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Entries in home improvement (3)


Voice of Customer Research—Ergonomic Evaluations

I was recently reminded of the need for solid voice of customer research through its absence in the design of a consumer product. In this anecdotal example, an ergonomic study would have gone a long way to helping a hot-selling product not only fly off the shelves, but actually stay in customer homes.

A friend had recently purchased an electric leaf blower at his local home improvement store. As most people would be, he was excited to have a reliable new tool to make his lawn maintenance a little easier and more environmentally friendly. Much to his dismay, he had to return the blower because the handle was too small to fit his larger-than-average hands and caused blisters during use.

While my friend’s hand size is in the 90th percentile of the general population, he represents at least 10 per cent of the addressable market for leaf blowers that were eliminated through lack of a proper ergonomic evaluation. The field of ergonomics overlaps between industrial design and engineering, as it involves the design of equipment and devices to fit the human body. At Trig Innovation, we bring in ergonomic considerations early in the design and 3D CAD Sculpting process through use of anthropometric tables for the target population size as a basic design constraint. Then, to make sure the design matches ergonomic fit, we provide ergonomic evaluations to study respondents from the population extremes at the 5th and 95th percentile through one-on-one interviews.

When executing this type of evaluation, we provide the respondents with multiple rapid prototype options or existing products for evaluation. While an ergonomic evaluation can be utilized as a defensive gesture, in that the study validates the design for the population outliers, it should also result in a product that is optimized to fit the greater population in-between the extremes for the broadest possible market appeal.

The results of these studies often deliver detailed feedback on fine-tuning improvements to the prototypes for production to optimize for as much of the population as possible. During the study, we can also get a sense of the degree of influence that the product’s comfort has over the purchase intent.  This feedback may help to prioritize efforts of the product development team to make improvements that match the customer’s feedback.

When a product development team considers skipping an ergonomic evaluation as part of the innovation management process, it is at the peril of their product’s market success and a tacit statement that ergonomic fit is not a factor in winning the customer’s business. In this economy, many companies are spending millions of dollars in marketing and advertising to squeeze just a little more market share and sales dollars out of each product, when they could often accomplish similar growth by designing more effectively for a broader market.


Trig Innovation Announces Launch of SimpliciKey

New Remote Control Electronic Deadbolt Hits Market

May 3, 2011(Durham, NC) — Trig Innovation, a Research Triangle, NC-based product development and design company with expertise in the home improvement products industry, announces the recent launch of an award-winning client product, the SimpliciKey™ Remote Control Electronic Deadbolt.

The launch of SimpliciKey™, winner of the 2010 designSPARK award for industrial design, marks the firm’s latest achievement in delivering innovative product solutions for home improvement. As an alumnus of Home Depot’s corporate innovation team, Hagler has seven years of experience designing new products for the industry, through his first company, the industrial design firm Studio Hagler, and the recently launched full-suite innovation management consulting firm, Trig Innovation. The electronic door lock system, launched by SimpliciKey, LLC of Herndon, Va., features a remote control key fob similar to automobile remote controls, as well as a keypad and traditional manual key option. Hagler and his team provided a number of services to SimpliciKey, LLC during the product’s development; including concept sketches, renderings, 3D CAD sculpting and mechanical design, user experience mapping, rapid prototyping, user manual design, packaging design, and trade show support.

D’Vell Garrison, Vice President of Marketing at SimpliciKey, LLC, expressed his gratitude to Hagler for the results of the company’s maiden voyage in consumer product development.“We really appreciate the collaborative approach taken by Ty and his team,” stated Garrison.“They provided an impressive range of tools to enhance our team through the many twists and turns of developing a new product and launching a brand. We are so proud that our first consumer product is such a thing of beauty—a lock that is worthy of placement on the doors of fine homes across the country.”

According to Hagler, SimpliciKey™ stands out from its competitors due to the enhanced convenience of the remote control and the sleek design developed with the residential front door in mind. “SimpliciKey™ is entering an increasingly crowded market for electronic locks, but I think homeowners will find that this is the best total value product available,” said Hagler. “The safety, security, and convenience of this product—particularly with the remote control aspect—really appealed to many different customers, from young professionals, to busy families, retirees, and people with assisted living needs, making this product a truly universal design. We spent a lot of time making SimpliciKey™ simple to use, but powerful in its application. This product has the potential to help a lot of people, and we are excited to have been a part of its creation.”

The SimpliciKey™ Remote Control Electronic Deadbolt is available for purchase at www.homedepot.com or at www.SimpliciKey.com.

About Trig Innovation

Trig Innovation is a Research Triangle, NC-based innovation management consulting firm dedicated to delivering a toolkit of strategies and expertise for the development of new products and services for inventors and corporate product and brand teams. With practice areas focusing on the development and branding of products for the home improvement, medical device, and housewares industries, Trig Innovation draws upon a well of leading experts in industrial design, intellectual property law, mechanical engineering, and marketing strategy to bring new client products to market. Led by Principal Ty Hagler, a seasoned product developer from his start in marketing and product development at The Home Depot in 2004, Trig Innovation services clients throughout the United States from its base in Durham, NC.


Press Release: Hagler Announces Launch of Trig Innovation

DURHAM, NC--(March 8, 2011) - Ty Hagler, leader of Durham, NC industrial design firm Studio Hagler, announces the launch of his new venture in innovation management consulting, Trig Innovation.

Hagler, a Georgia Tech alumnus who will complete his master of business administration with a focus in innovation management from North Carolina State University in May 2011, has led industrial design teams since his time at The Home Depot's new product laboratory, starting in 2004.

With work spanning several industries, including home improvement products, toys, medical devices, consumer packaging, furniture, and technology, Studio Hagler has achieved prominence in the design community through applying strategic business concepts to the product development process. Ty Hagler sees the launch of Trig Innovation as the culmination of years of excellence as a designer coupled with an appreciation for strategy that meets the challenges his clients face in the marketplace.

"The idea behind Trig is that any entrepreneur has to be willing to reinvent his or her company to respond to the market," stated Hagler. "Trig is a more accurate expression of the evolving diverse services that my team has been delivering to our clients. We are introducing new ideas for an integrated approach to product development that makes our clients more efficient and effective at delivering innovation to the marketplace."

The new firm will operate in the Research Triangle, NC area and work with a collection of leading designers, marketing strategists, and intellectual property counsel to form a one-stop innovation team for inventors and product managers leading corporate product and service development teams.

About Trig Innovation:

Trig Innovation is a Durham, NC-based innovation management consulting firm dedicated to strategies for the development of new products and services for inventors and corporate product and brand teams.

Media Contact:
Ty Hagler



The Trig Team

Trig® Innovation, is a nimble vessel for navigating the possibilities of innovation in product and service development. Based in the Research Triangle, North Carolina region, a global hub for science and technology, the Trig® team packs creative and problem-solving prowess into an exclusive strategy framework to propel innovation in a variety of industries. From home improvement products to medical devices, Trig® is a proven winner in industrial design, ideation, and innovation management. Our company is growing, and how we grow is a direct response to the needs of our clients. With emerging service areas like animation, video production, and brand identity, we are expanding outside of a traditional industrial design framework with a host of offerings that mesh well with our keen understanding of product and service development. Global product and brand teams, as well as inventors and entrepreneurs, know that Trig® Innovation is the right choice for integrated development solutions and interactive marketing services.