Assignment 7: Idea Selection and Pitch

Below are the ideas in a Pugh Chart that I thought were the most promising. I chose the Vick's Massager as the benchmark because there's nothing like it on the market now. The other products are the VIck's Face Mask, The Vick's roll-on Applicator, and the Sick-in-Bed Tray. I rated these promising products on the criteria of Novelty, Usability, Feasibility, and Winter Theme.


With the help of this tool, as well as tool used throughout weeks previous, I've narrowed down my ideas and chosen the Vick's Roll-on Applicator. That however is not that clever of a name.
After some thinking and brainstorming I came up with the product name "Vick's Vapor Roll"


Here is a video of my elevator pitch. I understand that I won't be this close to the 'walleyes' on pitch day, but my microphone isn't very good so I had to be this close.



To begin this assignment I will show the 10 ideas that were selected last week as the most promising product concepts.

1) Vick's Roll-on Applicator
2) The Nap App
3) Vick's Color-on
4) The Sick In Bed Tray
5) Vick's Air/Car Freshener
6) Vick's Winter Face Mask
7) Vick's Humidifier
8) Vick's Flavored Tea
9) Vick's Massager
10) Teddy Bear Kleenex Dispenser


Here is the data I collected:
1) Vick's Roll-on Applicator
Yes: 20
No: 3
Av. $ amount: $5.09
2) The Nap App
No: 16
Av. $ amount: $0.60
3) Vick's Color-on
Av. $ amount: $2.11
4) The Sick In Bed Tray
Av. $ amount: $9.77
5) Vick's Air/Car Freshener
Yes: 10
No: 13
Av. $ amount: $1.62
6) Vick's Winter Face Mask
Av. $ amount: $5.95
7) Vick's Humidifier
Av. $ amount: $14.28
8) Vick's Flavored Tea
Av. $ amount: $1.50
9) Vick's Massager
Yes: 13
Av. $ amount: $7.39
10) Teddy Bear Kleenex Dispenser
Av. $ amount: $3.70

From this data I have narrowed down the 10 ideas to 5 ideas:

1) Vick's Roll-on Applicator
2) The Sick In Bed Tray
3) Vick's Humidifier
4) Vick's Massager
5) Vick's Winter Face Mask


Vick's Winter Face Mask
I benchmarked this idea and found items that were cheap, expensive, scented, or non-scented.
cheap and unscented: Warm Full Face Cover Winter Ski Mask Beanie Hat Scarf Hood CS for $4.55. Key features are that is can be worn as a mask, scarf, or beanie hat.
expensive and unscented:Unisex Winter Cycling/Ski Sport Warm Full Face Mask Thick Headwear Cap 3 Colors for $9.99. Thick enough for outdoor cycling.
expensive and scented: Medline Surgical Scented Face Masks, Green, 300/Pack.
cheap and scented: I couldn't find many scented face masks. You could consider the medline suical scented face masks cheap if you only bought a small amount.
Vick's Massager
I benchmarked this idea and found items that were cheap, expensive, aroma, or non-aroma.
cheap and aroma: Rose aromatherapy essential oil active magnetic therapy massage soft balls water bag breast enlargement massage pad bra insert, one for $3.26.
expensive and aroma: Aromatherapy massage balls (T-spheres ) for $20.
cheap and non-aroma: Mini Handheld 4 Wooden Roller Wheels Arms Body Massager Green for $3.89. Has Mini four engraved rolling massage wheels.
expensive and non-aroma: Wooden Handheld Rolling Massager, Foot, Hand, Neck, and Shoulder Massager, Pain Relief

Vick's Roll-on Applicator
I benchmarked this idea and found items that were small, large, weird, or normal.
small and normal: Sephora Collection
Acne-Fighting Roll-On Gel, .33 oz for $12. The roll-on applicator allows for ultra-targeted application
large and normal: Tend Skin Refillable Roll-on, 2.5 oz. for $23. This easy-to-use applicator minimizes product waste.
large and normal: Tend Skin Refillable Roll-on, 2.5 oz. for $23. This easy-to-use applicator minimizes product waste.
large and weird: Lotion Applicator for $14.95, you put lotion in the chamber of the plastic wand.

