13 March 2007

Qualitative research leads to new bicycle “for fun”

Be the first to share

Coasting
When Japanese bike part manufacturer Shimano set out to make a bicycle aimed at America’s dwindling group of casual bikers, they enlisted the help of design consultancy IDEO, and embarked on a qualitative research and design process that eventually lead to the “Coasting” bicycle (see also this Core77 post).

The background to their research was the realisation, revealed by a Bicycling Magazine survey, that the number of casual bikers had dropped nearly 50% in the last decade, whereas the number of cycling “enthusiasts” has nearly tripled in the same time. That means that there were more than 160 million Americans currently not riding bikes—an enormous potential market.

As reported by United’s Hemispheres magazine, IDEO sent a team of “industrial anthropologists” to 50 homes to get an in-depth look at how people spend their leisure time.

Shimano execs and even some bicycling nerds within IDEO assumed the primary reason people didn’t want to ride would be “heaviness” and “laziness.” Turns out they were dead wrong.

What they learned was that everyone loved their memories of bicycling as a kid. It was for them a “memory of a simple pleasure, an elemental enjoyment”.

In other words, says the Hempisheres article, “people just wanted to putter around rather than become fitness freaks.”

Unfortunately, that idea of puttering was being lost at the typical bicycle store, where potential customers looking for a pleasant way to spend a Saturday were encountering Spandex-clad bike geeks expounding about technology and performance.

IDEO and Shimano saw two challenges: First, create a new bicycle designed with the casual cyclist in mind—simple, comfortable, affordable and designed primarily for fun, not fitness. And second, they had to redesign the retail experience.

So first they designed a prototype with the casual cyclist in mind—simple, comfortable, affordable and designed primarily for fun, not fitness—and encouraged the big bike manufacturers like Raleigh, Giant and Trek to tailor it to their own company style.

Then they expanded the experience to the bike shop—by making dealers more sympathetic to, or at least aware of, the needs of noncyclists through online training and DVDs—and to people’s bicycling activities: the web site www.coasting.com serves as a bulletin board for the new hobbyists, with information about routes and rides in 15 cities around the U.S.

Read full story

(via Acres & Acres)

Be the first to share
6 June 2017
Developing a mobile chatbot for a Pittsburgh museum
The people at Studio, the design, development and workflow laboratory at Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, are working on the design and the development of a "new kind of mobile museum experience". Because they would like the …
31 May 2017
Putting human thought behind chatbots
Business anthropologist Martha Bird's specialty is designing technologies that work for people, creating conversational user interfaces and chatbots that can serve different professional audiences across different geographies and different cultures. An interview excerpt: Why are people's …
31 May 2017
IoT seeks to remake the fundamentals of our everyday lives
Murray Goulden writes in The Conversation that smart homes, wearables and the Internet of Things are indicative of the development of an entire class of technologies seeking to remake the fundamentals of our everyday lives. These …
31 May 2017
A cultural approach to wearables (and the design opportunities it provides)
In January of this year, Sakari Tamminen and Elisabet Holmgren of the Finnish/USA innovation agency Gemic, published a paper on EPIC entitled "The Anthropology of Wearables: The Self, The Social, and the Autobiographical". A wide …
31 May 2017
 Intervista a Todd Harple di Intel sul tech-fashion
Ripostato da Medium - English version Il mondo del fashion sta diventando sempre di più digitale — e non si tratta solo di dispositivi da indossare, ma anche e soprattutto di abbigliamento, realizzato con tessuti in cui sono …
30 May 2017
Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation, planning to embark in Turin, Italy
Today the print edition of the Italian newspaper Repubblica published an article with the title Nesta, i campioni dell’innovazione puntano su Torino. Below is the English translation (with English-language links added by us): Nesta, the champions …
9 May 2017
Data ethnographies: how do people live with data?
Data Ethnographies is a Lab of the Digital Ethnography Research Centre (DERC), at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. Data Ethnographies investigates the implications of the increasing ubiquity of data in everyday lives and worlds. We …
8 May 2017
Why service design is the new black — Intel’s Todd Harple on fashion tech
Reposted from Medium - Versione italiana The world of fashion is becoming increasingly digital — and not just wearable devices, but with clothing made from fabrics that actually integrate sensors and technology that can monitor and measure the …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

31 March 2017
Experientia guide to Milan Design Week 2017

It’s that time of year again – Milan’s don’t-miss event for the design community is here. If you’re looking to get inspired at Milan Design Week, then check out our top picks for the latest edition, from Experientia’s designers, strategists and partners. Milan might be best known for its busy streets, traditional cafés and world […]

12 January 2017
Experientia’s CITYOPT project awarded prestigious French award for its sustainable development design

Following the 2016 Smart Innovation Award at “FIMBACTE Trophées du Cadre de vie”, the CITYOPT project has once again been recognized, this time in the prestigious French design competition: “Observeur du Design 2017”, in the Service Design category. In June 2016, CITYOPT won the first stage of the Observeur du Design. Now the project has […]

1 December 2016
More on upcoming conference on design & sustainable innovation for smart cities

Last month Putting People First announced the upcoming conference on design & sustainable innovation for smart cities in Nice France. Meanwhile we are pleased to announce the full event agenda (see below). This event will feature professionals from leading research institutes and industry gathering to present key initiatives which combine Energy Efficiency and Service Design […]

29 October 2016
Upcoming conference on design & sustainable innovation for smart cities

Invitation to the International Conference on Design & Sustainable Innovation for SmartCities Nice (France) 8 December 2016 On the 8th December 2016, the CITYOPT project will host an international conference on Design and sustainable innovation for SmartCities, at the Centre Universitaire Méditerranéen, France. An open invitation to attend is offered to people and organisations who […]

28 October 2016
Experientia’s President, Michele Visciòla, panel judge for MacArthur Foundation’s “100&Change” competition

The 100&Change is an international competition and a landmark opportunity for thinkers and designers to tackle critical challenges affecting the world. Michele Visciòla will be one of the panel of expert judges who will select which project is worthy of the $100 million grant. 100&Change is the MacArthur Foundation competition – launched this year for […]

5 September 2016
Great engine, but the fuel seems poor. Discussing insight development in corporate marketing

The September issue of the Harvard Business Review (HBR) contains a lengthy essay, entitled Building an Insights Engine, on how Unilever has created the organizational capabilities to “transform data into insights about consumers’ motivations and to turn those insights into strategy.” The article was written by Frank van den Driest and Keith Weed of a […]

See all articles