Design Thinking

From "The Wind Factor" to "WTF Should I Wear"

Spring 2015 was the first time that Intro to Design Thinking was offered to undergraduate students. The class focuses on understanding and practicing the design thinking process. My project team placed first at the judging event at the end of the semester.

The Evolution of the Question

How might we prevent skirts from flying up when the wind comes?

How might we make the situation of a skirt flying up less embarrassing for women?

How might we help people understand weather conditions in relation to what they wear?

The Process

Problem Definition

Before we did anything, we had to understand the real problem that we were trying to solve. Our original problem state was, "How might we prevent skirts from flying up when the wind comes?".

User Insights and Ideation

We created a user experience group consisting of 12 users. Throughout the course of the project, we constantly touched base with our user group. The insights that we developed as a result of our user interviews helped us refine our problem statement.

Through our user interviews, we discovered that a lot of times people were ill-prepared for the weather was because they didn't check the weather in the morning or, for the 25% who did, many didn't understand what they were saying. Thus, we wanted our product to humanize the weather. We also wanted it to be clever and funny, so that it wasn't a boring task to do in the morning. Even better, with push notification settings, users wouldn't even have to open the app in the morning to get a quick update on the day's weather.

Product Design

We went through a few iterations of our product, constantly running it by our user groups and peers. Through this process, we were still refining our problem statement. In our first version of our product, we were still focusing on how to better inform women, age 18-24, on what to wear on a certain day. Additionally, we had created a more conversational user flow where users could ask the app if a certain outfit choice would be appropriate.

After discussing this version with our user experience group, we realized that we were concentrating on a very select portion of the population when the app could be useful to a much broader group. Further, since we would already know what clothing would be appropriate for the day, we decided to make recommendations for clothing rather than require users to input values.

The Solution