Safety 1st One-Way Nasal Aspirator
Often, a difficult situation is the most ripe for innovation. Nasal aspirators are both widely used and extremely unpopular. Not only is the task itself unpleasant, but parents find typical aspirators hard to use and difficult to clean. The designers conducted user interviews to gain an understanding of where existing products had fallen short. A key insight emerged: having to remove the aspirator from the child’s nose to reset the suction made dealing with a sick and squirming child all the more difficult. The designers were inspired to solve this problem with a new innovation.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
A unique valve creates a one way flow of air. The aspirator stays in place until gentle pulses of suction clear the airway. The form meets the ergonomic needs of parent and child. The off center tip positions the aspirator close to the child’s face. The overmolded finger recesses provide visual and tactile feedback for proper grip and intuitive bulb actuation. The ovoid shape fits comfortably and prevents the bulb from inverting when pressed. All parts disassemble easily for cleaning.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The Product Insight team devised a unique solution that utilizes valves to create a one-way flow of air. This innovation allows parents to leave the aspirator in place while continuously applying gentle pulses of suction until the child’s airway is clear. Eliminating repeated cycles of “remove-squeeze-insert” makes the job go much faster, benefiting both child and parent.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The product was developed throughout 2011 and 2012 outside of Boston, Massachusetts in the USA, with an official product launch and press release announcement by Safety 1st on October 15, 2012.
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
Concept sketches were developed to answer the question: how do we add value to a basic, everyday product and incorporate our research regarding ergonomics? The intuitive design, textured grip areas and one-way valve concept were defined and refined. The client’s strategy called for innovation, professional aesthetics and superior functionality. Product Insight's experience in medical device design was leveraged in developing the brand language for the Advanced Solutions line, which features geometric forms, high-contrast touch points, and a clean, professional aesthetic.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
The body of the nasal aspirator was sized to fit comfortably in the average parent’s hand while the tip was sized for baby’s nasal cavity. Given that the product was one in a portfolio of items in the Advanced Solutions line, the overall footprint needed to fit within the standard peggable package size per client and retailer requirements.
nasal aspirator, one-way valve, Advanced Solutions, Product Insight, Safety 1st, consumer healthcare, baby healthcare, baby aspirator
A key element of the project was uncovering the roots of customer’s frustrations and proposing a solution to satisfy parent’s needs. Previous nasal aspirator offerings were plagued with bad reviews due to a non-intuitive design: parents were squeezing the bulb incorrectly, but didn’t realize it, causing malfunction. Product Insight conducted a detailed market evaluation, user surveys and interviews to establish a feature hierarchy and gain an understanding of where existing products had fallen short. The one-way valve allows parents to insert the tip only once, meeting a key need.
A nasal aspirator is a basic, everyday product. Little time or effort had been put forth with previous offerings to innovate in this category. And although innovation was indicated a certain simplicity of functionality, low manufacturing cost targets and reasonable retail price had to be maintained. The challenge was building value and innovation into the design while retaining simplicity of use and business pricing targets.
TEAM MEMBERS (1) :
All photography provided by Safety 1st (Dorel Juvenile Group)
Concept sketches provided by Product Insight, Inc.