How might we make exercise more efficient for working adults?

My General Ideas

I spent an hour exploring product ideas related to our question. I recorded these ideas in my design notebook.

Some of my better ideas…

I selected a few of my favorite ideas to bring to the brainstorming session.

New Warm-Up Game

My warm-up game is called “You!” Like some of the games we played with the improv troup, this game plays with the idea of a mismatch between your words and your actions.

Participants stand in a circle. Participant A shouts, “you!” while making eye contact with Participant B and pointing at Participant C. Participant C now passes the actions along. The aim of the game is to pass the “you’s” around the circle as quickly as possible. This is tricky for the participants who make eye contact, because eye contact is how people normally indicate who comments and actions are directed at.

During my trial of “You!”, I found that many participants would look at someone and then look away before pointing at them. The faster we went, the more often people accidentally matched eye contact and pointing.

Session Organization

Brainstormers voting on favorite ideas

Initially, two of my interview subjects from the ethnography assignment, “Lauren” and “Tyler,” planned on participating in the brainstorming session as well, as two working adults closely related to the topic. Unfortunately, as a working adult, Tyler’s work last-minute requested that he work overtime the day we’d scheduled the brainstorming session. The other male participant also dropped out of the session hours before we were set to start, so I was left with myself, Lauren, and 4 female college students.

All of the college student brainstorming participants worked part time in addition to their studies. Some of them, like “Robin,” juggled two or three jobs. Lauren works full-time, 40 hours/week.

We met in the living room at my house, which has open space large enough for a few warm up games, wall space for ideas, and seating for everyone. We began with 5 minutes of Zip Zap Zoop, then transitioned into You! for another 5 minutes. Participants were highly engaged in the warm up activities, if happy to sit down afterwards.

After the improv games, we stood up and shared the initial ideas we had created before the session. We then began brainstorming. As in class, I emphasized the validity of even ridiculous ideas, and made it clear that all ideas were to be 1) named, 2) sketched, 3) shared, and 4) celebrated.

I provided participants with dark chocolate-almond Dove candies about 15 minutes into the process. I also introduced the role-play/alternate POV exercise we used in class and collected common household objects for idea generation inspiration.

  • 40 minutes of brainstorming
  • 6 participants
  • 90 ideas
  • 0.375 ideas/minute/person

Sorting and Voting

The participant-determined categories were:

  • Apps/Software
  • Encouraged Exercise
  • Forced/Punishment Exercise
  • Dual Purpose Items
  • Lazy Exercise
  • Ex-ccessories (Exercise Accessories)

I asked each person to vote for the three ideas they considered best/most interesting. Below is a list of the ideas that received 2 or more votes.

  • Light Yard (light up lanyard for night exercise)
  • Let’s Roll (accessory that turns regular shoes into roller blades)
  • Coffee Break (app where local businesses reward you for walking by them with food/beverage-redeemable points)
  • RunNow (running buddy matching app)

I think the number of ideas, and that I forgot to put restrictions on voting for your own ideas, led to a large spread of votes. I also wonder if the results would have been any different if participants voted in private instead of in a room with all the other participants.

Top Ideas

In no particular order…

1.) Dual Mode!” inserts exercise breaks into television shows watched on Netflix in the space where commercial breaks used to play. (Maya)

2.) RunNow is an app that matches you up with a running buddy. (Mikala) Could be expanded into a broader exercise buddy app.

3.) Shake Weight Charger allows you to charge your phone using your own power — shake the charger to generate electricity. (Self)

4.) Light Yard is an easy way to add safety to your nighttime runs or bike rides. Simply turn on your light up lanyard and go. (Mikala)

5.) Body Saver is a screen saver-like app that encourages you to do simple exercises during forced breaks in your computer time. (Self)

6.) Cool Moves is a series of work-appropriate moisture-wicking and odor eliminating base layers. (Mikala)

7.) Stable Reader is a screen/book/magazine holder that attaches to stationary bikes and treadmills. It mimics your movements to allow your eyes to focus so you can read while exercising. (Mikala)

8.) Teambuilding B-Ball is a corporate answer to engagement and interaction during team meetings. Team members are encouraged to shoot each time they talk. (Lauren)

9.) Jump BRight is a jump rope that lights up as you jump faster. It also changes brightness/color to encourage you to change speeds and directions. (Self)

10.) Let’s Roll are clip on wheels that convert most flat shoes into roller skates. (Lauren & Jenna)

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