Feelings of awkwardness and guilt, group cohesiveness, competitiveness, and barriers to entry—these are social pressures that are not uncommon in the world of amateur sports, especially ski touring. Our artefact Nexus One, created in collaboration with the design agency KISKA, was designed to address these issues and by connecting athletes, it aims to create a safe environment that seeks to build trust, communication, and empathy in order to prevent SOS situations.
Starting with a general design brief provided by KISKA proposing the creation of an SOS button, we researched contexts and problems, ideated design directions, and developed physical prototypes. The process began with desktop research (videos, academic papers, existing products, online forums) and interviews which helped understand the problems related to SOS situations and sports—we realised that the moment before the SOS situation was the most unexplored and interesting. We then used user journeys and personas to further explore sport contexts and developed a value proposition for ski touring. Finally, using physical materials like Play-Doh and Arduino components, we built low and high fidelity prototypes that could best demonstrate how our solution could be experienced within the context we set out to explore. Further, we developed a marketing website and high quality renderings which can be used across a variety of mediums to aid consumers in understanding the system better and to encourage wonder and interest.
The Nexus One ski pole is a progressive artefact situated within a unique context. The final prototype offers clear directions for further usability testing and validation.