Navigating the SEAS of the Design Process w/ SEAS Design Team – Sofia Hruby

After our shopping field trip a few weeks ago, SEAS Design team has used their inspiration from the thrift and hardware stores to pump out some designs on paper.  To read more about our field trip, click here.  It’s been extremely helpful to research existing shoe insoles that are designed for similar purposes as our design (alleviate plantar fasciitis).  Although there are products on the market that claim to solve heel pain problems, our design will have more variables that make it unique from other designs.  With our new and improved design, we hope to address the following issues:

  • Most importantly, we aim to create an insole that can be worn all day and provide necessary comfort for the user. In our current design drafts, we have incorporated key aspects such as a thicker heel cushion to relieve stress from the plantar fascia tendon.  The current design also has a cushion to provide arch support.
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Existing products that help relieve foot pain
  • Versatility is also significant in this design. While there are many products that are manufactured to reduce heel pain, very few are designed to be worn in multiple shoes.  For the active woman, who wears tennis shoes to stilettos and everything in between, a single product designed to fit in all shoe types and targets plantar fasciitis is groundbreaking.
  • Aside from comfort and versatility, we want to design a product that is discreet and stays in place. Imagine how annoying and awkward it would be if an insole was obviously showing while wearing a certain pair of shoes.  The more concealed the design is, the more aesthetically pleasing it is to target consumers.

With all of our concepts for the orthotic, we are organizing all the aspects and design ideas into a formal, written design proposal.  The past several classes have been dedicated to working on this report.  I find it useful, yet tedious, to put together a write up because it helps my group members and I stay on the same page and get all of our ideas on paper.

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Sketch of proposed design

As we move forward with the design process, I’m excited to start building.  I am a very hand on person so I can’t wait to begin prototyping.  Another important thing to stay aware of is the cost of materials.  Ideally, our design is effective yet cost friendly.  We want to use quality materials but at the same time remain within our budget.  As we begin to purchase materials and start building the prototype, it would be beneficial to research how store bought insoles are manufactured.  We’re making good progress and excited to continue through the design process!

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