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Prototyping & User Testing

BetterBack is a portable ergonomic lumbar support that corrects your posture while seated. It was one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns of all time and was featured on ABC’s Shark Tank.

Designing BetterBack From Concept to Kickstart

Yes, I'm wearing one as I write this
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Our Goal

Design a back support that meets the needs of people suffering from the stiffness and back pain caused by office chairs. 

 

The Outcome

BetterBack ultimately raised over 3 million dollars in crowdfunding with more than 30 thousand backers and was featured on ABC's Shark Tank.

 

THE OPPORTUNITY 

 
 

The founder of BetterBack, Katherine Krug, identified the need for a portable ergonomic lumbar support in a work culture increasingly bound to office chairs which cause stiffness and back pain. As the first designer on board my goal was to quickly design, prototype, and test a product that met these needs and could be funded with a Kickstarter campaign.

 
 

PROTOTYPING

&

USER TESTING

 
 

Our initial prototype was sewn in my grad-school studio and included such high-tech materials as the lid of a protein powder jar. Within a few weeks I was pressuring my schoolmates into user testing the strange looking but extremely comfortable device.

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Normally I get out of a chair and need to go lay on the back roller. Now the back roller is definitely not needed.
— Devin

One of our most important insights was that the majority of testers were so uncomfortable in their office chairs and so disturbed by claims like “sitting is the new smoking,” that they easily overcame their resistance to wearing a device that had multiple straps converging in the groin.

Several times a prototype even disappeared during testing and I found it neatly folded on my desk at the end of the day. We took that to be a good sign.

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THE SOLUTION

 
 

We shot the BetterBack Kickstarter video in my school shop only a few months after cutting apart that first protein powder bottle. That campaign ended up being one of the most successful of all time, raising 1.2 million dollars. Within a year a second campaign had pushed funding past 2 million dollars, brought in more than 30 thousand backers, and landed BetterBack a spot on ABC’s Shark Tank.

To this day BetterBack remains a top seller on Amazon. See it here on kickstarter and here on the BetterBack homepage. 

 
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