What differentiates Sprout from most design companies is the
way we use the user research aspects of Inclusive Design to
help us innovate new products. In our
experience, it is carefully observing and interviewing users
who are older and less able that provides us with a rich source
of inspiration for coming up with new product ideas. For the
client, this is a method of generating intellectual property
and gaining a competitive advantage.
Techniques we use include questionnaires, ethnographic observation,
interviews, diaries, immersion, task analysis and user forums.
We would be happy to explain these in more detail and see
which would be most suited to your particular project. email
us and arrange a meeting.
As well as stimulating new ideas, we can also use user research
to validate product concepts and help develop designs. The
lower photograph shows a broomhandle strapped to a pressure
washer lance. This is a test rig - a physical model used to
quickly try out an idea. As this concept was very successful
in improving the posture of the user, the product was developed
As well as using user research techniques, we also have a
specific methodology for considering all useability issues
when designing a new product.
There are three types of impairment that people face:
1) Physical impairments (eg. weak wrists,
inability to bend)
2) Sensory impairments (eg. cataracts, partial
3) Cognitive impairments (eg. learning and
We have an understanding of the full range of impairments
that people might have and have developed our own methodology
based on this. We can also product specific methodologies
for your product area and write guidelines like the ones we
have written for B&Q to help you select and design inclusive
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Ethnographic techniques uncovered
a posture problem people have using pressure washers
A simple test rig can be used with users to test product concepts.
Here, a longer lance provides a vastly improved posture more
on the pressure lance