In another exercise during the UX Course, we explored lo-fi rapid prototyping with “found”/recycled materials and. There was a limited number of topics, and no more than three students to a topic.

Topic: Something to hold coats and umbrellas…

IMG_4094.JPGAt first I started off thinking only about a typical coat rack/umbrella bucket idea, but quickly realized this wasn’t something I would use because it takes up a lot of space. I thought about how I could accomplish the same thing in less space and settled on something that hangs off the back of my apartment door. To keep it manageable I restricted it to two coat hooks and a bucket for a space large enough to hold one umbrella.IMG_4095.JPG

…That allows you to check the forecast:

Following the discussion, I wanted to refine my concept after some interesting ideas were raised by classmates with the same topic while describing their prototypes:

1) One mentioned that he had coat rack hanging off his door that got too heavy which was a major influence in his design

2) I was also inspired by the portability of another classmate who designed a backpack to carry an umbrella and jacket.

I modified my original concept to accommodate just one coat and one umbrella. There is a hook that you can hang on your door, on the hook you can hang your jacket, and an umbrella holder. This is so that if the forecast is calling for rain, you can grab and carry your umbrella with you by slinging it over your shoulder without having to carry it in one hand all day.

First iteration of this concept:

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I realized this didn’t work well because the weight of the umbrella may tip the holder over and cause it to fall out.

Final iteration:

IMG_4097.JPG IMG_4098.JPG IMG_4099.JPG

I put a screen on the umbrella holding portion so that users could check the forecast before heading out, or while on the go and carrying their umbrella without having to take out their phone/device. However, there is an issue with the current design where the jacket covers the umbrella holder, so this would need to be solved by an additional / various sized hooks.

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While the wrapping screen solves the problem, in reality this might increase the weight a little too much (and also too fragile in case it ever fell off the door), and I would probably like to explore the idea of using wifi to access the weather forecast while at home, and using an LED band with different colours to indicate the weather at different times of day.

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