The Verdict

After the Pecha Kucha, everyone was asked to give some feedback, comments, suggestions or even ask some questions. Here are most of them…

Step 1

a) Sniffing it would seem pretty peculiar (it looks like you’re doing drugs

OUR ANSWER:  There’s another way to apply the technology of Anion, it doesn’t need to be sniffed, just by mere contact it would work. Also, there are other ways to apply the premise behind step one, it could be a fragrant solution in a spray container.

b) The effectiveness of Anion is being questioned because of the other companies pulling them out of the market.

OUR ANSWER: Step one isn’t really about the Anion, the premise behind step one is smelling something good to feel good before wearing the heels. The Anion therefore becomes just a bonus. The kit can do without it.

2 Step 2: The Memory Gel 

a) Since the memory gel is used for breast implants, the price of the end product might be too expensive

OUR ANSWER: We haven’t really gotten into the pricing of the product but we are looking at the high-end market anyway so the product is really expected to be pricey.

b) It might make the shoes too tight

OUR ANSWER: Since the technology behind memory gel is that it would follow the shape of the foot, it shouldn’t really be an issue. The memory gel would also be shaped as thin strips.

c) It might be gross after some time, like make the shoes smelly or be sticky because of the adhesive underneath.

OUR ANSWER:

That’s why we chose to use silicon material instead of tempur foam… if it’s tempur foam, when the foot perspires, it would absorb it and become smelly. The memory gel would also be transferable so if there are issues keeping it in the shoe, the customer can choose to take it out for awhile.

The adhesive we will use will not be the one that leaves residue on the shoe so there is no need to worry about the issue on stickiness.

3 Step 3

No comments on this particular part

4 The kit itself

Several girls expressed their interest in the product and their willingness to buy it too.

They would buy it cos it’s pretty.

It’s something that would really appeal to women who wear heels because if not all, most women do experience the problems we want to address.

OUR FURTHER SUGGESTION/S:

The product could be distributed by Fashion Schools. Models who study modeling or are aspiring to be models could have the product as a sort of token or certification that they are officially models.

It could also serve as a gift to both models and non-models.

All in all, there is great potential in the kit. Most concerns lie in steps 1 and 2 but other than that, the kit can be something to look forward to. It still needs improvement but it isn’t impossible.

Remember, heels don’t have to hurt, just wait for this legendary product to be launched!:)

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Final Innovation Proposal (updated 04/21/11)


For the past few hundred decades or so, wearing high heels has continued to be an ongoing issue among wearers and non-wearers alike. Although the need to wear them is still highly being recognized and followed–invoking a non-compensatable invigorating sense of fashion, power, confidence and femininity–women have been excessively complaining about its pains and discomforts. Yet, save for a few innovations in the shoe structure and a few temporarily conducive accessories, nothing has been done to fix this problem. Fashion gurus and the like attest to this problem by popular saying, “fashion has a price.” But this is where it all becomes very conflicting.

If wearing heels meant looking good, therefore feeling good; and wearing comfortable shoes also meant feeling good: why can’t wearing heels just also be as comfortable? Why does one or the other have to be at expense?

Throughout the two months the group has been seeking solutions on how to resolve this great battle between heels and comfort. And our answer? Just like any other war, the best solution is to make them both friends!

This mindset is exactly what prompted the big jump start of this revolutionary project. By asking the question, “in what ways might we design a multi-purpose high-heeled shoes to make wearing heels more confortable and safe”, we are taking on this venture of solving what has never been solved before.

Now we have arrived at the final phase of our works, first let us provide the whole overview of how we have come to our solution.

*Please refer to previous blog posts for reference.

The Explorer

To go with the Rosetta Stone and Idea Bazaar concept, the group started out observing and gathering all types of information about anything that involved heels – the kinds of them that exist, what it’s like to wear them according to different women, reactions from the men who get attracted to it, the shoemakers themselves, fashion articles, interviews, health and physiological implications, and even the occasional foot spa treatment that relieves the muscles, joints and tendons affected in wearing them. And the more random the information-gathering process got (even enjoying music videos of it or two in the process), the more insights we gained along with it. Best of all, like being an Explorer it was both engaging and fun to just collect, collect, collect!

This stage then led us to redefine our question on the consumer insight that confidence and empowerment are exuded when women know how to wear high heels safely and comfortably.  Having known this, we had a shift of heart, from designing a multi-purpose high-heeled shoes, we went with designing an accessory for high-heeled shoes to make wearing heels comfortable and safe. The truth was that women ADORED those pairs of heels they have, which is why they buy them in the first place. It’s not because they’re comfortable to wear, but rather they were pretty and hot.  It made them look and feel sexy, empowered and confident despite the busy schedules and tiring days.

