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.
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
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.
1 - INVENTORY
Learned what types of wipes users buy and their
favorite/least favorite products and packages.
2 - MOMENTS
Learned what users are using products for,
how the packaging impacted the moment,
and if they are ever used for things unintended.
3 - USAGE OCCASIONS
Learned how user's behaviors changed
when using wipes in different settings
- home, on-the-go, and public wipes.
4 - WIPES I NEED
Asked users to identify at least three opportunities
where wipes would be useful, but don't currently exist.
5 - INDUSTRIAL WIPES
We learned how scouts use wipes within their
workplace, particularly in industrial settings.
CONSUMERS - 60 min. sessions
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.
BUSINESSES - 90 min. sessions
9 Places of Business
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)
HOW MIGHT WE...
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
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?
WHERE WE ARE
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
their daily situations,
problems, and outlooks.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
insights & hmw's
Once identifying the biggest problems plaguing each business, we developed statement starters to impose innovative solutions.