Step 3 Product Design

Man sawing through pipe

Duration: 5-6 months

The information you gather in your market research (step 2) will help you to design more affordable, desirable latrine options. When we talk about ‘design’ in SanMark, we are not just talking about technology features. We need to apply a design approach that addresses the user’s entire experience with the product or service—including how it is purchased, packaged, transported, installed, used and maintained. In designing the ‘right’ products, we need to think about people, technologies and businesses. We need to ask ourselves three key questions:

  • What do people want and need? (Desirability)
  • What is technically possible to produce and sell? (Feasibility)
  • What is financially possible for local businesses? (Viability)

In your market research you will start to understand what latrine products and services are already available on the market and what people think about them. Through conversations with NGOs, government and local experts, as well as consumers and supply chain businesses, you can build a database of what is already available, including samples and pictures of components.
Human-Centered Design is a 3-step iterative process that can help us develop the right products. Steps include:

  • Inspiration: Inspiration comes from insights into what people want gained from in-depth, qualitative discussions with relevant stakeholders, especially consumers and businesses.
  • Ideation: During Ideation, we focus on generating and developing ideas, first by brainstorms and sketching to get many ideas onto paper quickly. Once we have lots of ideas, we select which ones might be the best to develop into rough prototypes to share with consumers. Prototypes should be viewed as tools for prompting conversations and answering questions. What do they like and why? What needs to change and why? The feedback we get from testing our basic prototypes with consumers is used to inform better ideas and more refined prototypes in an iterative process.
  • Implementation: Here we turn the best tested ideas into reality. This stage involves working with businesses to understand how the products might actually be made and what they might actually cost. We need to include target businesses early to ensure that we don’t design something that cannot be made or would be too difficult or expensive to distribute and install.

Experience with human-centered design for latrine products and services is growing rapidly, with increasing global success developing products that meet low income household needs. This usually involves making products more aspirational and lowering costs – check out the resources to the right for tips on lowering latrine costs.

PowerPoint icon
Slides

Product Design for Sanitation Product Design for Sanitation (8665 KB)

Webinar 2, Jeff Chapin, Product and business design Webinar 2, Jeff Chapin, Product and business design (1400 KB)

Document Icon

Documents

WSP, 2011, Introductory guide to Sanitation Marketing WSP, 2011, Introductory guide to Sanitation Marketing (4109 KB)

Sanitation Marketing for Managers, USAID-HIP, 2010 Sanitation Marketing for Managers, USAID-HIP, 2010 (1817 KB)

UNICEF Guidance Note 5 Getting the product and service right UNICEF Guidance Note 5 Getting the product and service right (657 KB)

Compendium of sanitation systems and technology, EAWAG-SANDEC, 2008 Compendium of sanitation systems and technology, EAWAG-SANDEC, 2008 (5399 KB)

Development and marketing of affordable technology options for sanitation in Lao PDR, WSP-IDE, 2012 Development and marketing of affordable technology options for sanitation in Lao PDR, WSP-IDE, 2012 (3799 KB)

IDE, 2009, SanMark pilot project - Latrine prototype report IDE, 2009, SanMark pilot project - Latrine prototype report (12466 KB)


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