Plug Redesign

BRIEF

Safe, ergonomic design solution for plugging in...in the dark. The design challenge revolves around creating a solution for connecting devices in low-light conditions, recognizing that not all users can rely on visual cues. The objective is to develop an intuitive, safe, and ergonomic system that accommodates users with varying levels of visual abilities. The approach includes innovative features such as tactile and auditory feedback mechanisms to guide users in the dark. By prioritizing inclusivity, safety, and ergonomics, the design ensures a universally applicable solution adaptable to diverse electronic devices and outlets.

FIELD RESEARCH

Gaining a thorough understanding of the typical user's plugging-in experience was crucial for this UX case study. The testing phase began by leveraging visual abilities and then transitioned to focusing on the absence of visual cues. Throughout each test, users were interviewed, offering real-time feedback on their distinctive perspectives and experiences. This dual approach allowed for a nuanced exploration of user interactions, first with visual clues and then under conditions simulating limited visual cues, akin to scenarios faced by visually impaired users or during nighttime use.

APPROACH

Holistic design: electrical plug/outlet redesign which takes into consideration visual impairment, where the solution is an add-on for visual-free user orientation. 

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IMPLEMENTATION

The solution presents two streamlined add-ons to the current plug design, thoughtfully designed to enhance the user experience for those with visual limitations. A seamlessly integrated curved attachment enables users to feel for precise spatial alignmenton the plug (above), while a purposeful notch on the outlet acts as a tactile guide for ensuring correct orientation (below). This intuitive design ensures straightforward interaction for visually impaired users.

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USER TESTING

Participants interacted with a prototype that initially adhered to a generic design. With closed eyes, they attempted to plug in, mimicking real-world scenarios identified in previous field research. Subsequently, the prototype was reversed, revealing the visually impaired-friendly design. Participants, without explicit instructions, attempted the task again. Real-time recordings and interviews provided valuable insights into the efficacy of the redesigned plug, showcasing its impact on user interaction and inclusivity.

FUTURE PROTOTYPE

Phase Il of the design caters to future manufacturing, incorporating a magnetic solution for enhanced safety and ergonomic comfort. Drawing inspiration from technologies like the MacBook Pro, this design ensures a secure and user-friendly approach, especially beneficial for visually impaired users plugging in electronic devices.

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Selected Works

GreenSwapSystem Ideation

Ticketing SiteApplication Prototype

Plug RedesignSystem Ideation

RoomMatesResearch through survey approach for future application design