4 Hour Children's Ride-On
The goal of the Four Hour Children’s Ride-On Design Challenge was to design a ride-on toy that would either rock or roll in the given time. We worked in randomly assigned groups of three or four, and we had four hours to conceive ideas and also build a working prototype.
Originally, my group wanted to make a ride-on car that could both rock and roll. One side would be shaped in a way that could rock without rocking too far, and would also have a foot rest. When flipped over, the toy would roll on a set of wheels mounted on the other side. During the course of creating our prototype, we realized that we did not have enough time or material to make the ride-on rock and roll, so with 45 minutes to go, we quickly decided to pivot our focus to making the ride-on just roll.
After four hours, we had a fully functioning ride-on to test with the kids. Almost immediately, we uncovered some major design flaws. What was originally intended to be the footrest part for the rocking position looked like a handle, so some kids started sitting in the car the wrong way, as they assumed the handles were for the person sitting in the car to hold on to.
Some parents also had the same misconception, and used the footrest as a handle to push their kids. This is a very uncomfortable position for the parent, although it is a good height for kids to push other kids around in. Another problem with the ride-on was that there was no safe place for the kids to rest their hands and feet. In the first video clip, you can see that the child’s feet are just running on the ground, and are also dangerously close to the wheel.
In the second video clip, the child sitting on the ride is seen struggling to find a place to put his hands. He first places his hands on the back wheel, but that is unsafe, and is directed to put his hands at the front of the car. That is uncomfortable for him, though, and he continues to struggle to find a place to rest his hands.