Sol Sunrise Simulator
A Design Exercise
Design via Market Research
Challenge
This semester centered around designing a product with data to support its creation. We were also encouraged to look into IoT technology and integrate it into our projects. The third component of this brief was to present our research in a manner that was easy to understand at a glance. Listening to a podcast about sleep deprivation gave me the starting point for my research. As it turned out, the sleep industry is a growing market that encompasses pharmaceuticals, lifestyle trends, and home appliances. Therefore, the success of my product depended on the quality of my research.
Approach
My approach consisted of three distinct stages of research. First, the one mentioned in the Challenge section, I call Gut-Check research. Here I talk to people who might be the user. The second stage is General Research from well-established publications such as The New York Times and Wired Magazine. The third stage encompasses a Trends Research from databases like Passport (for Euromonitor International) and IBIS World. The fourth stage of research is the Industry Research from publications such as “Pathogenesis and Management of Seasonal Affective Disorder” by Darrell Coterell, Circadian 24/7 Workforce Solutions, and the National Association of Sleep Medicine. I also developed a user questionnaire to guide functions and aesthetics.
Results
Sol is a sunrise-simulator, sleep-aid, multi-sensory clock. People who have alternate sleep cycles than the natural day/night hours should use Sol. Some examples include individuals who have second or third-shift jobs, suffer from S.A.D., or live in places where day and night hours are off their schedule. Sol is practical by only allowing the user to set wake-up notifications in 90-minute intervals (a person’s natural R.E.M. cycle). Then, a combination of scents, sounds, and light wake the mind and body softly and effectively.
Research
Closing Remarks
Next Steps
– Study device location in the home (for example night stand top area)
– Complete user interface testing
– Perform user interviews about device form
Reflections
Using a database for the basis of your product can provide a great deal of guidance, but it can not replace well-rounded user research and user testing. I can appreciate this type of research since sleeping habits can be an intimate subject, but I believe I possess the interviewing skills and touch to talk to people about these intimate moments without making it awkward. There is great potential in helping people who don’t get adequate sleep. Getting the correct amount of sleep based on the user’s rhythm and peace of mind has a multiplier effect that enhances family and work life.
Packaging