Having mentioned this, our new problem was, “in what ways might we design an accessory for high-heeled shoes to make wearing them more comfortable and safe.”

The Artist

After the first stage, it was now time to bake budding ideas halfway and start actually answering our problem. We started to ask what-if questions and look for hidden analogies, break the rules, look at things backwards, and pay attention to unusual patterns in conventional thinking. When the crazy started to get out, we knew the Artist was coming out.

The group had then decided to conceive an accessory to address our problem. We figured that it would not be feasible and achievable to just suddenly create a universal shoe structure to meet foot health requirement standards: problems and restrictions in the design process would inevitably occur, therefore innovating the shoe itself was out of the question.

We employed the three strategies introduced in class: the Reverse Technique, Forced Connection Technique and the Mix and Match Technique into creating a unique original idea. Considering the existence of in-sole supplements, we tried to improve from this into something more effective, long-lasting, and needless to say, problem-addressing.

Excitedly coming off from the idea of NASA’s Memory Foam technology used in Tempur pillows, we have come up with introducing a shape-shifting Memory Silicon Gel (or Memory Gel for short) that conforms with the shape of your foot and automatically adjusts the pressure and temperature of the foot pressing against it. Theoretically, it’s meant to strengthen areas of the foot showing signs of distress and weakness, provide permeable allowances that regulate foot odor and is transparent in color so that it may not interfere with the design of the shoe itself.

The three techniques also led us to want to create a whole new experienceof wearing heels more than anything.

Key to making this entire project work is forming a value proposition that would entice action from the other end of this endeavor – the audience. We figured it wouldn’t be achievable with just a single piece of Memory Gel because that wouldn’t prove its worth as significantly higher than any other in-sole accessory. We decided to turn the conviction of being able to provide a complete heel experience into our selling point, so we thought that a kit–that contained anion packet (that contains anion that can supposedly make you stronger to prepare you for a night/day of wearing those high heels), a cream-socks (that would help the user relax while sleeping, with deodorizing effects), and a Heel Ed manual (to educate the wearer about heels) and the Memory Gel itself–served as an all-in-one solution would do that job. Banking on women’s natural flair for quirks, the package’s aesthetic appearance is also designed to contribute a major part in marketing.

The concern also lied in the sense that it’s a lot of steps to do rather than just one, time-consuming and that it might not be as easy for people to follow as intended. But all that can simply be addressed by idiot-proofing it the best way possible, which is very achievable in the process of designing it in a minimalist fashion.

The Judge

It was time for the group to decide if we were capable of and if it was worth implementing the idea. We went on to set ourselves as Judges. Performing the Six Thinking Hats Technique  and attacking it from across various standpoints in class, several important points were raised.

Here we see keywords that contribute to either the idea’s advantage or disadvantage.

Precisely because it involved never-before used technology, it was a risky concept to bank on. But after efforts of research, a heavy dose of wishful thinking and prayer; it turned out Memory Gel was an existing technology after all – only in a way nobody in the group could have ever guessed: as breast implants. Funny, but heaps oh-so-relieving!

We believe the memory aspect of this would really help a lot of women relieve the pain of wearing heels.  Because it takes the shape of the feet and at the same time goes back to the original form, we strongly believe this can be useful as it can be transferred from one heel to another, lessening the hassle of having to buy a lot of sets.  At the same time, we believe the use of silicon could lessen the heat one can feel and the stickiness one would feel if he/she removes it.

We also performed research and proved this innovation was really something no one has seen before.  As such, we decided to push through with it. 🙂 Of course, Marketing will play a big role as it would eventually be the key in sales.

The Warrior

The last leg of this phase involved carrying the idea into action, like a Warrior.

Here is the physical prototype of the conceptual product.

Individually, here is how the different parts will look like.

So…

Would YOU rather choose to be this?

or this?


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6Hats!


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Idea Bazaar

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Strategy 3: Mix and Match!

So to start off this strategy, we listed the important characteristics of the accessory. From here, we would fill out the necessary blanks and then choose from each category in order to have an idea of the complete and finished product. We listed down five characteristics namely, material, shape, color, features and foot area focused.

Once we finalized the important characteristics, we listed examples for each. We did not limit ourselves into thinking of the traditional types found for shoe accessories. For instance, wood and metal could be found under the possible material used.

