I started looking at what existing products are readily available on the market to help me define a focused, relevant target audience.
Moreover, reviewing and analyzing existing products enabled me to see what techniques the products use to maximize the minimal amount of space often available in the urban environment. Useful methods could be adapted to improve the functionality of my proposed product.
I plan to analyse the functionality of any existing products and apply any useful or adaptable features to help improve my initial D.I.Y bottle concept.
The first product that I found was created by a company called 'Urbio'
- The first thing I noticed about the kits was the price, at $175 the kit is very expensive making a product like this unattainable for people with lower incomes.
- Product name suggests that the outcome is aimed at families, could be seen as a family project between parents and children.
- Made from partly recycled material and are almost completely recyclable (if you want to throw away your $175 Urbio kit).
- Differing sized containers allow for a range of plant growth.
- Smaller kits are also available, however these are also very expensive.
- The wall plates attach to the wall allowing users to place the product almost anywhere in their urban environment.
- The product uses a clever system of magnets to so that the vessels are rearrangeable.
- This image shows the product without the addition of any plants.
- Shots showing the range of plant life that that can be grown in an Urbio vessel.
'Allotinabox' is a company that was started at the height of the economic collapse, in response people started cutting back on all excess expenditure including the weekly food shop. With a growing interest in green practices among modern society the founders of the company saw an opportunity to save people money while getting them involved directly with growing their own food.
With regards to the audience the company is not very specific about who they are aiming their product at.
- Despite the fact that the target audience is very open I think that the aesthetics designed for the company indicate that the product is aimed at a younger audience between the ages of 18-25.
- The balance between typography and illustration create a playful visual identity that would be very appealing to teenagers and young adults.
- As the company don't focus that much on the advertising side of business I believe that the audience would already be interested in the idea of urban growing, or gardening. As to find the company and product would require some independent searching.
Finally, I analysed the functionality and aesthetics of the 'Allotinabox' product.
- Firstly, I looked at the contents of the box. Each product comes packed with seeds (that change depending on what season it is when you purchase the box), a growing wheel to indicate when seeds should be planted, tags for labeling produce and twine.
- PROBLEM - The box contains everything you need to set up a garden outside, but what if you don't have access to a garden, roof terrace or balcony?
- Next I looked at the aesthetics of the product, the box utilises a typographic heavy aesthetic with touches of imagery. The balance of type and imagery creates an attention grabbing appearance that appeals to a large target audience.
- Finally, I reviewed the functionality of the product, at first everything seemed to be practical and well thought out, the box biodegradable and the product contained all necessary elements to start growing. However, the product does not cater for an audeince who do not have enough space for growing?
Next, I discovered a product called a terrarium, which is essentially a geometric structure formed from single pane glass and solder. Due to their experimental form and unusual angles the terrarium has an engaging aesthetic appearance that makes it an appealing product to anyone looking to grow plants inside.
- Terrariums are not made by one specific company, and instead are a produced by numerous outlets. Unfortunately, this makes it very hard to define a target audience as a specific company cannot be analysed or contacted regarding their main audience.
- Due to their construction terrariums are not suitable for children, the glass could easily be broken which would create a dangerous environment for a young child to be in.
THE SEED PANTRY
The seed pantry is a company who want everyone to enjoy the rewards of growing and consuming your own vegetables. With a similar concept to the 'Allotinabox' the seed pantry offer consumers a box filled with items needed to successfully set up your own home vegetable garden.
- Similar to the Urbio magnetic wall outcome The Seed Pantry's products are primarily aimed at parents with young children, this is made obvious with specific items being labeled for children, for example the 'kids seed packs'.
- The company use phrases such as 'Rewarding for all the family' and 'ideal family gift' evidencing that the product is marketed towards parents with children.
The image below shows a freshly opened box with all of the additional elements used for starting your grow.
- Firstly, unlike the 'Allotinabox' product which has an almost identical product and concept, The Seed Pantry's outcome included more items to help users set up their garden. The box includes pots, seeds, a seed tray, labels and compost. Moreover, all of the elements are made from recycled materials to ensure that the box is sustainable and dose not have an impact on the environment.
- The box's aesthetics are relatively simple, consisting of a few basic illustrations and the company logo. The basic graphics are relevant as they need to be suitable for both children and adults, and therefore a simple mix of relevant illustrations and typography is all the product need to engage its target audience.
- Finally, I reviewed the functionality of the product starting with its contents. The outcome provides users with everything needed to start growing their own vegetables and organizes all elements in a sturdy recycled cardboard box. Unlike its competitors, The Seed Pantry's product offers users the full range of equipment needed to start growing which makes the outcome far more appealing as less work needs to be done.
Finally, I looked at the products created by a company called windowfarms, they have developed a range of vertical, organic hydroponic growing systems suitable for the indoor growth of a vast range of vegetables.
The first thing that struck me about the product was its distinct similarity to one of the growing concepts that I presented to the critique group before breaking up for Christmas. Due to the similarity to my initial concept I have decided to analyse the product and company in more detail.
Windowfarms Research - http://j-harrisonreader1215-dc.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/design-production-brief-3-windowfarms.html