Taking care of a dog isn’t so easy. Now, imagine yourself at 70 yrs old with your pet dog. Things will start feeling heavier, but why should it be like that?
A product brand extension for OXO that not only satisfies but also widens its current consumer base. A pet care package that follows the mission of universal design.
OXO (Made possible by John Farber, OXO founder)
Design strategy, Brand research, Visual design, User experience
Existing Brand Research
Prior to designing this conceptual product line for OXO, I had to understand the company’s vision first. OXO followed an universal design philosophy, which meant they pursued ideas that were inherently accessible to the young, the old, and people with and without disabilities.
Most of OXO’s competitors focused on minimal aesthetic and saving space, while OXO focused on function without compromising comfort.
The contributors of OXO believed in enabling everyone by transforming everyday objects we don’t consciously think about when using. From their famous peeler to their slanted measuring cup, OXO has tackled the smallest, yet most important challenges.
Learning from OXO mistakes, I made sure to avoid these problems that came as an afterthought.
- Lessons from the bagel cutter – Product material should be able to adapt to different forms and sizes
- Lessons from the airtight water bottle – The final solution should create fewer problems than before
- Lessons from the cheese cutter – Don’t overlook simple and cheaper solutions
- Lessons from the potato masher – Consider directional options for the user to apply the most amount of pressure (if necessary) with the least amount of pain
In addition, I considered material and form language to maintain brand consistency.
- Material Consistency – Black silicone grips, colorful softer materials, and white plastic
- Form Language – Rounded corners, integrated handles and simple curves
Finding an Opportunity Through Research
I visited Whole Foods, Target, and their website to understand where OXO products populated in homes. Doing so allowed me to find an opportunity for the brand to grow in.
I saw an opportunity in the bathroom and created a list of mundane activities / chores that were done in the space. Eventually, I chose to design pet bathing products to support the idea that OXO could provide comfort for anyone, even with a receiver (the pet / dog).
I validated my decision in the pet bathing space by looking to see if the market was big enough for OXO to profit in. The result was positive!
I made a few assumptions prior to designing and validated these points by talking with friends and neighbors who had dogs.
- People wanted to wash their dogs at home because they didn’t want to bring their dog to an unfamiliar environment like Petco
- Unless their dog was too big for their bathroom, people washed their dog indoors if they didn’t have yard space or to avoid being cold outdoors
- Most people have a similar process of dog washing – prep, wash, and dry
User Persona and Journey
Applying my firsthand experience, I mapped out my user journey to discover new feelings that came with dog ownership. I developed an user persona, Daren a 75 year old retired businessman to continue my exploration.
Daren’s behavior – Daren is normally on top of his game when it comes to taking care of his bulldog, Bessy, However, as he gets older, he finds that he is constantly low on energy – thus, making him lazy.
–> How can I make this process more enjoyable so he can look forward to it?
Daren’s wants – When his son, James, comes back home for his monthly visit, he prefers James to wash Bessy.
–> What can we do to make Daren feel more abled and younger?
I observed how dogs were washed at Petco and in homes and learned that that people normally took an hour or more because of time spent moving around to find the best cleaning angle. Based on their feedback, I noted down some other pain points.
- Preparation – Leashes that had metal hooks were small and gave off an industrialized and cold feel
- Washing – There was a lot of back and forth in scrubbing and squeezing shampoo as well as second guessing when to stop
- Drying – Kneeling down to dry the dog created knee pain and discomfort
The OXO pet bathing package includes comfortable tools for handling and creating a more efficient pet bathing experience.
Because of the OXO pet bathing package –
- Daren can feel more confident about washing Bessy, his dog. Feeling confident makes him motivated to do things he used to get lazy about
- Daren sees the process as an activity rather than a chore
- OXO pet bathing package may not be applicable outdoors, so next steps would be consider product adaptability.
- Pet owners who have more than one dog may need multiple packages, which increases clutter. It would be ideal if one package could do the work without compromising cleanliness.