When designing any product concept it is important to take into account the end user of the product.
These personas represent the five main types of people that we can expect to assist in our project, the ways that they can assist.
Key takeaways from the persona interviews:
- The most difficult aspect of being disabled is not the actual disability, but the perception people have around disability. Accessibility can be very alienating as everything has to be different.
- People who are disabled want to be cool and don't want to feel or be seen as using a medical device. Form is more important than function.
- People want to participate in activities alongside their friends regardless of ability
- There is not a good language around disability
- There is a desire for able-bodied people to want to participate in their activities.
Sebastian is an engineer during the week, but on the weekends he loves to go out with his buddies to play a pickup game of basketball, throw the football with his in-laws, or head to the beach to play Frisbee with his kids. He wouldn’t say he is athletic, but he likes to keep active to keep healthy.
He tends to feel left out when his friends do things that can't accommodate him, and some of the activities that do are simply embarrassing to participate in as the equipment is more medical than functional.
He can’t currently do all of the activities that he would like to, even somewhat simple ones, of them as his chair is simply not versatile enough.
PERSONA 2 | KRISTAL : AMBITIOUS ATHLETE
Kristal grew up around extreme sports. Snowboarding, downhill mountain biking, and surfing. The rush that she received from tackling the outdoors and pushing herself was never in question. An accident that left her paralyzed from the waist down has done nothing to slow her down. She is still looking for the next rush and has found that some activities are actually pushing her harder than she thought, while others seem to come up short.
Kristal has seen first hand how adaptive sports can change the lives of disabled people and she works to help expand the use of all sports. She finds that the barrier to entry for most specialty sports is just too high for people who regularly incur medical expenses and who's regular equipment is having to be changed to meet new needs.
She wants to push herself to the limits of what is capable to go further, faster, higher.
PERSONA 3 | SEAN : ACTIVELY AGING
Sean is not disabled, but as he has started aging, he is finding that he doesn’t enjoy the full range of motion that he used to and definitely feels pain the next day. He has always valued being active in his daily life and is hesitant to let that go. This feeling is particularly strong as he sees his children and grandchildren grow up and wants to find ways to continue to play with them at their level.
Sean wishes there was a way that he could participate in a more active lifestyle with his family in ways that would not compromise anyone’s enjoyment.
PERSONA 4 | MICHAEL : PRAGMATIC PROFESSIONAL
Michael is an engineer for a German bicycle company. He understands the ins and outs of developing a product that needs to perform, as well as the terrible price of failure for the people using his products.
He has many ideas and is excited by the prospect of finally being able to push beyond the boundaries of his industry. He is highly interested in creating new products to help people enjoy life, and his natural skepticism around safety keeps his ideas from getting too lofty.
People who use the products he has helped make, appreciate and highly value his expertise and experience.
PERSONA 5 | LYNDON : INDUSTRIAL DESIGNER
Lyndon is a young industrial designer whose older sister was born with a disability. Only a year apart they are very close, and Lyndon has been there as a helping hand throughout their childhood . He has watched as she has outgrown wheelchairs, seen her left behind when her friends go out, and helped her navigate the medical landscape as an adult.
Lyndon has a lot of ideas of how he can help make things better.
His outside perspectives gives him some out of the box solutions that could make a really positive impact on the industry.