Vick's Humidifier
I benchmarked this idea and found items that were cheap, expensive, mini, or normal-sized.
expensive and mini: "Starline Industries Inc" Miniature USB Air Humidifier for $248.00
cheap and mini: Portable USB Touch Switch Mini Doughnut Humidifier for $9.96. Key features are that you put the 'donut' in a cup of water to make it function as a humidifier.
Plaston Air-O-Swiss AOS 7146 Travel - Humidifier for $50, use use it by attaching a water bottle.
expensive and normal-sized: Pure Guardian H1600 and H1500 Humidifiers for $107.99. This gives you the option of cool or warm mist.
cheap and normal-sized: HoMedics HUM-CM10 - Humidifier for $17. It plugs into a wall outlet or USB port
expensive and normal-sized: Vornado Vortex HU1-0022-06 - Humidifier - black for $180. This one maximizes humidity distribution with Ultrasonic Humidifier Technology

The Sick In Bed Tray
cheap and no compartments: Bamboo Folding Lap Desk Table Tray for $12.95
expensive and no compartments: acrylic bed tray for $79.95 at CB2.
cheap and compartments:Complete Medical 1927 Bed Tray w/Side Pockets for $23
expensive and compartments: Wicker Bed Tray for $139

B) Next I had to conduct a preliminary patent search on these top 5 ideas. Here is a related patent for each idea:
Vick's Roll-on Applicator

Vick's Humidifier

Vick's Massager

Vick's Winter Face Mask

Sick in Bed Tray


For the mask idea, I think it will be hard to create a material that sustains the smell of Vick's for a long period of time.
For the Massager idea I think it will be difficult
For the Humidifier idea I think it will be hard to make one that stands out from the rest.
For the roll-on applicator I think it will be difficult to create an ointment that works well with roll-on applicators. The components might be too thick.
For the tray I think it will be difficult to come up with a product that is different and stands out from the rest.
Here are my estimates of the manufacturing costs:
Vick's Mask: ~$7
Vick's Massager: ~$7
Humidifier: ~$15
Roll-on applicator: ~$8
Bed Tray: ~$5


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To start out this weeks entry, I wanted to get back on the track of 'winter theme'. During the last few weeks my questions seemed to lose their focus on winter.
While my second question, "How might we find a way to remedy a stuffy nose without causing soreness like regular tissues do?" comes from a common issue brought up in my interviews, it doesn't necessarily have to do with the theme of winter. I looked back on my interview notes and came up with a different question that has to do with stuffy or runny noses that come along with a cold, but are more specific towards the winter theme. Here's my new "how might we" question:

"How might we find a way to make it more enjoyable to be outside in the cold when you have a stuffy or runny nose?"

So now here are my two questions:
1) How might we create a product that keeps people awake and alert when they have a cold so that they can go to work?
2) How might we find a way to make it more enjoyable to be outside in the cold when you have a stuffy or runny nose?

The first part of this week's assignment is to apply the SCAMPER method to an archetypal existing product related to one of my product statements. The archetypal existing product I chose relates to my second question and is Vick's Vapor Rub.

So this is how I applied the SCAMPER prompts:
First of all I brainstormed on this piece of paper. It's messy, just like thought processes usually are... so here's an overview of what I wrote down (some of my favorite ideas have pictures too):

How can one change its color, roughness, sound, or smell?
-what if it was a different color - such as white, black, brown, etc... and you could draw mustaches on your face with it?
-Change it's roughness, and make it a rougher material that doubles as a sort of massage component?
Can I use other processes or procedures?
-what if it wasn't a rub, but instead a patch? That's less messy. Or what if you eat it instead?

