How would you design an ideal Chicken Coop ?
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in Product Design by (17 points) | 296 views

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Clarification

What is the intended audience of the chicken coops? Large-scale commercial farming or non-commercial hobby/personal uses?

Is this a new company creating chicken coops or do they have existing production?

Here I will assume our company is producing chicken coops for the hobby/personal use case and does not have any existing production or resources dedicated to producing chicken coops.

Personas & Needs

This is going from my own personal assumptions about the users of personal/hobby chicken coops and further research would be necessary to fully understand these customers.

Chickens: These are the actual users of the coops, however, they do not have active influence into the decision-making process of the customer.

Suburban/Rural Coop Customer Sven: The suburban or rural coop buyer is typically using this product as a way to provide small amounts of chicken products in a more personal way. Sven typically is characterized by owning his property which includes a yard of a quarter acre or more. Sven needs a safe place for his chickens so that animals such as feral cats do not harm them while being a place for his chickens to also lay eggs which his family typically consumes, with any remainders being given to friends or family. Sven is unlikely to already own chickens prior to buying his first coop and is nervous about the time and skills required to build a respectable coop.

Urban Coop Customer Cal: The urban buyer is characterized by owning a chicken as a different way to think of a pet. Cal typically has much less space than his Suburban/Urban counterpart, potentially only an indoor apartment or rooftop on his building to house his pet. Cal is very proud of his decision to own a chicken as a pet and likely will care for its needs similar to other pets. Cal wants to make sure his pet is well taken care of while maintaining a clean living space.

Because the Urban Coop Customer is a much smaller market, with highly varying and demanding needs, the Sven persona will be selected.

Ideas

  • Flat pack chicken coop: Create a chicken coop that can have all the materials packaged together. Additionally, the coop would be able to be setup without the need for tools besides a screwdriver. This would lower Sven's barrier to buying a coop and starting his dream of personal chicken ownership.
  • Design your own coop: An online platform would let Sven design the type of chicken coop that he would want to build to match the attributes of his yard.
  • Invisible fence chicken coop: Let your chickens roam free within your yard while designating a specific space for them.
  • Chicken care app paired with connected coop: The Chicken Care app shows when your chicken has laid eggs and should be checked on automatically using sensors in the nest part of the coop. The Chicken Care app also regularly reminds you to clean your chicken coop.
Evaluation
  • Flat-pack coop: May help Sven create his chicken coop, but he may also already own a set of power tools and look to create the coop as a project of personal pride.
  • Design own chicken coop: This requires a lot of behavioral change by Sven to take pictures of his yard and then upload them to a website
  • Invisible fence coop: This does not meet the safety needs of the coop to protect Sven's chickens against other animals such as feral cats.
  • Chicken coop app: Promising, but may be outside of chicken coop manufacturing company's resource set. May need to use other existing technology in partnership with own product. However, this would solve Sven's needs without creating additional issues.
Summary
Overall, the chicken coop is a niche product in most senses when not considering commercial uses. However, there is opportunity for the improvement of hobby/personal chicken coops. The Chicken Care app will allow Sven to easily maintain his chicken coop and remove work by having to check the coop frequently for eggs.
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