mifold SPORT: the luxury
grab and go booster
Role: Product Designer
We now live in a world where convenient yet safe and dependable products are the preferred choice of parents globally.
Following extensive research, a unique gap was identified in an already saturated market for a high-end, luxurious feeling, portable children’s car seat.
The brief was concise and direct; ‘design a car seat which has a high-end, premium aesthetic whilst minimising the amount of parts required for manufacture’.
Understanding the luxurious product market.
To understand the type of market we would be designing for, it was vital to analyse existing products. This was achieved by taking visits to premium outlets to understand how effective the use of colour, materials and finish (CMF) can be in achieving a high-end aesthetic. By recognising what makes a product feel premium, it helped to ensure a luxurious experience for the user.
Letting the aesthetic influences drive the design direction.
Design inspiration was taken from high performance products which communicate a superior stature that reassures the user that they are utilising a high performing product. A unique and opulent colour selection was also established early on to help define the design style. We closely involved the client at this stage to ensure that the correct design direction had been pinpointed
A wide range of concepts were created using visualisation software for the client to pitch to target market groups for feedback.
A number of the target market group identified that the concepts gave a ‘luxurious feeling’. They also commented on how using more premium materials for touch points would help to enhance the products status. What I learnt most from this session was that it would have been more beneficial to have samples of potential materials and finishes that could be used. However, the session and feedback was largely positive and enabled us to move onto refining the concept during the next stage.
With the insights gained from the clients market research and user reviews the style was developed into a final design that set the product apart from the existing product range, creating a premium, high performance feel.
Prototyping the design.
Following a phase of 3D development, a prototype model was made to test with key stakeholders and ensure that the philosophy of creating a high-end design was still on track. It also allowed for the designs functionality and usability to be tested. With any premium product, the user expects a superior performance so it was important to analyse if the materials selected would provide an exceptional experience. The general feedback of this prototype was very good and gave the client confidence that this product would hold its own place in the market.
Enhancing the user experience.
For a child restraint system to be passed by regulatory bodies – a number of mandatory requirements need to be completed. An important area is ensuring the user does not install/use the product incorrectly. Therefore, clear and simple graphics must be applied in the form of visible labels and instruction manuals, which must always be present for the user to reference at all times.
This helps to ensure that the users experience is made easier by providing clear instructional data.
1. Global reach and sales
The product has gone on to meet three worldwide recognised safety regulations that cover USA, Canada and Europe. The product has also gone on to be sold all over the world.
2. Returning customer
Following on from the completion of this project, mifold returned their custom, to develop another product as part of the product range.