My topic is winter driving, and the how might we statement I'd like to tackle with this blog post is "how might we make it easier for drivers prepare their cars for the morning commute?"

SCAMPER process
I thought it would be interesting to apply to SCAMPER process to windshield covers. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, here's an example:


(To be honest, I'm not entirely sure what's going on with that person's hair.)

The gist is that glass cools much more quickly than other materials. This is why ice forms on your wind shield even if there's no ice on plants or the ground nearby. This product essentially prevents the water vapor that forms ice from reaching your wind shield. Basically, you put this cover over your windshield at night, close your doors/windows over the ends to hold it in place, and take it off in the morning to an ice and snow-free windshield. A few versions even include a handy carrying case.

Some of the biggest product pain points from online reviews are that the product isn't large enough to cover the entire windshield and the suction cups (some versions of the product have these instead of the close-your-door-over-the-ends method) lose grip too easily. With that background in mind, it's time to scamper!


  • Could we replace it with a stretchier material (replace or change parts)?

  • Could we make it automatically remove/apply itself (replace someone involved)?

  • Could we allow people to personalize their windshield cover and sell it in different patterns, colors, and styles (change color, roughness, or sound)?

  • Could we give it a cooler, branded name? I looked, and Weather Guard, Ice Shield, Winter Guard, and Winter Shield were all taken. Winter Shield was taken by a Canadian company, so maybe that one's fair game. I mean, do they even have copyright laws up there (what if I change its name)?

  • Is there some kind of way to make it fun? Gamify it somehow (change my feelings or attitude towards it)? I think the idea of changing the name could apply to this one to. Instead of just being a windshield cover, people would perceive its value differently if it was seen as protecting their car in some way



  • It would be interesting to combine the slap-on bracelet's ease of application and storage with the process of putting on and removing your windshield cover (combine or merge it with other objects)


Looking at some opportunities for biomimicry, I though the way this bird uses its wing for protection could possibly be applied to wind shield covers. Maybe in the way it expands out or in the shape it takes when it's fully extended?


Since glass cools much more quickly than most materials, I wanted to look at how winter mammals, like polar bears, kept warm in the winter. Here's what I found:

"...the polar bear has white fur made of hollow hairs, which traps and warms air. Ultra-violet light is funneled from the sun down the hairs to the bear's black skin, changing it into warmth. The dense undercoat is covered with an outer coat of long guard hairs. These help to keep the polar bear dry and warm while it is swimming." (source:

A photo for reference has been included below.


I think the idea of having a hairy windshield is generally pretty freaky, so I'm going to avoid exploring this any further for now. It might provide some interesting starting points for a sub-"how might we?" question, something along the lines of "how might we make windshields more resistant to freezing water vapor?"

I was also able to find a...less great...example of how to use Mother Nature to protect your windshield.




  • Is there a way we could make a windshield cover something useful you could use during the day? It covers your windshield at night, but could you take it with you during the day and use it as a shopping bag or cape or something (use it more often)?

  • Is there a way to have it collapse or expand with the press of a button (do it faster)?

  • Could we add a glow-in-the-dark strip around the perimeter of the windshield cover to make it easier to find your car in the pre-dawn hours (add extra features or value)?



Put to other use

  • This could make a great fort covering or blanket for a little kid (how would a child use it?).

  • It may be tough to help people new to the product figure out how to use it. Perhaps you could design the end flaps that are meant to go into the car with a different color, to make it clear that the user was supposed to do something different with that portion (would I figure out the product if I knew nothing about it?).

  • Could be a great short-term way to protect plants from frost.

put to other use.jpg


  • Maybe we could take the windshield cover, split it into two parts, and have it roll out of holders on the passenger and driver side windows to attach over the windshield? This would make it easier to affix and remove (split into different parts).

  • Could we find a way to make the cover affix better on the sides, which would allow us to remove the suction cups (what parts can be removed)?




TILMAG matrix idea generation
I thought the four most important attributes for a windshield cover where that it had to be flat, collapsible, weather proof, and have something that holds it in place.

I think the spray on plastic, umbrella, and silly putty could be the source of some interesting innovation. I feel like one of the difficulties of using a wind shield cover is that it can be difficult to find an elegant way to roll up and store it every morning. These three options would provide different ways to remove or collapse your wind shield cover.

I think cinder block wins (loses?) points for least elegant solution.




Final ideas
Since I wasn't able to conduct a brainstorming last week, let's just jump to the final 10 ideas.
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right x.png


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put to other use.jpg

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It was great to see your novel/useful/feasible graphics at the end. That was a nice way to show your first evaluation. I also liked that you documented the questions and prompts you posed to yourself during SCAMPER. As a reader, I found myself briefly pondering each of them and following the footsteps of your design process.

As a very minor change, I would consider cleaning up the sidebar of your blog. Removing the recent comments and recent assets would be simpler and more visually appealing.

You mentioned a few complaints of customers at the beginning of your post but never addressed them again. It would be interesting to read how your designs improved on past flaws.

It would have been nice to see how you shaped your silly ideas into feasible products.

It would have been cool to see your TILMAG matrix documented with pictures in addition to words.

My favorite concepts from your post were the portable, snap bracelet windshield and the very unique silly putty windshield protection.


I think you started off really strong in this post. You first found one idea that might work and probably does but then took the time to try and understand what it was lacking since after all we see more ice scrapers than we see winter shields. I think you are definitely onto something when you mentioned multipurpose, in fact I think that that might be the key. If you could perhaps turn the winter shield into a shopping bag for example(assuming the stops are short) or maybe into something that could be used in other seasons consumers might not lose it before next winter.

Good job researching and discovering that the device had to be more user friendly, maybe a like a giant grip on the shield (shaped like an air hockey hitter) that way people could quickly pull it off. Also to further compartmentalize it remember when we went to target corp. they had shopping bag where you could turn the shopping bag into a small little compressed bag and tie it shut.

I think you came up with some good ideas and addressed the right questions but since some of your ideas weren't feasible in the final ten you listed I think you didn't succeed in assignment as much as you could have. You asked good questions and came up with good concepts but it would've been better if your final ten were all potentially feasible.

I did not know that windshield covers were actually a thing, that was one of my ideas. Oh well! It was very interesting to see all of your ideas for improvement as it was along the same lines of what I had been thinking, though I ended up applying scamper to a snow shovel instead. I loved your bio-mimicry examples! The use of product reviews to identify existing problems before starting was a good idea. Overall your post is extremely well laid out and easy to follow. The drawings are very clear and nicely contrasted, as are all of your photos used. I love the graphical NUF analysis. The only criticism I would say for your images is to improve the handwriting on your labeling, but since you typed out the descriptions in the end anyway it doesn't really matter too much. I agree with hafte004 that including ideas which you deamed infeasible in your final ten might not be the best idea, but you still have a lot of workable ideas to go with so I wouldn't be too concerned there.

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This page contains a single entry by mixer014 published on November 25, 2013 11:09 AM.

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