Design Challenge 2

2020 Electric Leaf Blower

A leaf blower is a really useful tool to use all year round in the garden, it can help you quickly clear away unwanted debris such as slippery leaves in Autumn/Winter to lose grass cuttings in Spring/Summer without it becoming a long back-breaking task. The backpack and handheld blower are the most popular models in the market and which are aiming for homeowner and professional users. This design challenge is to develop a leaf blower that is aiming for ‘the weakest user’ inside a household, a petite woman, elderly or kids who want to help with the yard work.


The purpose of this project is to investigate possibilities of developing a cordless leaf blower that is a powerful yet lightweight, perfectly suited for clearing leaves, twigs and light debris from around the home and garden. More importantly, a petite woman, elderly or children from age 7-14 could easily maneuver or cheerfully engage.
  • Powered by electric
  • Longer run-time battery than handheld models
  • Extra support to carry the weight without compromising mobility
  • Ergonomic design applied and easy to maneuver
  • Fun to use for Kids
  • Easy to store in the garage without it occupying a large area

Design Journey

Research as a Group

divergent thinking


convergent thinking

divergent thinking


convergent thinking

Sample images



1. Competitive Product Survey

Establish functional requirements, performance, standards, price range and other benchmarks.

1.Benchmarking research including product from other fields which might inspire the design thinking process.

2.Research related area, understand the role and mindset of younger family member and uncover new product design opportunities for yard cleaning

2. Brainstorming

make a plan

Enacting the activities within a real or imagined context. prototype (simulate the weight)+environment

1.Mapping out the flow of the activities through all phases of the process

2. Prioritize which issues to address

3. Mapping out target's behavior and mindset, project those intuitive knowledge into opportunities.

4. Combine research data to identify opportunities

3. Bodystorming

construct and test 'Blackbox' within Its probable context of use

Role-Playing with Rough PrototypeS to enacting the activities within a real or imagined context. prototype (simulate the weight)+real environment with different scenarios

1.Understand interactions involved in the yard-cleaning process.

2.Understand target users behavior and mindset, focusing on the intuitive response prompted by the interaction.

3.List key touchpoints involved in the process

4.Determine the optimal arrangement of major components.

4. Ideation

Think visually

Externalize your internal thinking processes by sketching and prototypes, design exploration needs to be presented in different fidelities– loose, tight, then move to the final.

1.Mapping out the probable arrangement of internal compontents.

2. Investigative and Explorative sketches--Use sticky notes to draw thumbnail sketches. Depending on the direction you want to explore, map out all the thoughts about Proportion and structure | Form language | User scenario | Features and details | Ergonomic | Usability | Assembling | the choice of materials | storage | Cost | Cleaning |

3.More fleshed-out design proposals with listed design elements in mind.

4. Create partial models to facilitate ergonomic study (major interface)

5. Create full size foam models to simulate interactions and facilitate the ideation process.

6. Explanatory sketches--Show views the context for your ideas, create multiple complementary views, close up and annotate

5. Evaluate Proposed Design

with target users

Observe target users interacting with the refined full-size prototypes with a real or imagined context.

1.Narration--ask users to describe aloud what they are thinking why using to understand their mindset, perception, reasoning.

2.Analyze their subconscious behavior and bring back something tangible to refine the design.

6. Refinement

7. Final Evaluation