Design research survey for class

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by nthomson, Mar 19, 2019.

  1. nthomson

    nthomson New Member

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    Hello all,

    I am in the process of conducting thesis research for my senior industrial design project. In order to reach out to as many people as possible, I have decided to post my survey/questionnaire to multiple different forums. I would appreciate any responses to my research and this will help me greatly with the redesign of my final prototype. You may take this survey multiple times if any of the answers for the first question apply to you. Simply reopen the webpage and click a different answer for the first question to proceed.

    The link to my survey is below:
    https://qtrial2019q1az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bOuiLsLWcHww0pn

    I really appreciate your input!

    Nik
     
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  2. BrianNystrom

    BrianNystrom Member

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    You'll probably do better if you provide at least some details about what you're designing and use a link that doesn't look so much like typical scam/malware phishing. As it is, there's no way I'd ever consider clicking that link.
     
  3. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    What were you thinking when you lumped these together:
    "What do you typically do with your helmets that are broken, beyond expiration date, or not needed any longer? " and gave "sell/pass on to other user" as an answer alternative?
    IMO it would take a seriously defective sense of moral to sell or pass on something as inexpensive and potentially important as a bicycle helmet once past its expiration date. And one already broken? That's beyond belief.

    Also, you mention "smell" a couple of times.
    It's VERY common to wash/rinse helmet pads and straps.
    One of my riding buddies simply brings his into the shower with him.
    I have a hard time seeing smell as a major purchase driver among regular riders.
    I'd need new helmets several times each year if that was the case.

    And "do you associate sustainable alternatives of conventional helmets with any negative stigmas" ?
    Well, only one. But it's a big one - I'm not aware of any.

    The idea of compostable helmets is bordering on ridiculous due to scale factors.
    Try as I might, my household "produces" about one shopping bag of plastic waste each week.
    Compared to that, the environmental load of one helmet once every three years is entirely insignificant.

    I wouldn't intentionally avoid a compostable helmet, but I wouldn't go looking for one either.
    Fit is my main concern.
    I'll consider ANY helmet for purchase if it passes qualifications and fits.
     
  4. BrianNystrom

    BrianNystrom Member

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    So that's what this is about? While it's not a bad idea, I agree that it's really not an effective strategy, either for marketing a helmet or reducing plastic waste. There is at least one compostable helmet on the market; it's a foldable, disposable helmet made from treated cardboard. It's meant to be something you can buy from a vending machine, use (hopefully multiple times), then recycle. It's not durable and it isn't something that I would purchase.

    When I buy a helmet, the key criteria are fit, ventilation and safety rating. Secondary considerations are style and color. The ability to recycle it would be a very low consideration, though if it was an option that didn't add significant cost, that would be fine with me. However, I would never compromise any of the key criteria to buy one.

    Just over a week ago, I had a mishap on an off-road ride where I hit the top of my head on a 6" diameter overhanging branch that I didn't see, which snapped my head back pretty violently. It smashed the mount for the light I was wearing on my helmet and cracked the helmet itself. Since then, I've had some symptoms that indicate that I may have suffered a mild concussion, though ironically, the impact seems to have fixed my creaky neck. Go figure. Another thing it has done is change my perspective on helmets a bit. My next one will have some form of rotation-reducing tech, such as MIPS or WaveCell.
     
  5. nthomson

    nthomson New Member

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    I just wanted to chime in with a little background about my thinking in terms of this redesign. I have been working with compostable materials that can be naturally recycled back into the environment instead of having to go through some sort of processing in order to be recycled. The idea behind a compostable helmet was mainly to display the properties of said materials. The philosophy is that if these materials can sustain a single large impact, then they could also be able to sustain multiple minor impacts and still function as desired.
    Ideally, a consumer could recycle the materials that compose this helmet back into their garden, yard, or local park once the helmet is rendered broken or out of certification.
    A large component of demonstrating the usefulness of these compostable materials is to show them in ways which they can replace typical petroleum-based materials. This is best done by showing them in a manufactured state and noting differences in the manufacturing processes between these new materials and their conventional counterparts.
    Although this project merely consists of research and displaying a functional prototype, I do not intend to bring such an idea to market. This is mainly a proof-of-concept test in which I can display how plastics can largely become a thing of the past through more careful planning and manufacturing of disposable things.
    One of the largest reasons for implementing this technology into the world of helmets, besides what is mentioned earlier, is the large difference between the time these devices are in use versus the time they take to decompose in nature. Although this product lifespan is greater than that of a plastic bag or packaging, plastic products which serve the purposes of protecting against a single large impact often times take between 500 and 1000 years to decompose. When this is compared to a mere 10 years of use, (the average time of a helmets safety certification, disregarding an impact that renders the product unsafe) along with the idea that a high percentage are thrown away and not recycled, I feel that it is rather embarrassing that no other options exist to combat this cycle. If we live in a throwaway culture already, why not make things that perform equally as well, and are meant to be thrown away into nature when their lifespan is up?
     
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