Ask the right questions
In our current project to develop a device for women to manage stress urinary incontinence (SUI) based on the same principles of a surgical solution without the surgery, we initially focused on the device functionality, that it should be designed to best support the mid-urethra and thereby hinder urine leakage.
As development proceeded, we re-framed the problem we were looking to solve in human-centered terms. Simply put, instead of asking “How can we block urinary leakage due to SUI?” we asked “How can we help women manage stress urinary incontinence?”
With this we drove ourselves to look beyond the reliability and functionality of the device, emerging ourselves in what we consider the emotional aspects of the product as well:
What is it like to live with SUI? Where do women find support and information? If not, why not? How might a manual solution fit into someone’s daily routines? What is most important if you need to use a device you must insert in to the vagina?… and so on.
Covering the clinical aspects, as in bringing forth a reliable and effective product is a minimum requirement as we see it. Our solutions also need to fit into people’s lives.