What products do you think need improving?

I need ideas for a product i can use for my product design course as i am completely stumped on what to do!
So what products around the house have you used that you feel need improvements or redesigning?
Please keep it quite simple as i do have to do this at school (no i cant redesign the car!).
Thank you all in advance :slight_smile:

Design a system that helps you decide what to design.

We also seem to need a new planet.

Here’s a thought, you’re a student learning to become a professional. Why not do it as a professional would?

  1. Pick a product, any product. You are not tied to any company so enjoy the freedom while you have it. Do us all a favor and don’t design something that fits your demographic - designing for yourself completely lacks imagination.

  2. Watch people using the product.

  3. Determine a problem based on your observation of users.

  4. Determine an objective to solve the problem.

  5. Go to town.

Good luck.

Front door lock and handle.

+1 to what iab said. Only thing I might suggest is specify a space/area instead of a specific product to start your research, unless the assignment is specifically to do a redesign.

I’m surprised this isn’t part of the assignment; ethnography and qualitative research were huge parts of my schooling.

Any product, once studied in detail, demands much improvement.

Nose hair trimmer. Go.

Portable coffee cup lid.

A bed that I can ride to work in, because I’ve always found it difficult to get out of bed to ride to work.

  1. Take any product with a giant transformer at the plug.
  2. Relocate the transformer into the body of the product, ignoring the size and/or weight increase.


I’ll send you my portfolio and you can take your pick. :smiley:

I’ve been thinking about how to answer this for a while now. My answer is a bit of an extreme ideologist response, but I’m certain of it.

“What products do you think need improving?”

All of them.

Good answer, Taylor.

So, perhaps the question for DFRorschach to ask himself is “What product do I WANT to improve?”

Just another thought regarding the “all of them” comments.

“ If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late. ”

  • Reid Hoffman

We can design a product until the end of time, but at some point you have to ship. Which is why it is indeed all of them.

Thanks to all mate, very cool and interesting advices, now I’m confused already less.

The flippant answers in this thread tend to be the norm on this subject. I can’t give a good reason to why.

But certainly, if you are sitting across my desk with your portfolio looking for an opportunity, I am going to grill you on how you determined which problem to pursue as hard, if not harder, as how you solved the problem.

I have never seen the 100/5/1 rule not hold true. For every 100 ideas, 5 are worth expending resourses and of the 5, 1 will launch.

So of the 100 possible projects, how did you dertermine the 1 you pursued was worth the resources? What makes it so great over the other 99? If your answer is, “I thought it would be cool.”, or any answer that has the word “I” in it will not go well for you.

Yes, nothing is perfect. All products need improving. But there are priorities. You need to learn which it is.

I disagree. If you are not personally passionate about a topic, then likely the result will be lack luster.

A designer, even a young one, should be self directed enough, and have enough of a POV and sense of direction to rattle off a dozen products he or she would like to work on on cue. If you can’t determine for that yourself, then you will be highly susceptible to the influence of others, and likely be working on less desirable (at least to you) products, hence the flip responses.

Toilet seat.

A door handle or a knob, so i could locate it in the dark.

I might just try to add something useful to this discussion.

Start small and then get more complicated as you gain experience. What I mean by that is, redesign something like a lighswitch, door handle, spoon or hairbrush. Something you have at home that keeps breaking or becoming worn or dirty and has to be thrown out every year. Maybe something that is made out of an inappropriate material.

Then after a few years of designing these small things and seeing the problems you come up against (manufacturing constraints, marketing, transport, materials sourcing), then tackle a reticulating solar lamp, water driven kinetic musical instrument or self inflating bike helmet.

I have a few gripes at the moment with products. One is food packaging. Such a waste. I buy organic food and take my own bags, but see hoards of people grabbing shrink wrapped, pre cut veggies when I have to enter a supermarket for toilet paper or whatever. Why do people do this? Are they too busy, overworked, Or just stupid, ignorant and lazy? Maybe there is a solution there.

I think packaging will be the death knell of humanity. We’re going to choke on a sea of plastic fragments like the sea turtles are.

2.5 billion people need a better toilet.