Mass Customisation/Human Factors

This project in my 4th year at university took on the redesign of an existing product for mass customisation, with emphasis on designing for human factors. I explored how these principles might be applied to male grooming products.

Human Factors

The study of people and their environment. In the context of product design, this involves the physical and psychological relationship between a user, a product and their surroundings. By employing human factors methodology, the optimum experience can be designed for the user. 

Mass Customisation

The tailoring of a bespoke product to the individual needs of the user, through means of design and manufacturing process allowing production at near mass production efficiency.

Taking on the male grooming industry, I was expecting to find a solution for mass customisation male grooming industry, I was expecting to find a solution for mass customisation through human factors methodology coming from ergonomic alterations to the tools that are commonly used, for example razors and beard trimmers. Detailed analysis of the user group (male, 18-25, young professional, flat-share living environment) through human factor methodologies such as surveys, focus groups and ethnography highlighted that the greatest challenges facing the users are evident in the way the users interact with the shaving environment, rather than the tools.

The main issues with the shaving experience as highlighted by the users are the mess created whilst shaving, and the awkward body contortion required to view their face in the mirror, whilst simultaneously guiding any beard trimmings into a sink basin.

The re-designed solution took on the form of a bespoke mirror that can be pulled out from the wall whilst in use. The mirror has a tray, usually stored behind the mirror, that flips out and adjusts to the requirements of each user. The tray catches any trimmings, reducing the mess, and ultimately allowing the user to shave in a more comfortable position.

Although a very conceptual outcome to the project, the design process was led by insights gained from interacting with and observing users, a learning objective of the project, and resulted in a successful (and high marking!) piece of work.

Read about the project in more detail below.

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