A shower tap for those who want to stay dry. Product Design Melbourne
Do you hate getting your hands wet when turning on your shower taps? Do you contort yourself into creative shapes to try and escape the inevitable cold spray as you reach into your shower to turn it on? One of our clients disliked the experience of turning on the shower in the morning so much that he developed an entirely novel solution. Colin came up with a design for a shower tap that allowed a user to turn their shower on and off, and set their temperature, from outside the shower. It is rare that we are able to preview a product for you that is yet to hit the market, so we are excited to be able to share with you this unique product.
A few years back Colin approached us with his idea for a shower tap that could be controlled from both inside and outside the shower. The design had a shower screen frame with a built-in tap and a patent had been taken out. He had multiple ideas for how to achieve the tap operation, and wanted Bayly to assist in commercialising the a solution.
How we achieved a viable solution
In designing any product, the needs of all the parties who will interact with the product need to be considered. For a product such as a new shower tap, not only do you need to consider how a homeowner may use it, you also have to consider how their guests or children will interact with the tap. Will they intuitively understand how the handle moves or will they need instruction? Will the mounting position suit a range of ages and strengths? If it is going to be popular with commercial installation such as hotels, then intuition is even more critical. It may be used by a different person every few days. Likewise durability may become more important, as greater wear-and-tear may occur in a commercial installation.
When we consider users and their needs, however we should not only consider the person who decided to install it or the person who uses it. We should also consider the person who has to install the device. Can a plumber install the tap without specialised tools, and if not, what tools should be supplied with the tap? Can it be installed using existing methods and without unrealistic expectations on precision or excessive time requirements? Is it possible to repair the device or does it need to be removed and replaced when something goes wrong? How difficult is it to repair or replace?
If these elements are not considered then the product will not succeed to its full potential.
The finished product
Developing a product that has never existed is always exciting for Bayly. For this tap design we knew that our design needed to be durable, easy to clean, and intuitive to use. It had to fit into a bathroom and connect to plumbing using existing means. It also had to be easy to grip and adjust so that users of all ages and abilities could operate it.
One of the first changes we made was to take the tap out of the shower frame. A complete custom shower frame for the tap meant many large parts to manufacture and ship, increasing the cost of the tap and thereby reducing its potential market. Continuing to simplify things, we connected the handles directly to the shower cartridge, eliminating mechanisms. In every component we developed for the product we considered the needs of the buyer, the users, and the installer.
The finished product can be installed by any plumber. It will work with framed or frameless fixed glass screens with only a custom cutout to house the tap body. Like a conventional mixer tap, its handles are rotated to adjust temperature and angled to adjust flow.
Where to get one
After substantial development and prototyping, the shower tap is ready to hit the market. We are currently assisting Colin in locking in a manufacturer, and greatly look forward to seeing this unique tap in homes and hotels soon.
No matter what sort of product you are developing, we can assist you every step of the way, from identifying your users and their needs, to finding the right manufacturer and evaluating production prototypes. With so many manufacturers around the world, finding the right one to suit your companies specific needs can be overwhelming. Whether you're looking for assistance in making initial contact, or need someone to visit a manufacturer and assess their facilities, Bayly can help you. Developing great products and making sure they get to market is what we do.