During week 9, the merchandising students were to read an article about a redesigned supermarket shopping experience, Shopsense. This program allows shoppers that have limited mobility or problems while grocery shopping an easier experience! It is a virtual trolley experience where they are able to be guided visually or by audio quickly and efficiently around the store. There is also another element where a new store layout is put in place to allow easier access by creating the shelving only within reaching distance so the customer doesn’t have to bend down or reach high up for an item. I feel like both of these designs could potentially be very successful – but now there are many apps we can use as consumers for an easier grocery shopping experience. There is now a Pick-up option at Walmart where you can choose your items through the app and the employee will get them for you and bag them up and have them ready for you when you get to the store. There is also a new app called Shipt – which my sister has started working for part time – where you order what items you need through the app and the employee for Shipt actually goes and does the grocery shopping for you then delivers it right to your house. Although some elderly people are not very tech-saavy, maybe there is a way we can incorporate all of these features into one.
The oldest/most memorable item I have is two suede fringe beaded jackets that were my great-grandmothers. My great-grandparents collected Native American artifacts and many of my family members took what they wanted when they passed away. I was very young when they passed, so all I had were memories of them and nothing physical to cherish. My dad inherited their house after they died and a couple years ago I was going through one of the guest bedroom closets and came across these jackets. I couldn’t believe none of my family members had taken them and that they were still sitting there. I decided since I didn’t have anything of theirs and nobody had claimed these, that I would take them and keep them forever. She also collected Norman Rockwell plates and had them hanging around her home and my aunt took them and gave each of us one of the plates for Christmas one year – which I thought was very special. My mom also made shadow boxes for all the kids that had my great-grandmother’s picture in it and different things that she owned. Both of these things that my aunt and my mother did were empathic designs because they knew it would touch everyone and give us all a sense of happiness/closeness to the people we lost.
I feel really good about empathic design and can’t wait to learn more about it. I wear my heart on my sleeve and certain things really bother or get to me and I am a very soft-hearted person who always wants to help others. In my product development class now, we have been conducting market research for our projects by conducting surveys and focus groups which are great for validation but we have found it to be hard to find people who are really familiar with what our survey was about. It is important to have the right audience when collecting information about the design you want to make. The 5 steps of the Empathic Design process are definitely all important and I am learning that right now during my product development research phase. There are many aspects of the process that you might not think of right off the bat but then come across later. It is important to cover all info that is needed to create your design!
The design probes package was actually kind of interesting to do last week. I kind of thought of myself as a little bit boring while putting mine together – because I have a routine each week with classes and work and sometimes I have more to do than other weeks but I mostly just stayed around home in the evenings – so I was nervous it would be hard for someone to design something for me if my package was chosen. The person my learning community got had a very good and interesting package where she was very active and engaging in school spirit activities so it was very fun to come up with an idea for her!