What ideas or parts can be combined?
-Maybe the fabric of a face mask could be infused with vicks vapor rub.
-Maybe you could combine a neck massager with Vicks?
-Vick's plus markers? Body art for kids (or adults) when they're sick?
-Tattoos.. winter themed/Holiday themed?

What else is like it?
-cough drops
What could I copy/steal?
-Vick's cough drops
-Vick's infused humidifier

Can it do more things?
Can it be used more often?
-hand sanitizer

What else can it be used for?
-air freshener?

How can I simplify it?
-Not an ointment but a pill or something?
Can I compact it or make it smaller?
-fused with fabrics, less smell somehow
-does it have to be put on with hands? What about a roll-on applicator?

What other arrangments might be better?
-Hands-free use for cold winter months?
-compact container?
-fabric? like a facemask for the cold thats infused with vick vapor rub somehow?
Consider it backwards?
-Rub Vapor Vicks?
-I don't actually know.
- pill form?

Second part of the assignment includes using table-based tools to generate some ideas.
I chose to use the TILMAG Matrix one, and following is my chart:
From this chart I came up with a few ideas including..
-Vick's flavored/infused tissues, normal sized and pocket-sized,
-Vick's vapor rub that comes in chapstick form
-Packaging that looks like pie, just for the heck of it
-air/car freshener that smells minty, or like citrus, that's supposed to help remedy a stuffy nose
For part three of this assignment I had to go back and review some of the ideas that came up through my brainstorming.
I picked out the Vick's Vapor Rub Vaporizer:
I think this is an idea I can stem from... perhaps instead of using the medical facemask looking thing, I could use a winter facemask like this:
This could be made with fabric that's infused with Vick's Vapor Rub or something like it. It could also incorporate a humidifier somehow to keep the air you breath nice and moist.

For part three of this assignment we had to go back to our highly rated blue sky brainstorming session and pick out the silly ideas that could maybe be manipulated to form real products.
I was reminded of the "I'm Awake Glasses"
While these are just a silly idea to make people think you're awake when you're really not, I think they would be a fun thing for kids to have. Perhaps they could even be made into some sort of game where one person wears the glasses and the other has to guess if their eyes are open or closed.
I also looked back on the Nap App
The idea behind this app was to help someone who isn't feeling well get rest but also get work done. Because unfortunately sometimes people just need to work - even if they have a cold. So this app is like a to-do list that incorporates 5 min 'nap times' as you go through your day completing tasks. It will shut down or freeze your system and force you to take care of yourself. Drink some water or tea, take a nap, or whatever to help you to feel better. While this is maybe just a silly idea, I think something like it could actually be helpful.

Finally, for the fourth part of this assignment I had to select 10 ideas from any week and from any problem that I think could be successfully realized into a product. Here are my favorites:
1) Vick's Winter Face Mask
2) Vick's Make Up
3) Vick's Humidifier
4) Vick's Vapor Rub Vaporizer
5) Vick's Roll-on Applicator
6) The Nap App
7) Vick's Massager
8) Vick's Color-on
9) Vick's Flavored Tea
10) Vick's Air/Car Freshener



This week's assignment brought us to further research of our subtopics. This time around we were to ask for the creative input of others.

First we had to rephrase our problems questions from last week into "How might we" questions.
My questions from last week in the "XXX needs a way to _____ because _______" form were these:
1) Lindsey needs a way to stay alert and awake when she has a cold because she still needs to go to work.
2) Mark needs a different way to remedy his stuffy nose because a regular tissue leaves his skin feeling irritated and sore.

In their "How Might We" form they are:
1)How might we create a product that keeps people awake and alert when they have a cold so that they can go to work?
2)How might we find a way to remedy a stuffy nose without causing soreness like regular tissues do?

After forming these "How Might We.." questions, we were conduct a brainstorming session. Mine was conducted in my dining room with 4 other people - Charlie, Yukina, Kari, and Britt. Before the actual brainstorming started, we can to get in a humorous and silly mood by playing a made up game.

