Focus Backpack
A Design Framework
Secure, Adaptable, Understandable
Challenge
During my semester abroad in Japan, the language barrier imposed a problem with user research. Japan has a highly homogenous culture with about 98.5% Japanese-born people1 who don’t feel the need to learn English. I needed to come up with a design framework without direct user research.
Approach
I used Universal Design Principles as the backdrop for photographic research to distill a framework for my photographer’s backpack that transcended language. The final framework guided further research into design language markets adjacent to the project, such as photographer’s and motorcyclist’s backpacks. I also wanted to create a lifesize prototype to experiment with volume, comfort, and design language. This section began with rapid single-point sketching and small paper prototypes to explore form.
Results
The board below is the precursor to the final Design Framework Diagram. The board distills themes around different experiences. The Framework is the marriage of those themes and Universal Design Principles that I deemed appropriate for a traveling photographer backpack. The first theme I explored was Perceptible Information and security. The bag needs to convey security just by looking at it. Thus, users can be confident that their belongings are safe. With this leg of the Framework, I concentrated on producing a prototype that conveyed security.