Within the course of Join Master Project from the Delft University of Technology and Ortovox it was requested to explore the opportunities to develop a new product for their portfolio in the avalanche rescue gear. The project was developed in a team of six Master Students from three different disciplines: Strategic Product Design, Design for Interaction and Integrated Product Design.
The team defined the research plan bases on an extensive internal-external and context analysis. The research revealed the future market trends and how Ortovox could fit in this scenario leading to three strategies. Each strategy was focused on the design of a new avalanche shovel either through its features and/or in the retail’s experience.
// Create a shovel that does exactly what you want, when you want, and how you want it, without any unpredictability. Regain control under a stressing situation //
The group worked simultaneously on the in-store experience and on the product development. In this last phase, different shovels were tested in context to evaluate their performance and design features. Following, the team started to explore potential design features for a new shovel as a control handle or power grip and some mock-ups were tested. I was in charge development of ideas, involved in the recruitment of participants and in the user tests.
The use of bright colours for the product was decided for three main reasons: fit in the current market trend, stand out in the store and become a landmark for Ortovox in the near future. The packaging of the shovel was defined as a FanBooklet. In this, the user could find the shovel’s features, shovelling techniques and QR codes with videos while enabling Ortovox to communicate their expertise.
The team also worked on several features of the shovel including a new safety locking mechanism, a power grip and a hammer-head handle to increase the performance in both shovelling positions. These features were perfectly combined with the colours selected to work as use-cues. Finally, the shovel was presented to Ortovox and nowadays, some of the features presented are included in their new shovel design collection.