User Exploration

Posted on Posted in Product Analysis


A lot of different reasons can be found why kite surfers choose to get rid of their kite board. To get a better overview 3 different users were identified, these groups all have their own emotional and functional reasons why they stop using their gear. This means per user group different design strategies for Products that Last can be applied to come up with better circular design solutions.

The following 3 different type of users where identified;

  • pro riders
  • fanatic kite surfers
  • occasional kite surfers

Interviewing and questioning the different target groups leaded to some interesting insights. In the following images the different motivations and considerations concerning purchasing, use and end of life of the kite board are shown per user group.


kitesurftypes-01 TYPE 1:  Pro Kitesurfer Since pro kiters are sponsored they get the newest models of the boards for free. This service of the kite brands creates a different sort of attachment to a product, than buying a board themselves. The free boards makes them less careful while doing their sport, what can result in broken boards while practising new tricks. On average they break about 1 board a year. These broken boards are usually brought back to the store, where they are thrown away.Problem statement and design challenge:The boards exist out of different materials combined together which create specific material properties that are needed for the product. When the board breaks the specific material cannot be reused for the function where it was made for. The value of the material changes immediately into waste when it breaks.
kitesurftypes-03 TYPE 2:  Fanatic kitesurfer The fanatic kitesurfer would love to kite every day, but work is also important. They start with a cheap board and every time their skills improve they want to a new board to enable better performance. The old ones they normally sell. This group does a lot of research before they buy a new board. Talking with a lot of people to get a better knowledge about what type of board fits to their style helps them in their buying decisions. Often it takes a long time till they find the perfect match with the board. Buy, try and sell again. But once they found their perfect board they will stick to it forever.Problem statement and Design challenge:It takes a couple of boards to buy try and sell before the perfect board is found. It will be the challenge to develop a service or add a service to be able to get a perfect match in performance and your style to prevent outwearing a the (material).
kitesurftypes-02 TYPE 3: Occasional kitesurferThe beginning kitesurfer often starts very enthusiastic. After some lessons they are so stoked that they buy their gear immediately. Since they don’t know anything about the sport yet they try to find the cheapest gear on the 2nd hand market. It often happens that they try it a couple of times and then quit. The board will stay in the closet as forgotten.Problem statement and design challenge:Even though the gear is bought second hand, it is really expensive. It is a pity the gear is only used a couple times a year. This means the gear loses its value. The challenge will be to design a service to make a better use of the value of the material.


Analysing the different user groups leaded to different design opportunities per user group. Since the limited time in the project only one user group could be selected for further elaboration in finding circular design solutions. I belong to the fanatic kite users, so this group is choses to design for.

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