Solving a paradoxical need:
An anti-theft, accessible backpack
Skillset: Solving paradoxical needs
Duration: 6 months
My only physical product design project! where iterations are a bit more expensive!
How might we create an anti-theft backpack that ensures both security against theft and effortless access for users during their daily commute in densely packed urban transit?
The URBIEPACK! This backpack incorporates a unique stopper system designed to deter potential pickpockets. Furthermore, it features an easily accessible component, a vest, exclusively designed for the wearer's convenience. This dual-purpose design allows commuters to safeguard their belongings and access essential items with ease, enhancing their overall transit experience.
constraints included considerations of materials, manufacturing feasibility, and user experience. Balancing anti-theft features with user-friendly accessibility posed a unique challenge, requiring careful attention to detail and innovation in the design process.
I was responsible for every aspect of the backpack's development. I took the lead from concept to creations. Through the mentorship of Moe Fatehi, the founder of Dokmeh Design and his guidance, I successfully crafted the initial prototype of this product.
Before, During, After Commute...
To create a user-centered design, I developed a concise and informative journey map. This map dissected the entire commuting process into three key stages: before, during, and after the commute. This approach was instrumental in delineating the distinct requirements of commuters at various points in their journey. By acknowledging the unique challenges and needs at each stage, I could ensure that the anti-theft backpack offered a comprehensive solution, improving the user experience from start to finish
Empathizing with commuters
Cultural Probes: "what's in your bag?"
I engaged in ethnographic research to gain a deep understanding of the daily challenges faced by urban commuters. To achieve this, I crowd-sourced insights from a broad user base by requesting Cultural Probes from my Instagram followers. A total of 70 individuals responded by sharing photos of the contents of their daily backpacks. By meticulously analyzing these images and clustering the data, I uncovered a distinct pattern in users' belongings.
2- Items Necessitating Added Protection from Theft:
1- Items Requiring Immediate Access During Commutes:
Ethnography: 🪰 Observing User Behavior
A pivotal component of my research involved immersing myself in the commuters' environment through a "fly on the wall" field study. I spent time in subway systems to closely observe how individuals carried their bags, where they positioned them, and other behavioral patterns. This on-the-ground research was invaluable, as it allowed me to identify established habits and preferences among commuters. For instance, I noticed that many passengers tended to embrace or hug their backpacks in crowded settings. These observations directly influenced the design of the anti-theft backpack, ensuring that it aligned with existing user behaviors and met the practical demands of daily commuters.