What we did

To answer the challenge, we work together with Kohler team in 5 phases:

Phase 1a: Opportunity Discovery

To discover the opportunity, we started by observing and asking people about their current behavior and pain points when using current sanitaryware, both in homes and in public places. We also visited sanitary ware facilities in public places such as shopping centers, hotels, to observe how the current sanitary ware serves the mass / general public needs of sanitary facilities.


Opportunity Areas

From this initial discovery, we identified several opportunity areas, especially in the area of cleaning themselves to prepare for prayers, including Wudu (washing all over the face, hand (up to the elbow), and foot (toes up to ankle)) and Istinja (cleaning of private parts with water after relieving oneself). 

Such needs, however, are not catered well in today’s sanitary products. We found out about there are many workarounds that were done by the users to be able to do their rituals, such as doing Wudu on the washing basin or bringing water bottles to urinals to do istinja.

Phase 1b: Concept Prioritization

Our client then brought these insights of untapped opportunity areas into product concepts. These concepts then were shown to a number of users and experts from interior design to architecture to gain their feedback. After that, we helped our client to prioritize which concepts have the most potential for the business by looking at business viability and considering the feedback from the experts.


Prioritized Product Concepts and Design Principles

From this phase, we managed to prioritize which concept to be further developed, which was considered not only from a user standpoint but also from business demand as we also interviewed experts from interior design and architecture. We also gathered the design principles from learning the prohibition and how to do Wudu and Istinja rituals.

Phase 2-3: Real-Size Prototype Usability Testing

The prioritized concepts then being developed into a real-size prototype using simple materials such as 1:1 printouts and cardboards. These prototypes were shown and tested to a number of homeowners and business users to gain their usability feedback. By creating a real-size prototype, we could observe how users directly interacted with the products.


Essential Features & Physical Requirements

From these usability testing (UT) phases, we discovered the specific physical requirements of the products such as the size and dimension and what features are essentials to have in the products to suit the user’s needs. These insights are then used to help our client define and develop the design of the products.

Phase 4-5: Working Prototype UT & Finalization

During each iteration of the product, we got a better understanding of the products and from there, we iteratively improved the design of products to make them more ideal for the users. Testing the usability of working prototypes was especially important, as during non-working prototype testing, some feedback may come only from the user’s imagination of using the product. But, when they really interacted with the working prototypes, their opinion might change. 

In Phase 4, Kohler team developed several prototypes based on the input of the previous phase. During the research, we asked potential users, developers, architects, technicians & Muslim experts to evaluate the product by using them, and we asked them to prioritize which prototype fulfill their needs the most.

In Phase 5, Kohler team developed a new design based on the design prioritization and improved it based on the feedback from the previous round of research. Then, we tested the prototype again to the target users to make sure whether the design already fit the needs of the users before finalizing the design.

During the research, we did not only evaluate the usability of the products, but we also discussed the price they are willing to pay and how they would adopt the products for their home/construction projects. With the Muslim experts, we discussed how to appropriately design, communicate and implement the products.


Phase 4: Design Prioritizations & Note of Improvement

Phase 5: Final Product Recommendations

A side by side collaboration

Throughout the research, We work together with Kohler Designers and Engineers from the on-paper concept testing, 1:1 printouts, and cardboard prototypes, to fully working prototypes to discover the ideal solutions. Incorporating the clients’ team in the research enables us to discuss the directions of the design swiftly and tweak changes quickly

Awards and Recognition

We are very honored and humbled that the Istinja Urinal Concept won in:

What our client said

Fabulous! I love their curiosity, humbleness and willingness to go out of their comfort zone to make things happen. The positivity is great! Another thing I appreciate is how the team works well with me to get the results I need. Sulis also understood that I needed to sell up to top leaders and the type of information/ communication needed to make things work. During the testing, I see the level of passion, involvement, and flexibility to make things work. It’s really good and inspiring!

Taiwoon Woon
Design manager and Global Commerial Lead
Kohler K&B Asia Pacific