Place: Maryland Institute College of Art
Project: DAP, a maker of home improvement products, challenged my graduate cohort to come up with new ways to use one of their main home improvement products: spray foam. DAP asked that we follow their user research process and collect interview results via video. They also asked that we present the prototypes we came up with to improve sales of their spray foam product in front of their leadership team.
Process: Our cohort broke up into small teams to complete user research. Each team completed hours of interviews with six individuals chosen because they represent a certain demographic of home improvement spray foam users. The interviews consisted of questions and tasks (all filmed). Our users showed us how they would fill holes and cracks using the product, how they would clean up, and how they could imagine using the product. Our entire cohort then reviewed the interviews and compiled a insights, organizing them into themes. Three major themes emerged: spray foam as art, spray foam used in disaster recovery, using mobile technology / home improvement services create new markets for spray foam. We divided into groups to brainstorm solutions around these themes and prototype. I worked with the mobile technology group. We decided to create a service that would bring a handy-person to your door (with DAP products) to teach you how to fix minor problems in your home and do some minor work for you.
Product: The research culminated in a final presentation about our prototypes as well as demonstrations. In the presentations, we reviewed the insights we had gathered that led us to our proposed solutions. We demonstrated our app solutions through a set of wireframes and storytelling. DAP was able to use some of our insights (i.e. they began looking into including their spray foam in art stores) as a result of our research.