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Nissan Leaf Banner3.1.png

Nissan Leaf

Sponsored by Nissan Leaf, this project was a collaborative effort with Carnegie Mellon's Integrated Product Development studio. The goal was to create a unique experience engaging the Echo Boomer generation during the out-of-home electric vehicle charging time. Our team came from interdisciplinary backgrounds of business, design, and engineering.



Echo Boomers are hesitant to adopt electric vehicles due to out-of-home charging. They are a promising market segment, however 60% of these potential EV adopters don't own homes. Regular out-of-home charging requires up to half an hour many times a week and is perceived as undesirable. A product that adds value to the out-of-home charging experience allows Nissan to address this promising market.


Research Findings

Work, sleep, stress relief, and connection to friends and family were the top choices when participants were asked what they'd do with extra 30 minutes of time.

Nine of twelve people said accomplishing tasks, working hard, having goals, or success were one of their core values.

Eight of twelve people placed accomplishing tasks as one of the top three values in their life. Connectedness and balance were the other two most popular values.


Product Opportunity Gap

Transform the charging time from an unproductive and frustrating experience to one that allows users to accomplish daily tasks in a stress relieving way


Positioning maps helped enhance understanding of current marketplace

Lifestyle x Tech Breakdown.png

Products that enhanced the Echo Boomer values and used high technology were placed in the High Lifestyle and High Technology quadrant. There are a number of high value solutions that incorporate high technology with enhancing one’s lifestyle

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Only a few high tech solutions were achievable within a vehicle with high value.  The highlighted circles represent high value solutions from the first graph that drop to lower value solutions when the axes are redefined.

Stress relief x task enabling.png

This chart explores solutions that addressed our identified product clusters as axes: stress relief and productivity. The chart demonstrates that there is not a high value product that enables the accomplishment of tasks while still relieving stress.  The combination of these charts leads to an opportunity for a product that is positioned such that it both enables the completion of tasks and the reduction of stress. 


Value Opportunity Analysis

Goal State
Productive, low-stress atmosphere in vehicle that enables accomplishing tasks

Current State
Working uncomfortably on office work, homework, laptop, or email in vehicle

Value Opportunity Analysis Nissan.png

The VOA chart showed that most states within the car can potentially be greatly improved to create a valuable product. The difficulty was in designing a product that embodied each of the recognized high level states. A few of the categories on the chart will not be summarized. For instance, there is low sense of emotional adventure in the inactive car state currently, but a high value product could mark a transition that allows the user to feel they are entering a new and qualitatively different state within their vehicle that did not exist before.  The confidence level of getting tasks done while idling is low because there isn’t a suitable work environment within the vehicle. Drivers must go to a coffee shop which may or may not have charge spots available. A high value product would allow the user to feel confident they can accomplish work in their vehicle no matter where they have to charge.  The visual and tactile fields are low inside the vehicle because it looks and feels the same whether you are driving or idling.  A high value product would facilitate improved tactile and visual fields.


Created Make Tools to Facilitate Participatory Design


Bodystormed and Foam-core Prototyped for Further Validation

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Opportunity Process


Social, Economic, Technological Factors and Preliminary Market Research

Potential Opportunities


Preliminary Market Research

Product Positioning and Value Analysis

Fully Understanding the Opportunity 



Generation of Product Concepts

Product Synthesis and Refinement 

Illustrating and Refining the Product Solution


Functional CAD Models and Manufacturing Details

Valuing: Scenario, Form Renders, and Feedback

Marketing Plan


More work shareable upon request