busy mom. Personas were used primarily to develop empathy and help

stakeholder’s understand

their daily situations,

problems, and outlooks.

Observations - C - Moisture


With over fifteen interviews and hours of video, and 518 observations recorded, I affinitized and narrowed to high level observations within each identified category. These are the key takeaways and common themes heard from participants.

example video

When presenting findings to stakeholders and the design team for ideation, I find that showing them the user’s experience and putting them in their shoes goes a long way. Pretty graphs and infographics are fun to look at, but seeing first hand sticks. With the most important categories that presented themselves from research I take our video recordings and highlight impactful moments that express our insights and observations.

Word Association - Home.PNG

One thing uncovered from Dscout was the difference in usage between home, on-the-go, and public. While we dug deeper into these differences in the discussion, I wanted to understand what people associated with each usage occasion. I had people list three to five words that describe what they feel is important about wipes and their packages for each occasion. These

call out what people find important

for each occasion. Afterwards I asked users to come up with their ideal package based on the words they wrote to describe what is important.

word association

Insights - Accessibility.jpg

During the ideation session, we grouped insights and How Might We’s together to help direct the designers to the actual problem and design based off of it.

insights & hmw's


Business - Overview.jpg
Business Usability Layout.jpg
Observations - B - Gym.jpg

Gyms wipes are rapidly expanding. With many gyms using rags and sprays, struggling to keep equipment clean, wipes provide a more convenient option. Although gyms have wipes available, they typically aren’t as accessible to the consumer – they are in a select few designated areas where customers have to walk to access them. Rags and sprays on the other hand are on virtually every machine. Although wipes are more sanitary and consumers prefer them, many tend to just use a rag as its closer and doesn’t require them to walk across the room not only to get a wipe,

but to dispose of it as well.


Journey Map - Restaurant.jpg


While some restaurants use wipes

to flip tables, it is not a widely

used practice yet. There are clear advantages with the elimination of cross-contamination, less prep work, and less errors. But unfortunately pushing restaurants to switch is a large hurdle as rags are much cheaper and many executives of chains push back on any type of change. Wipes used in restaurants are a great opportunity for more efficient table flips and cleaner atmospheres.

grocery stores

Many grocery stores offer wipes to consumers as a courtesy to clean their carts and help reduce the spread of germs. While there are multiple types of wipes offered, they each have their own problems with dispensing, moisture retention, and refilling. But the most consistent problem seen throughout is the fact that consumers fail to dispose of the wipes after cleaning their cart. They grab a wipe and clean their cart as they continue walking, thus passing up the trash can. This leaves employees needing to regularly clean up after customers as the entryway and carts become littered.

Observations - B - Grocery.jpg

schools &

day care centers

Although day care centers were primarily focused on baby wipes, they also use disinfecting wipes throughout their facility. While disinfecting is an aspect of cleaning, they are primarily used for small messes here or there or large toys/objects that can’t be placed in a bleach bath. Overall day care centers had similar problems when using baby wipes as do parents at home. With the amount of baby wipes used in these settings there is a great opportunity to develop a system for the large scale use.

Business Weighted Importance.jpg

Wipes are used in a variety of ways within different businesses and different things are important for each. While visiting each business, I asked them to rank a list of features from most important to least important in order to uncover what should be prioritized in future packaging. After they completed their list of ranking, we discussed what lead them to choose certain attributes as the top three and the bottom three – what is important or not important about that aspect that lead them to place it there within the list?

feature rank

Insights - Child Places.jpg

insights & hmw's

Once identifying the biggest problems plaguing each business, we developed statement starters to impose innovative solutions.

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