Procter & Gamble
Procter & Gamble is a great example of how observing your users can lead to a successful product. I've partnered with them on divisions such as Bounty, The Art of Shaving, Crest, and Swiffer. During my time testing products and commercial testing, I was taught what great culture looks like and bring it to every project I work on.
Position: User Testing, Pre-visualization Editor, and Motion Graphics
Company: Kaplan Thaler Group, Napoleon Group
Projects: Multiple Swiffer Campaigns
Technologies: Commercial Testing, Interviews, After Effects, Photoshop, Premiere Pro
My contribution with Swiffer came from direct observation and surveying end-users during commercial testing. Their feedback is what I used to help "show" potential users how easy it was to clean hard to reach places and clean up afterwards. Supporters of the mop and bucket needed to know what they were missing out on.
Swiffer was built on UX and Service Design. The techniques used by Procter & Gamble can be applied to any initiative. By leveraging UX techniques, Procter & Gamble can find creative solutions to common problems. Mopping up a floor involves buckets of soapy water, wringing out mops, and disposing of the mess. Customers wanted to be a new process that reduced the time and effort involved in cleaning.
The above image is a pre-visualization I helped put together at the Napoleon Group in New York City. Once you have the user feedback, let them know you listened and show how you can help them. Every Swiffer Heavy Duty Dusters & Sweeper commercial I helped with showed how easy it was to clean high places from the safety of the floor, how one swipe could clean a floor without a bucket, and then dispose of the dirt in the waste bin. A less effective commercial would have just listed the new "features."
Design Thinking is an iterative process in which we seek to understand the user, challenge assumptions, and redefine problems as a way to identify new strategies and solutions. The illustration I created above lays out the basics. I would like to add that the discovery phase needs empathy to be successful. Often a company does not know how their product will be used but it has to fill an initial need to be successful.
Discover: What problem are we solving?
Define: Why are we solving it?
Develop: What do we want to achieve?
Deliver: How will we achieve this?
As I look back on my work with the Swiffer product line, I appreciate the thousands of people who contributed to its success. I feel fortunate to be a part of the process and learn a lot from it.
We always chose to stay completely honest with the users. I can remember discussions about "sparkles" after the product swipes over a floor or countertop. Though a fun idea, we wanted the product to speak for itself and not have any artificial enhancements.