Product Analysis

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slipper
ˈslɪpə/
noun
plural noun: slippers
1.a comfortable slip-on shoe that is worn indoors.
synonyms: mule, moccasin, house shoe;
verb
3rd person present: slippers

1.
beat (someone) with a slipper.
“he didn’t slipper me hard”

What are slippers
Slippers are shoes people wear indoor. Slippers are comfortable shoes people like to wear when they are at home. People either use them to protect their feet from whatever dirt is on the floor or probably even more important: to keep their feet warm. Because most countries in the world know seasons, with summer and winter peaks, people have shoes(and slippers) in all different kinds: The ones that are waterproof and super warm, and also the open windy summer sandals, where most of the time the feet are totally exposed to the outside world.

Bunny_slipperds Slippers-Small Analysis_Slof_Lou_CD

Slipper types
Because slippers come in all kinds of shapes, colours and editions they have been categorised into three types for this blog:

  1. The summer (Asian) slipper – with open toes
  2. The soft sole slipper – wrapped around the feet
  3. The hard sole slippers – slip on slippers with open back

types_of_slippers-03

 

Reasoning in design
The slipper below states the reasoning in design, even though this model is based on the ‘soft sole slipper’, the functions, needs and values are viable for all three types.

Sloffen-02
For further process the slippers are divided on product level into three parts: The top, the lining (inside) and the sole.

Slippers_3parts-01

Materials
The most common materials used to produce slippers are:
– Polyester
– Leather/suede
– Wool
– Rubber (foams: such like EVA, PU, TPR)
The choice of material in design depends on the price and the brand it is made by.

Conclusions
Slippers consist out of three parts: a top, lining and the sole. To create the perfect slipper these parts need to work closely together to give the user comfort, airy and warm feet.

User, context, market

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User survey
To get an insight in slipper users and their buying and usage behaviour a questionnaire has been conducted to get an overview of the consumers drives to wear slippers. There were a couple of interesting values derived from this survey that will help to create a greater understanding of the user and spot problems they have with slippers to create a design brief for this project.

The age results are based on the people I can personally reach by sending out a survey. Therefor the spending habit might be less than what it would have been if it were filled in at random. People I can reach are mostly in between 20-30 and still student. Please keep this in mind while reviewing the results.

65 people have filled in the form that was created using Google Forms. 43 of those people are female, 22 men.
26 of 43 female and 9 of 22 men wear slippers when they arrive home.

The questions that were asked:
Gender, age group (per 10years), multiple answers for ‘what do you wear on your feet when you arrive home’, why do you wear this, what type of slipper do you have (1 to 3 like stated above), which two functions are most important in a slipper, what is more important: same pair of slippers for longer period (high quality) or trendy pair of slippers for short period (bad quality), which seasons do you wear slippers, why specifically in these seasons, what is the life span of your slippers, how much money do you spend on slippers, where do you buy them, and if they could improve anything – what would it be.

Sloffen-01

Findings
From the open questions asked why people wear slippers in specific seasons and what they would improve if they could it shows that 8 people state that they get sweaty feet, which is also the reason they wear socks in their slippers, and that for improvements 11 people say that they want more breathability and therefor also the ability to wash them, it’s either a breathable slipper or one that can be washed. Also, 19 people actually complain about the quality of the sole of their slippers, for improvements they want long lasting slippers but the sole doesn’t allow to last long.
Only one person has written down he wants to be able to personalise the slipper so he can distinguish which pair is his.
Over 10 people buy their slippers at ‘van Haren’ followed by others who buy their slippers also at ‘cheap’ shoe stores through the Netherlands. Their spending pattern is biggest from 10 to 20 euros, with the complaints about the low quality of the sole this can be a big design finding for further progress when the product design itself needs to be improved to make it circular.

Conclusions
– Most important functions: comfortable to wear, keep feet warm
– The sole is the main reason for disposal, better sole would mean it lasts longer
– Increase the breathability or/and give the ability to wash the slippers
– People prefer to spend a maximum of 20 €

User-context
The reason people wear slippers is that they take of their regular shoes when they come home to air their feet, feel comfortable and don’t walk with the outside shoes through the house, protection of dirt. Therefor slippers are considered only used inside the house. Slippers can therefore also be used in contexts that are homey but not the users home itself, such like they want to wear slippers on holiday, when they are over at friends or family or in a hotel. When a hotels delivers a good service they provide their guests with comfortable slippers, this makes the guests feel like being at home and therefor this could enhance the experience of the visit.

kids
Kids at home
hotel
Hotel
Home
Home

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusions
Slippers are mainly worn:
– At home
– In a hotel
When a hotel wants to provide a good and comfortable stay for their guests they can really try to make them feel like being at home, therefore it would be great to invest in good slippers.

Prices & Market
The slipper market is a very broad one. To make it easy it can be divided into different market segments which would than relate to the price of the slippers.
There are many types of slippers all over the world, but when specifically looking at the market in the Netherlands it would be in the following range:

Low-end: Bristol, Scapino, van Haren < 15€
Middle: Hema, middle class shoe stores and street markets where they sell sheep wool slippers 10 – 25€
High-end: High-end shoe stores UGG, Minetonka, the North Face etc. 30 – 120€ +

From the survey was derived that 25% of participants spend less than 10 € on their slippers,
30% (the biggest group) spends in between 10 and 15€ on their slippers, 20% in between 15 and 20€, 13% in between 20 and 30€ and 13% over 30€.
That means 75% of people spend less than 20€ on slippers.

This is the target group that is used for this design case.
They are the ones that complain about the bad quality of their slippers and they are the ones that need to understand that most of the time durability comes with a price,
because using better materials would already improve the quality a lot.
They are the ones that can change their consuming behaviour in a more aware one.

All the slippers from the high-end market segment are designed with ‘hard’ good quality soles.

Conclusion
This circular design case will focus on the 75% group of people who spend less than 20€ on a pair of slipper but do complain about the bad quality. Hey! Something can be changed here…

 

Disposal behaviour

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From the survey conducted is found that most people dispose their slippers because of the bad quality of the sole. 19 out of 65 applicants actually state that they would like to see an improvement in the quality of the sole, which would in reaction be the reason for them to keep them longer instead of rapid consuming.
11 people state that breathability, and 8 sweaty feet need to be fixed within the design of the slippers. When those are put together (sweaty feet is a result of non breathable slippers) it means 19 people again want their slippers to be breathable and washable, which in return would result in longer lasting slippers.

24 people dispose their slippers after having them for an average of 2 years
13 people dispose them within a year (!)
12 people keep them for over 4 years
10 people dispose them after an average of 4 years
More than half of the applicants of the survey dispose their slippers within 2 years.
This life span  be doubled at least, it needs to go up till at least 5.

Conclusions
Better sole (Yesss)
Breathability and washability.
Desired: life span, disposal behaviour after 5 years