Users expressed dislike towards existing products due to their ‘cheap’, ‘stereotypical’ and medical’ appearance creating feelings of shame when using and in particularly emptying the device. HD were tasked with understanding and subsequently improving these key areas to produce an innovative, user-friendly product, which focused on comfort, dignity, and functionality. Understanding the levels of user frustration, stigma and lack of empathetic design associated with using these devices, HD approached this project from a user needs perspective – questioning the core principles required, how and where users interact with this type of product, their actions during use and the emotional impact of using products of this sort.
Working closely with the client’s inhouse team, clinicians in the field as well as users themselves, HD created a user needs document, capturing the key requirements outlined by the user group. This helped form a product design specification (PDS), guiding the design of not only a robust and technically sound product, but also one that users felt comfortable and importantly, happy using. Multiple concepts were conceptualised, prototyped, and evaluated, not only for their performance in critical areas such as sealing, but also their qualitative qualities such as comfort and ease of use. A final design was selected and further refined with input from occupational therapists, nurses and patients themselves.