As my final year major project at university, I was tasked with researching and finding a problem to solve through product design.
The year included carrying out market research, standards research, branding exercises, concept design, design for manufacture, proof of concept prototyping and a building a fully functioning prototype to display and demonstrate at our final year show.
Here is an excerpt from my early research:
Drinking water is the most effective way humans have of keeping their bodies hydrated. Children's bodies, on average, are made up of 75% water and therefore it is vital that they drink often in order to keep a natural level of water in their bodies.
Children often find the idea of drinking water to be boring, the aim of this product will be to change children's perceptions of this at a relatively young age so that they can take good habits with them into later life. The product will aim to be engaging, possibly utilising interactivity, as an alternative for 'character based' products that may not keep a child entertained for more than a year or two e.g. A bottle with a picture of a Minion printed on it.
Another vital task will be educating carers on the effect of their child not drinking enough water. The product must include a way of seeing how much water has been drunk each day, so that a guardian can know if their child has been under drinking or drinking enough.
I analysed the behaviour of children, aged 4 - 10 years, in order to work out how to get them drinking more water. After doing some first person research, I settled on the form of a water bottle and three main functions my design had to succeed at.
In order to passively remind the user that it is time to drink, the bottle is designed in such a way that it starts to automatically wobble from side-to-side every hour.
This causes multiple psychological phenomenon to occur, that aid in learning the habit of regularly drinking.
Covert Attention: The action of the bottle physically moving itself, something bottles don't naturally do, causes the eyes to be drawn to it. Once the owner of the bottle is looking at it, half it's job is done. Attention has now been drawn to the product, making it more likely to be used.
Endogenous Attention: Once the user has experienced the bottle moving, the repetition of this action means that it is expected. Therefore, when it does happen, attention is drawn to it out of anticipation.
Engagement whilst using the bottle is achieved using two senses, touch and sight. The sense of sound was not used due to distractions caused in the classroom environment, and utilising taste would likely require a different product entirely.
The shape of the bottle is carefully designed to make it comfortable to hold for a people with a variety of different sized hands. Using anthropometric data, different diameters are incorporated into the body of the bottle, to suit hand sizes from 5th to 95th percentile for the target market. The design also lends itself to using a 'resting' hand position, the most comfortable and natural way to hold something.
In order to gain visual stimulation, I utilised a phenomenon known as pareidolia - more commonly recognised as 'seeing faces in objects'. The design of the lid was in order to make it look vaguely like a face, which in turn causes humans to recognise and therefore feel some kind of connection with.
The 'eyes' of the lid are also designed to encourage the user to look at and in turn drink more water. They are two clear plastic, fully enclosed bubbles, containing two food safe liquids that are coloured and of different densities.
This means that when drinking from the bottle, the two liquids move around each other and create a pattern. This feature is mainly included due to the original target market age group, but may not be necessary if marketed toward adults.
The final stage is to monitor the users habits in as passive a way as possible. I purposefully didn't want this product linked to an app, as it makes the process of discussing hydration less personal. Therefore, there are four lights inside the bottle, each of which will turn on once the bottle has been emptied and refilled.
At the end of the day, the child's guardian can look inside the bottle and see how many lights have been turned on. The bottle is designed to hold 330ml, so throughout the day if it is refilled and emptied four times, the user will have drunk 1.3 litres, which is just over the recommended amount for a child between 4 and 10 years old.
A section of my stand at the Festival of Design & Technology at Bournemouth University - 2016
Solidworks renders of my final design
Cartoonified sketch of my final design
The logo I designed for my wobl bottle, the colours were carefully selected ensure no individual letter stood out more than the rest
An early design sketch, experimenting with bottle shape and reward systems
Initial thoughts on a monitoring system for amount of water drunk
Experimentation sketching of lid designs
Original design for ergonomic body shape
Original design for the lid - using 'sports bottle' style mouthpiece.
Original mechanism concept to create the 'wobble' effect
Original design for the monitoring capability - shows pins which have a flow of current between when water is in the bottle. No connection means bottle is empty which causes a light to turn on
Initial concept render using Keyshot
If you have any questions about this project or would like to learn more about it, please feel free to send an email to email@example.com