Making up a game:
This is actually a game I used to play with my cousin Tory when I we were kids. We played it on a trampoline.. if you don't have a trampoline, just improvise.
It's quite simple really. And quite random.
You start at one side of the trampoline and leap to the other side, bring your arms up and shout "I'M ___________!!!!!!" at the top of your lungs. You fill in the blank with any noun, adjective, or noun with an adjective. Here are some that I remember saying:

"I'M A PICKLE!!!!!"
"I'M POOPY!!!" (??)

You get the idea. It's super duper fun when you're 6 and I'm sure it is too when you're in your 20s....

I had everyone try it, and while I think everyone thought I was nuts, it was pretty fun.
Next we started with the first question and set out for 20 minutes, writing down ideas like we did in class.
After a short break for some cookies, beverages, and a little of "The Office", we continued in our next 20 minute session of the next question.

I calculated the group IPM, and it turned out that we had a total of 44 ideas. That rounds to about 1 idea per minute per person.

After both sessions were done, I had everyone, including myself, pick 4 of their favorite ideas, 2 for each question.

They were put in a bowl:
After that we took out those favorites and organized them into 2 bowls, separating them by question #1 and #2: (10 in each bowl)


From these two bowls I had everyone vote on their favorite 5. Following are the winners in each category.

Category 1, How might we create a product that keeps people awake and alert when they have a cold so that they can go to work?

1) The Shocking Headband:

2)"I'm Awake!" Glasses

3)Caffeine Smoothie + Vitamins

4)Nap App

5)Smell Salt Dispenser

Category 2, How might we find a way to remedy a stuffy nose without causing soreness like regular tissues do?

1) Nose Protector


3)Vick's Vapor Vaporizer

4)Farmer's Blow Catcher

5)Vick's Vapor Rub Patches

I think my favorite idea is the "Nap App," which Britt came up with. I think it would be a way for people to balance staying on task and taking some breaks. I also remember hearing that it's good to take short breaks while you're working or studying so your brain doesn't get overloaded or tired. And when you have a cold, taking those naps might be a way to continual give you a little burst of energy so you can make it through the work day.



This week for our assignment we focused on finding the problems. We searched for these problems through listening to the voice of others and through observation.
The IDEA Bootcamp Bootleg that we had to read laid out the steps to these processes and had some insightful information. One part I especially like was the section about focusing on human values by having empathy for the people you're designing for and getting feedback from them. Following are a few quotes I really liked:
"we need to see things with a 'new set of eyes' - tools for empathy, along with a human-centered mindset, is what gives us those new eyes."
"A deep engagement can surprise both the designer and the designee by the unanticipated insights that are revealed."
"Engage to:
• Uncover needs that people have which they may or may not be aware of
• Guide innovation efforts
• Identify the right users to design for
• Discover the emotions that guide behaviors "
We also had to read Ethnography Primer, which reiterated our focus for the week and said that "Good design always connects with people."

Next part of the assignment included 3 interviews about my subtopic, which is winter time colds.
A common theme I noticed from these interviews is that colds are annoying, especially when you have work to do. All you really want to do when you have a cold is do nothing, but sometimes life doesn't allow you to do that. Also, the lengthiness of a cold, which lasts for about 3-10 days, stretches out the symptoms and the feeling that you don't want to work or do the daily things that you need to.
I asked these 3 people what they do to treat their colds, and 2 out of the 3 referred to some sort of medicine like Nyquil or Dayquil. The other said he would rather not resort to cold medicines and so he just drinks water and tea, uses cough drops, rests, etc. This guy also said that most medicines make him drowsy and he doesn't like that. Immediately my mind went to a popular medication that focuses on helping people feel better during the day without making them drowsy:


And so I asked him if a medicine like this would work for him. He claimed it still made him drowsy. He also thinks it is expensive.
The other 2 that I interviewed said they usually used medicine. They liked the easiness of taking it. One said "It's what I've always done."

