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Designed a microlending platform that connects fat*-owned businesses with fat community and allies to increase funding for fat accessible products and services.

What I Did

Results

We received the following awards in the Core77 Design Awards "Consumer Technology" category and "Home and Living category":

We also realized that we would need to develop the VODA product system further by coordinating with scientists who focus on water filtration on developing the mixtures, testing the physical prototype with more materials, and doing market testing to see how responsive this product would be in use.

Background

The plus-size market is getting a lot more attention lately, but there is still a lack of accessibility and options in the goods / services spaces in a variety of areas including in fashion, furniture, bikes, and even medical devices.

A lot of that accessibility comes from a lack of interest in serving the plus-size community, as evidenced by the small assortments and lack of options available.

The potential for the plus-size market is huge because of still being an underserved population in the economic space. There are companies out there that are creating product access, mostly run by plus-size people to bring that access to other plus-size people. The estimated size just for the plus-size market in the US alone is 24 billion USD. With the number of plus-size people in the United States being 70 million people.

There is a myth that investing in the plus-size spaces is not a good idea because of how much attention is being placed on it, which gives the impression that it is an oversaturated market. However, the reality is that the market is still largely underfunded and there is room for sorely needed investment. According to Alexandra Waldman, the Co-Founder of known plus-size brand Universal Standard, "the biggest barrier to entry is the [investment industry's] lack of knowledge and understanding of that market.

According to an Axios survey, less than 10% of VC decision makers are women and almost none of them are plus-size or fat-identifying.

This means that a lot of plus-size individuals are not getting access to products and services that they want and need. ADD TO THIS

Where I came in

I talked to SMEs and lead experts about somethign else and they kept bringing up how they felt like there were no product offerings as a colloquial story. I decided to address this because it's so commonplace we all talk about it.

How I began

🔎 Observations

  1. Discussing a lack of product and service options for plus-size people is such a common practice that it becomes a way of social bonding.

  2. Mutual aid in the plus-size / fat communities is a widely recognized practice to help with funding individual needs.

😮 Insight

The practice of providing money to help with accessibility concerns is a common practice, so it's already a learned behavior to tap into and by creating a platform where both parties can benefit that could lead to an increase in support for this community group.

Opportunity 1

Water quality is key to our health, but not everyone's water contains the same elements. By encouraging drinking water locally to reduce overall personal water filtraiton waste, we need to address local water concerns.

Opportunity 2

With the leader in the market, there is still a lot of plastic waste that comes from disposing the filters and eventually the pitchers. We needed to develop a filter that could be easy to clean and used in conjunction with any pitcher of any kind.

2 Main Opportunities

From our product testing, competitive analysis, and user interviews, we realized that current water filtration products on the market primarily use a charcoal mixture to filter out contaminants. However, that may not necessarily filter out all contaminants in a person's local water supply.

How Opportunity 1 lead to this design

1) How feature addresses opportunity 1

2)How feature addresses opportunity 1

3) How feature addresses opportunity 1

Opportunity 1

How I ended up doing Opportunity 2 and what this overall product means

1) How feature addresses opportunity 2

2)How feature addresses opportunity 2

3) How feature addresses opportunity 2

Opportunity 2

First Round of Hi-Fi Frames of the VODA Mobile App

What does this system do as a whole?

1) We highlighted that the funnel and the filter were the necessary components of the system via the campaign to show that VODA is pitcher agnostic to reduce plastic and additional spending on purchasing another pitcher.

2) We also developed a campaign to illustrate how the filtration mixture focuses on filtering out your local contaminants unlike leading products currently on the market.

The Plus Futures Platform System

Plus Futures

a micro-loan platform supporting plus-size small businesses

How might we leverage financial practices to increase product and service accessibility for plus-size consumers and plus-size providers?

Context:

SVA MFA Products of Design

Graduate Thesis

Advisor: 

Bill Cromie

Date:

2022 for 11 weeks

Tools:

Miro, Figma, Maze, Service Design Tools, Excel

Methods:

UI/UX, Service Design, Service blueprint, Journey map, Stakeholders Map, Business Modeling, Logic Mapping, Risk Mapping,  Secondary research, User testing, Concept Testing, Information Architecture, Rapid Prototyping, Ideation

What I did

As a group we conducted user interviews on general water consumption, did market research on current filtration products and their functionality and how people would access them. We also conducted company analysis regarding their sales channels, marketing channels, and sustainability focuses. We then used the insights we gathered from the interviews and feature analysis to synthesize our observations into insights. From there we did ideation of both product and experience systems, developed storyboards for concept testing, and began developing the physical prototype and subsequent packaging development. 

Process

💻 Desktop Site

👆Tablet Site

📱Mobile Site

📱Mobile App

What does this system look like?

How insights led to designing this service system: What did I design and why did I do that within this ecosystem?

The first round of e-commerce development centered solely on using the mobile app as a shopping and educational experience. The app design had multiple features including shopping capabilities, explanations of the VODA system, and a quiz to discover the geospecific mixture needed.

Users gave the following feedback:

1) The text is hard to read and very small.

2) The VODA system capabilities are not clear.

3) Ordering from a site is more comfortable.

Initial Pass

How I ended up doing Opportunity 2 and what this overall product means

1) How feature addresses opportunity 2

2)How feature addresses opportunity 2

3) How feature addresses opportunity 2

Prototype Embed

First Round of Hi-Fi Frames of the VODA Mobile App

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