With the end goal being an implement that sets out to improve some aspect of life for Jeff, we approached this initial meeting with the objective of finding possible leads for what such an implement might be like. The meeting was conducted on Sunday, October 20th, from 1:00-2:00 PM at Jeff’s home. The entirety of Team Jeff was present, with Emily as the interviewer, Jeff as the interviewee, and Larry as the note-taker.
During our on-site interview, Jeff was of great help in the interview process, and we were able gain some insight into Jeff’s daily life and see the inside of his home.
He offered us a possible design that his son had come up with for a project. It was certainly appreciated that we had a design available, but unfortunately, it was rather beyond the scope of what our project could encompass.
Despite that, we were still able to have a very fulfilling interview.
As a successful owner of a custom blinds business, he’s proud of it and has every reason to be. For 12 consecutive years, his company has been awarded the super service award by Angie’s list, which fewer than 5% of companies on the site receive. This reward indicates exceptional ratings by his customers, which speaks to the quality of work he does and the quality of the product he installs in customers’ home.
Examples of his work take no more than a glance toward any window, with some of them being motorized and remotely controlled. He’s considering connecting up his Amazon Alexa to the blinds as well, so it’s not hard to tell that Jeff is no stranger to technological devices assisting in his daily life. Below is a video of a motorized blind that was very similar to one we saw in Jeff’s house.
While his desk might be piled high with papers and miscellaneous items, Jeff keeps his schedule well-organized with his phone, as expected of a professional. Many of his tools of the trade already have their own toolboxes and binders. Among equipment he mentioned were these clasps as shown below that come in a variety of colors, which he keeps in a bag. There are certainly organization solutions to organizing these clasps, but it’s hard to envision making computing play an important role for such a task.
Jeff’s grandchildren visits him fairly frequently, and he keeps them entertained by going out on excursions or with the arts-and-crafts box in their home. Perhaps an interactive game could be interesting for his kids, though they’re in an age range that’s phasing out of playing with toys and the like, so it may not be all that functional.
We were also given a chance to check out Jeff’s car, which he uses to commute to his clients. Though the trunk looks a bit cluttered, it certainly has just about anything he needs. A binder of samples lie in the middle and a ladder that looks like its connected a scaffold allows him to walk along an elevated platform the width of most window to install brackets or whatnot.
It’s going to be a challenge to come up with something that Jeff would have a use for. At least, if he had a need for anything, it seems like he already has a good solution for it.
A device intended for infrequent use in the home is unlikely to be of use to Jeff because he and his wife keep themselves busy, often spending time outside their home.
I’d say our interview went quite smoothly and felt fairly natural. We were able to learn much about Jeff’s life and share a little about ourselves in the meantime, and we were able to get a glimpse into what his home and daily life were like. Though we were able to ask just about everything on our plan in one way or another, we struggled to come up with even a few areas in his life that could really benefit from a device we could make.
Perhaps we should’ve inquired further into what sort of device would be of use to his wife, or perhaps we could’ve discussed whether a device would’ve been of use in the backyard we caught a glimpse of beyond the back porch sliding doors.
We decided to follow up with an email posing a few more questions to Jeff and his wife which will hopefully lead us to an entry point for a useful implement.