After brainstorming, we then started to choose from the categories. One example, is that it will be made of silicon, have a shape which shifts (conforms to the shoe/foot), and be transparent. Its features would include it being bendable, adjustable, invisible, strengthening and that it could cure common foot diseases like Athlete’s foot. This would focus on the balls of the foot.

We realized that there were a lot of combinations to be made. So to make it narrower, we eliminated the ones which we didn’t think were feasible, like wood, metal, aluminum under the material characteristic.

We arrived at the final list of the characteristics. We decided to choose one each, but for features, around 4-5 per.

There a quite a number of possible combinations, so instead of listing them all down, we decided to just pick a few. But this does not mean we are not open to the others.

The ones we picked are seen in the idea bazaar post.

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Strategy 2: Forced Connection

The process of forced connection allows us to think outside the box and overcome creative blocks because we are, in effect, forced to find a new, fresh, unique connection which hopefully will bear a creative idea.

With this particular strategy, we randomly selected eight words from a particular text and made a forced connection to accessories, our supposed solution to the problem.

Business Accessories are profitable. There are several industries that invest in providing products that are merely accessories for other products.

Toys The use of accessories can be fun. You can play around with mixing and matching. Accessories can be the toys of adults. There are several things you can do with it which can be a very entertaining activity

Expressions The use of accessories can be an avenue for expressing one’s self. Some people express their emotions through fashion. People can use accessories to let people know that they are supporting a cause or they love a certain color, etc.

Remedy Accessories can provide solutions/remedies. Sometimes all you need is a band-aid… To cure something, you don’t always have to get an operation or something, it can be as easy as adding something.

Self Adding accessories can contribute to building individuality. Some people are known or are identified with the accessories they wear, case in point, Lady Gaga.

Norm It is a common notion that adding something or using a supplement can improve something This is from the common ideas: “The more, the merrier” or “Bigger is better”

Actions The accessories should safeguard every foot action. Accessories can save you from danger.

Sacrifice One is willing to sacrifice money to buy accessories for shoes. We are willing to give up or spend for something that can make our shoes better.

 

Forcing the connections between these random words and accessories help us generate ideas on how we can solve the problem on wearing heels, check out the Idea Bazaar blog!:)

 

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Strategy 1: Reverse Technique

Using the so-called “False Face” technique–our first strategy for the Idea Bazaar–we now start to take our minds off what we should really be thinking about for a minute turn the question around and start to ask what we’re not supposed to ask: “in what ways might we design an accessory for high heel shoes to make them uncomfortable and unsafe?”

Taking our answers from the opposite question…

They’re transferable.

They’re invisibly inside the shoes.

The feet have to hurt first.

They can be bought in drug stores and convenience stores.

They’re soft and gel-like.

They don’t have to conform to the structure of feet.

They’re only for certain areas of the foot.

We have to put them on before wearing the shoes.

We put them on the shoes, not the feet.

They’re not supposed to be permanent.

They’re just for closed shoes.

They’re sold separately from shoes.

They aren’t just for heels.

They only serve one function.

And negating them…

They have a specific application.

They are customizable.

They not invisible.

There’s a pre-hurting stage.

They’re not sold in drug stores and convenience stores.

They’re not gel-like and soft.

They conform to the structure of the feet.

They’re not for certain areas of the foot.

They’re not to be put on before wearing.

They’re placed on the feet, not the shoes.

They’re permanent.

They’re also for open shoes.

They’re supposed to be sold together with the shoes.

They’re necessarily for heels.

They’re multi-functional.

 

To come up with…

These accessories are shoe-specific.

They’re part of a decoration.

They’re customizable.

They’re sold in shoe boutiques.

Like a sock, it’s supposed to be put on before you put on the shoes.

They can also do something about foot odor/foot health.

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Insight + New Question

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What happens to your bones!

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Jenilee and a night out

So last Saturday night, I went out with my friends. I left the house around 9.30pm and got home a little before 4am, I think.

I’ll just provide a summarized outline of my night.

  • 9.30 – Left the house
  • 10.00 – Got to the venue, saw some friends and decided to eat at Pancake House
  • 10.45 – Went up the venue, had a standing table, drank and danced till..
  • 1.45 – Got a beer and went to sit on a couch as I felt tired and my feet were starting to feel sore
  • 2.00 – Went back to the table, danced a little bit
  • 2.45 – Went out of the venue, followed some friends to Starbucks
  • 3.00 – Decided to go to another place, we didn’t dace that much anymore
  • 3.++ – Got home

So at 1.30 my feet started to feel a little sore. It was after about 3 hours of dancing. After I got my rest, my feet didn’t bother me anymore.

Pictures of my heels to follow as well.

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