Friday, May 10, 2013

Week 2.2 User Needs

"The refined gap is to effectively allow a smaller/weaker woman to fight back against an unexpected larger opponent."    ~Design Prompt

         Thanks so much everyone who responded to my request for interviews this past week. I got a lot of responses to the problem I had not thought about. This is a long-standing shop room floor problem I've thought about for a while in that most military companies design their equipment for men and management flatly refuses to design stuff for women. As a woman, the equipment is all over-sized and clunky feeling. Chaffing in weird areas or too tight in others. A lot of the stuff like tasers and pepper spray that do come in my size aren't practical as they non-leathal so they were designed to subdue a single suspect not kill them by cops. Great theory, but as someone who was stalked for a year and unloaded a can full of pepper spray in a person's face with no effect, I have ZERO belief in how effective they are. Also, they often have only 1 application, while most people are attacked and stalked not by one person, but 3-4. I don't believe in starting fights, but I feel every woman should be able to end one.
          Guns, the general answer to most of these questions, are often not permitted in places where women often work as they are not allowed in public places or large cities. So the question is what characteristics would allow a smaller/weaker person to fight back against an unexpected larger opponent in real life? Well, based on data collection of the past week, here are 30 attributes that women are looking for in a self-defense concealment system:

The weapon must be concealable.
            The weapon must pass a metal detector.
            The weapon must fit under normal clothing!
            The weapon must not flash or expose itself under normal movement.
The weapon must be accessible.
             The weapon must be deployeable in one-movement.
              The weapon must be something I can reach if I am grabbed by my opponent.
 The weapon must require little strength to operate.
            The weapon must be spring-loaded.
            The weapon must be a gun.
            The weapon must be something a woman can use without a lot of upper-body strength. 
            The weapon must be effective even if incumbered by physical weakness, children, old age,
            or small animals!
The weapon must be easy to use.
             The weapon can not require a lot of training to use.
             The weapon must be something I can operate with one-hand (disabled).
The weapon must work at a range.
            The weapon must work at a distance.
             The weapon must work up close.
The weapon must work against multiple opponents. 
The weapon must be effective.
             The weapon must actually stop people, not just require them to "seek medical attention."
             The weapon must do real damage.
             The weapon should be lethal.
The weapon must be in my budget.
             The weapon must be under $50!
             The weapon must be under $500.
The weapon must be cleanable.
               The weapon must be washing machine friendly!
               The weapon can not rust.
               The weapon holster is leather.
               The weapon holster is not leather as I am allergic to it.
The weapon must be small.
                The weapon be light enough for me to easily carry!
               The weapon must be under a few ounces.
                The weapon must be small enough for me to easily conceal and carry it.
The weapon must be legal where I am.
                The blade must be under 6 inches long.
                 The weapon must be something I will not be arrested for if it is found on my person by a cop.
                 The weapon must be something I can take to class without getting in trouble for.

           Whew, that was a lot. I also got some off the wall answers like Wolverine claws which I left off the list. This was actually a pretty fun process to go through. The interview process was pretty simple, I just posted a note on facebook that I needed 5 interviews over the week with my e-mail address and phone number and got a number of notes/calls to select from. One of the more general problems I ran into was it generally required some teasing apart to find out what people's actual system requirements were vs. cognitive short-cut answers. Like I need a 9 mm gun holster. These things generally cleared themselves up with a couple more questions (I used the famous "Why" question a lot). Or I would say could you tell me the need you have vs. a particular product you feel partially answers your need.

No comments:

Post a Comment