Alex Sander and I collaborated for our human factors class with BC Hwang. We wanted to help 'ease' young girls into their menstrual cycle. So we branched off to redesign the tampon applicator to be less intimidating, more user friendly and to have a smaller impact on the environment.
It soon evolved into using our product as a platform for education and to promote feminine hygiene as a less taboo subject.
How might we positively change a girl's 1st period story?
How do girls learn about their feminine care options?
Their options depend on who they are taught by and limited to those until they find out all the others.
We posted a survey on multiple social media sites asking our friendly females young and old to
answer a few questions about their feminine care routine and their connection with their bodies.
Girls are starting their periods younger. This is caused by estrogen like hormones in processed foods, which interfere with proper hormone production. (organicconsumers.com)
The girls we surveyed experienced a lot of negative feelings to 1st starting their periods.
This disconnect between a young girl and a part of her body is something that could be changed through knowledge of one's self.
“I thought the tampon was going to feel like a sword stabbing me, when it's really the easiest thing I’ve ever done." - Kate, 14 yrs old
I made a comparative analysis of all feminine hygiene care products currently on the market.
Mapping it on how easy it was to apply and how well you have to know your body to feel comfortable using it. Also noting the impact on the environment and conveniency of each product.
I looked for patents to find innovative materials that were safe for the body and possibly water soluble.
Toxic Shock Syndrome is the result of an organic material, such as a cotton tampon, that is left inside the body for too long. The cotton then starts producing harmful toxins. We had to properly warn our users.
Women converted from their 1st use of pads to using tampons then on to the menstrual cup. The stepping stone of products is something we wanted to capitalize on.
8% of girls switched to Obs
By promoting the use of Ob tampons it would be more eco friendly & more cost efficient.
Girls on average stop growing 2 years after starting their cycle, so we had to find the proper proportions for our product.
Our product's control is a single reaching movement to a stationary target. Using pure force but with very minimal strain on the middle finger. It has a low control to response ratio spanning about 8 seconds.
The Kegel muscle restricts when tense which causes discomfort when not relaxed when inserting the product.
We decided to make a training tool that puts a wall between the Kegel and the cotton until it is properly placed within the vagina.
Blind Task + Mental Trigger = Movement Complete
The egg symbolizes the start of ones life and also the form itself is familiar. The familiarity allows the introduction of a new process easier to grasp in turn allowing the user to feel more comfortable.
We decided to make our product slightly compressible to reduce slippage and to accommodate both hands for greater dexterity. Rounding the form avoids pressure points, along with placing texture changes for better finger placement. It rests against the pubic bone while the bottom entrance tapers into the vagina to allow maximum finger length.
For our sensory details we chose colors that were inviting but less childish because it is sensitive time in a girls life when entering womanhood.
Making the packaging and form language of the product approachable for our young budding users.
Green: new, fresh and immature - accent
Blues: calm, remoteness, private, seclusion
Pink: youthfulness and femininity - accent
"What does she need?"
This is Liz.
13 years old
She enjoys swim practice with her friends and wants to be a doctor. Liz has not started her period yet and living an active happy life the last thing she should have to worry about is starting her period in school, unprepared.
So her Dad gave her ‘ease’
Our Prototyped Tool
Friendly & Approachable
The goal being friendly and approachable. Paying close attention to how the steps were read in sequence.
This is our example book. We used language as a way to reach our readers.