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1 hour design challenge • April 2021

Design a smart shoe for people who are physically disabled.

01. Why

Asking Clarifying Questions

What do you mean by "smart"?

Using technology to enhance people's lives.

Why are am I doing this? What is the problem?

Physically disabled people have a hard time putting on shoes on a day-to-day basis. Also, this is something they do every day to go out in public. There is a lot of positive benefits to help them and make their lives much easier and potentially save a lot of time.

What are some goals? (Self defined)

1. Help physically disabled people put on shoes easier

2. Help physically disabled people reduce the amount of time for them to put on shoes

3. Design a physical shoe for people to wear

Any technical, business, or budget constraints? (Self defined)

1. Use currently available technology available today.

2. No budget constraints.

Who am I designing this for?

I am going to think about types of user segments and pick one from the types of user segments and drill in.


02. Who

Who am I designing for?

User Segments

1. People who are in wheelchairs.

2. Athletes who are injured.

3. Elderly who have a hard time bending down and putting shoes on.

Narrowing down a user segment

1. People who are in wheelchairs - people in wheelchairs are in a position where they put on shoes but don't really use the shoes which might not have as much value as people do everyday walking.

2. Injured athletes - people in this segment can put on shoes but have back problems so it is a bit hard to tie shoes. They are mainly using this to go train.

3. ✅ Elderly who have a hard time bending down and putting shoes on - people in this segment can not put on shoes unless they get help from people. Because at the most basic need they physically cannot put shoes on, this is the user group that I want to help.


03. Pain Points & Needs

Think through pain points and needs for the user

Pain Points

1. Can't bend down to tie shoelaces.

2. Not very tech-savvy, so it is hard for them to use and set up wifi-enabled devices.


1. Easy way to put on shoes without any help.

2. Comfortable shoes for walking and doing daily activities.

3. Easy way to take off shoes without any help.

Pain Points

04. When & Where

When and where are users using this product?


1. Putting shoes on and taking shoes off in homes.

2. Doing day to day activities at the grocery store

3. Light walks in the morning


1. Putting shoes on and taking them off in the morning.

2. Putting shoes on and taking them off in the evening.

3. Pretty much everyday use

4. Using them inside the house as well

When & Where

05. User Flow

How people currently put on shoes.


1. Wakes up in the morning and gets up

2. Takes shoes off the shoe rack to put on shoes

3. Bends down to put on shoes and takes a while

     a. Asks for help to put on shoes

     b. Puts on slippers if they can not find anyone

4. Goes and takes a walk

5. Comes back home to do activities like cooking, eating, reading. (Some countries takes shoes off inside the home)

6. Takes naps and takes off shoes

7. Puts shoes back on

8. Takes shoes off to go to bed

User Flow
Restate Problem

06. Restate Problem Statement

The elderly have a hard time putting their walking shoes on in the morning and have a hard time taking them off in the evening when they are ready for bed.

07. What

What to design? Ideating ideas then narrowing down.


1. Mobile app to teach them how to put shoes on.

2. Physical shoe that auto laces for them.

3. Website to call someone to help them put on shoes.

4. Personal assistant to help them put on shoes.

Impact Effort Analysis








08. Solutions



09. Conclusion

Next Steps

Finalizing ideas

The designs above are derived from the user's pain points, needs, location, project goals. Then using impact vs effort to help me narrow down and deliver the final solution.

#3 would be the best solution because it gives the user the easiest and most simple way of putting on a shoe without much effort with additional accessibility built-in (low battery). Also, the shoe will loosen up when the user is not walking to provide maximum comfort.

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