Assignment #5


This weeks assignment was a lot of independent work as opposed to group work that we've been doing lately!

The problem I decided to look at was: There needs to be an easier/more efficient way to thin the crowded aisles during the busy holiday shopping season.

I decided to focus mainly on clothing racks, for this was an actual product related to how aisle are organized that has room for improvement.

Part One was to apply the S.C.A.M.P.E.R. technique to help generate some ideas (Scamper is an acronym for several different ways to analyze how to improve an existing product).


S - Substitute

Thoughts and Ideas:
-What if clothes were hung from the ceiling by strings rather than hung on racks?
-What if they had clothes that were hung multiple wide rather than multiple deep?
-What if all retail shopping was set up like an IKEA showroom/warehouse pick up?

C - Combine

Thoughts and Ideas:
-Is there a way to combine the floor and the clothes rack/hangers?
-Is there a way for your cart to interact with the clothes rack?
-Can the clothing displays be arranged similarly to the way different products are displayed (toys, appliances, etc.)?

A - Adapt

Thoughts and Ideas:
-Add technology. How about several automated closets in a store. Would that work?
-What if the racks were movable?

M - Magnify

Thoughts and Ideas:
-Stack higher rather than deeper
-Make bigger hangers to hold more items per hook
-Add more hooks to existing rack types to accomodate more hanging potential

P - Put to Other Uses

Thoughts and ideas:
-What else gets hung? Butcher shop carcasses, people... :/
-Why are our closets organized differently than clothing racks in stores?

E - Eliminate

Thoughts and Ideas:
-What if instead of extruding bumps to hold hangers, there were divets?
-Is there a way to eliminate the entire rack together?
-What if circular racks were organized more compactly?

R - Reverse

Thoughts and Ideas:
-What if toys and other items were organized like they hang clothes?
-No racks. Clothes drop from overhead ceiling chutes.
-Turn existing rack shapes upside down. What do you get?

While most of these ideas are nonsensical, some may be able to be evolved into more practical ideas.

Part Two was to set up a table to generate ideas. I decided that a morphological analysis would be the best way to organize this type of information. I identified the qualities that a racks must have:

-It has to display whatever it's holding
-It has to be easily accessible
-It has to store multiple items

From there I generated several items that, although may be completely unrelated to clothing racks, fulfill at least one of these qualities in their own way. From combining several of these products, or repurposing them, new ideas were generated.

Thumbnail image for CAM00184.jpg

Part Three was to look at the more silly/whimsical ideas that were generated in last week's Blue Sky Idea Generation brainstorming session and turn them into more feasible ideas. Here were a few:

Use Tear Gas to Control Shopping Crowds. - No.
Better: Use maybe colored smoke or color coded signage to make navigating within a store easier.

Have Drive Thru Shopping. - Not practical.
Better: Be able to pre-pack your cart online, so when you go to the store there's an assembled package ready for you to just pick up, eliminating in-store shopping altogether.

Laned-Roped Off Aisles. - Adds more clutter.
Better: Have painted lines on the ground to better try to direct the flow of traffic.

Make Thinner Aisles, But More of Them. - Makes things more crowded.
Better: Stack higher! Use ramps and multi-level shopping to conserve space

Finally, Part Four was to select 10 ideas that could be carried forwards with or that showed potential for improvement and realistic application. The ten I chose were:

Pre Order/Pre Pack Your Cart Online

Swing Out Clothes Racks

Reinventing the Circular Rack

Space/Material Saving Racks

The Smart Closet Technology

Utilizing Monster's Inc. Technology

Sliding Racks

Including Rest Areas in Stores

Smart Carts

Leonardo's Closet

It will be interesting to see what comes of these ideas, if anything of any, in the weeks to come.



I liked how you used questions to guide your SCAMPER analysis but I would have liked to have seen the specific products that you developed for each letter. The image that accompanied part one was very small and difficult to read.

Again, for part two, I wanted to see pictures of the products you had created from the morphological analysis matrix.

I liked part three because you walked through why the ideas wouldn't work well. Could they have been adapted into something more feasible though?

And for part four, that ideas were great, but the pictures were blurry/dark. I especially liked the Monster's Inc. idea you had. Most of your solutions had to do with the racks. Are racks really the problem or is it something else that is making the shopping experience so chaotic (shopper's mentalities, sales, etc)?


Hi Wilm-Knapp
I agree this was an independent thought provoking assignment. To start with with your SCAMPER analysis it would be easy to get to your ideas if your thoughts were not in the question format again, rather a concrete product idea even if it is silly or nonsensical. A quick glimpse of all your images in this assignment does display blurriness and would have enhanced your blog if it was on a plain paper without shadows and some neat writing. Also, images of 7 best ideas from this SCAMPER analysis is missing which I would have loved to look. Do you think any of the ideas you proposed could be a real marketable product?

For the table tool analysis, it was great you started with three areas you would want to address with the morphological analysis and again 2-3 best sketches of your best ideas from this analysis was missing.

I like the idea of doing online shopping and prepacking them prior to arrival for easy pick ups. I am sure this idea has some real potentials if it is worked out considering all practical situations.

I do think that some ideas from your top 10 has some potential to become marketable products such as sliding racks and would be interested to learn what comes out from your further work along these ideas.

-- Shiv

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This page contains a single entry by wilmk035 published on November 25, 2013 10:34 AM.

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