In interviewing these people, another thing came up. One girl talked about having a stuffy nose and the annoyance that it brings. She mentioned the toll her nose takes while using tissues over and over again. The guy I interviewed mentioned that when his nose is stuffy he has to breath out of his mouth and then his mouth get dry.
Adding to that, I know that when I've had a cold in the winter, I don't enjoy breathing through my mouth because then my lips get really chapped.

After these interviews I wanted to look further. The other part to this assignment is observation, and I tried to think of ways I could observe this common cold. While it isn't so easy to find people out in the world who have it that I can watch, it also isn't very wise of me to make myself have a cold. So I resorted to some posts found on Yahoo Ask. I searched "common cold" and found many entries of people asking about the common cold. Here are some phrases that seemed to come up:

..."i have had this now for 6 days......How long will it be now before i get better..
very annoying cold right now"...
"how to prevent them" ....
..."Will this strengthen my immune system? Does it shorten the length of colds?"....
...."If you catch a cold, you can expect to be sick for about a week. But that doesn't mean you have to be miserable".....
"doesn't want to get any of the kids sick but she wants to be
able to go take care of them"......
"I've taken 2 days to completely rest but I must return to work because I can't afford to miss anymore... how to unstuff my nose?.. "

This makes it seems that a lot of people are concerned about the length of time they will have this and their ability to function as they go to work or complete their daily tasks.

So from these insights and observations, I will say there are at least 2 needs:
1) Stuffy noses create a few problems - soreness of the nose, dryness of the mouth and lips. How can we remedy a stuffy nose without causing harm to other areas of our body? Is their an easier fix?
2)People want their colds to be over quickly. They can't wait around for 3-10 while feeling crappy. They want remedies and quick results. Because oftentimes we need to work while we have a cold, we want remedies that are also non-drowsy and that keep us awake and alert. The quicker we get our work done, the quicker we can truly rest.


"A designer should care about ethnography because it can help produce more compelling, innovative design that really connects with users - in a way that creates delight."
-Darrel Rhea, Ethnography Primer



I enjoy that this week's lecture emphasized that creating is supposed to be fun, and that the best ideas usually stem from being funny and humorous.
The first part of this assignment was to get myself into a humorous and silly mood. I like watching Conan O'Brien and think he's really clever and funny, so I went to his Youtube channel and watched a few selections such as "Conan Enrolls in Southern Charm School" and "Conan Delivers Chinese Food in NYC." The thing about Conan is that he's really good with improvisation. He's quick and witty, and watching him reminds me a little of our time at HUGE Improv Theater. (which was super fun!)
The next part of the assignment was to create a mind map of Winter. Here's what I came up with:
winter web.jpg
I discovered that I focused on 3 different themes, of which I circled in purple. They are Weather, Christmas, and Clothing.

From these three categories I brainstormed about a few product ideas. Most of them are a little ridiculous, but some I would really like to have on the market.
Idea one:
The Scarf Tissue/Hanky. Fashionable, yet useful for those runny-nose-kind-of-days. Gross?!?! Nah. (??)


Idea two:
Hand Warmer Mitts. They are mittens made of hand warmers. When you aren't wearing them you keep them in a charger box so that they're always ready and full of heat for when you need them.

Idea three:
Boots that massage your feet to keep the circulation going. The soles of these boots are made of tiny massage/rolley ball that move constantly so that you're always receiving a foot massage, therefore increasing circulation and therefore increasing the heat. Boom.

Idea four:
Train Vacuum. It's your classic holiday choo-choo train under the Christmas tree, except that this one is also a vacuum. It picks up all the needles that fall from your live tree.

Idea five:
Winter coats for your car. Protect your car from the rust and damage that the heavily salted roads inflict! Keep away rust!

