Are We Building Deep Enough Products? Designing User Thinking As Well as UX

Oct 12, 2021 · Bristol, United Kingdom

Online Talk from Sarah Giblin, Designer & Founder of Riut Bags.

In 2014 she noticed a design fault on city backpacks: the person behind you can open your backpack when it's on your back. This leads to unnecessary concern, stress and suspicion for the user every time they travel. Multiply this by the billions of people in cities across the world and that’s a lot of stress. Sarah's solution removes all zips on the outside of a backpack and designs them neatly against your back. This simple innovation makes the RiutBag automatically secure every time it’s on your back. Today RiutBag is used daily by over 20,000 travellers around the world and it sparked an anti-theft backpack industry making travel safer for millions.

Summary: Watch people and listen to them. You can see when they aren’t comfortable or when something isn’t right. People - users - also express problems by complaining. Each of those complaints is the starting point for 1,000 future companies if we’re listening, interested and dreaming up ideas to fix them.

But which solutions will we spend our time and energy building? The things we build truly create the world around us for us and, critically, for other people. If your product is a success, it could impact society on a broader and deeper level. Will your product do good when everyone’s using it? Thinking more deeply about how our designs impact users now and in the long-term could mean the difference between building a better or worse society. My design philosophy - Riut, which stands for Revolution in user thinking - is my way to keep me on track to build products that actually do good - or avoid harm - as well as and help steer my company in the ups and the inevitable downs of running a company.

I’ve built my products and company as a user - not a trained designer - and with the help of other users at every possible stage. My goal is to help users practically but also to design products that help people adapt psychologically to their environment, feel calm and confident whilst lowering stress every day. Even if every person on earth uses them.

Event organizers
  • SWUX - South West UX

    A free meet-up for those interested in the world of designing the user experience, product and service design on the third Tuesday of every month in Bristol. We're a group for open discussion, we usually meet for a chat, networking, general conversation, and slide presentations/talks/workshops with time for questions etc. Why not come along, and discuss or give a slide presentation on your own...

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