Design Research

O-Care

Overview
O-Care is dissolving toothpaste for kids who become disengaged before having brushed their teeth for two minutes—the recommended time by dentists. Children can pick a quick-to-dissolve chew from the box, but each chew's color does not indicate its flavor.
My Role
Design Researcher
Team
Industrial Designer
Design Researcher
My Responsibilities
Arrange and facilitate home-visits; conduct research; prototype.
Prompt

Kids don't brush their teeth for 2 minutes—the recommended time by dentists

Kids mentally disengage from brushing their teeth and then physically stop before having brushed for 2 minutes—the recommended time by dentists. They either become distracted or disinterested from the task and the nightly routine.
solution

Dissolving toothpaste chews

Our solution intervenes in the core toothbrushing engagement—the breaking apart of toothpaste with the brush inside the mouth.  By using the insights we gained from users and applying them to the core engagement of toothbrushing, we could achieve engagement for 2 minutes by children.

We created a sensorial experience that leverages color and flavor. We added the element of chance by mismatching colors and the flavors we associate with them.
User research
Home-visits and interviews
We visited the homes of four boys and one girl, all under 12 years old. We asked them and their parents to demonstrate their nightly routines and observed them as they got ready for bed. We also observed their parents' oral care routines and asked about their family's eating habits and how they talk about oral health with their children.

Our questions centered around how they buy oral care products for their kids, how their kids influence the buying decisions, and how their oral care routines respond to having or not having influence on these decisions.
During a home-visit, we asked a mother to show us how her nightly oral care routine. She teaches her children to replicate it.
insight: Problem
Kids disengage from brushing if they don't like the color of their toothbrush
A kid's favorite color changes all the time, and so they constantly ask their parents to buy them toothbrushes with their new favorite color. If the toothbrush isn't in their new favorite color, they will be reluctant to use it and disengage before having brushed for 2 minutes.
understanding different types of users
User journey mapping
ideation

Sacrificial concepts

We prototyped three ideas and brought them to a local park to test with users and their parents. Parents wanted new, fun ways to get their kids to brush their teeth. They liked the colorful elements of our prototypes. They also liked the integrated element of chance into their kids' nighttime oral care routines.
SME interview

Product validation

"Mismatch colors. And use Xylitol, which doesn't promote cavities, as a natural sweetener."
Robert Gambogi
Senior Research Director and Fellow at Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc.
We presented the idea of a color and taste roulette toothpaste product to several subject matter experts. Robert Gambogi, a former researcher at Colgate, and whose current work with J&J involves validating breakthrough technologies to address consumer needs, endorsed our idea and its feasibility. He told us to mismatch the colors and tastes to make the toothpaste taste even less predictable, and so to make the process of nighttime brushing feel less like a chore and routine.
how it works

O-Care

Push the flap to collect a chew. Plop it in your mouth and begin brushing or chewing. Your saliva can dissolve it on its own, or you can break it down by chewing or brushing. Once it begins to dissolve, you'll be able to taste its flavor, which releases slowly to keep the user engaged.

The chews come in many flavors in the bottle. Co-branding and partnership with media companies who own the rights to kids media characters could improve product acquisition rates.