Idea six:
Snow cleaner. Snow is always prettier after it has just fallen from the sky. Then city life makes it all yucky and brown. This is a solution that cleans the snow and makes it look beautiful, always, just like when it's fresh.

Idea seven:
Automatic cracker dispenser for oyster stew. This one is for my dad.. Every Christmas Eve he makes oyster stew (tradition!) and he absolutely loves putting tons of oyster crackers on top. This is an automatic dispenser the sits next to the bowl. You push a button and voila.. it automatically pours crackers into your bowl. You can customize it to your preferred amount of cracker dispersal as well.

Idea eight:
A warming cover for your laptop computer. This will be a tent-like covering the captures the heat coming from your computer vent and circulates it throughout the tent space. While you are typing your hands will stay warm. In the winter I always get really cold hands when I type all of my papers, blog posts and what not.

Idea nine:
The Ultimate Sick-In-Bed tray. Its like a breakfast-in-bed tray, but a TV pops out of it with unlimited movie access. (You might be calling in sick more often...)

Idea ten:
It's a Ski-N-Sled: Two ways in one to have fun on the slopes. It divides into two and becomes skis, and when you want to sled you just put the pieces back together and it turns into a sled. WEEEE!!!

Well there you have it. Getting silly and creating mind maps truly does get my creative wheels spinning!



This week's assignment was to create a new cookie. Because I enjoy baking, I was excited to give this a try.

My process started out with a sweep through my kitchen looking for ingredients. I'm a college student and any avoidance of spending money is always key!
I gathered and acorn squash, quinoa, peanut butter, brown sugar, carrots, soy flour, pistachio pudding mix, etc.

I thought of two cookie combinations to try: 1. Pistachio pudding mix/ acorn squash 2. Quinoa/peanut butter/carrots
The turn out of the quinoa/peanut butter/carrot cookies tasted ok. They could've used more sugar. The texture was also a little spongy. I would've modified the topping of the cookie too. In this trial run I mixed cinnamon, brown sugar, and paprika. I put that mixture on the cookies after they had baked for a while and then put them back in the oven. In the next trial I would mix butter into the mixture before putting in on the cookie so that it all melt and isn't just a powdery/sugary texture. I've chosen to highlight the cookie I enjoyed the most:
PISTACHIO ACORN SQUASH COOKIE Ingredients for the pistachio-squash cookie included: -1/2 small roasted squash -3 Tbls. pistachio pudding powder mix -4 Tbls. brown sugar -1 egg -1 cup flour -1 Tbls baking powder -4 Tbls. salted butter -2 Tsp. cinnamon

First I cut the acorn squash in two and roasted them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Then, after it had cooled a little I scooped the squash out of one half and put it in a food processor with the egg and 2 Tsp. cinnamon and 1 Tbls of brown sugar. Blend until all ingredients and smooth and fully mixed.
In a separate bowl I put in 1 cup of flour, 3 Tbls. of pistachio pudding mix, 3 Tbls. Brown sugar, and 1 Tbls. baking powder. After mixing these together I added 4 Tbls. of soft butter, mixed, then added the ingredients from the food processor.
While mixing these ingredients I put the squash seeds and some chopped pistachio nuts in a pan with some butter and brown sugar and roasted them in the oven for about 6 minutes.

I kept the oven at 350 degrees. I put tablespoon-sized plops of cookie dough on a greased baking sheet and baked the cookies for 8 minutes.
After 8 minutes I took the cookies out, pressed on the tops with a spoon to create a flatter area, and put a little of the seed/nut mixture. I put the cookies back in the oven for 3 minutes.


These cookies tasted very good. They had a sort of mellow flavor that wasn't too overpowering or sweet. Perfect with a cup of coffee perhaps.
(note: in the second round of making these cookies I will bring down the amount of baking powder to 1/2 Tbls. They seemed a little too fluffy - almost like muffin tops)

final product.jpg

(Pistachio/Squash on the left, Quinoa/pbutter/carrots on the right)

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