Nick Holland 3 Pre-Podium
Tauira / StudentNick Holland
Kaiako / LecturersLyn Garret, Jason Mitchell
SchoolMassey University Toi Rauwhārangi College of Creative Arts
Pre-Podium addresses an uncomfortable but necessary part of life for elite athletes. The judges praised the empathetic and inclusive approach to the drug testing experience which has resulted in a design solution that has benefits for all users and testing staff alike. Removing many pain points along the user journey and ensuring higher testing accuracy.
Pre-Podium is a drug testing kit designed to introduce empathy and inclusivity to the athlete anti-doping testing experience.
Athlete drug testing is currently a very unpleasant experience, it is invasive, unhygienic, and uncomfortable for the athletes involved. Part of this is due to security measures needed to ensure test integrity but a significant part of the issue is due to the continued use of outdated testing equipment that does not accommodate the needs of the athletes (especially women) using it.
A series of interviews with athletes from a range of sporting backgrounds as well as anti-doping staff outlined two specific pain points that could be addressed through the redesign of the testing kits used:
1: The design of current equipment makes it incredibly easy for athletes to accidentally urinate on their hands whilst trying to collect their sample.
2: When urine samples are being transferred from the collection vessels to the tamper-evident transport bottles it is easy to accidentally spill urine.
The design process for this product system started with a participatory ideation phase working with athletes to produce unique concepts; functional models of the more feasible ideas were mocked up and evaluated using roleplay. From there a single idea was selected and developed iteratively with 3D printed models; Test rigs and roleplay were especially useful here for evaluating concepts whilst working within the universities ethics constraints. Feedback from anti-doping staff and athletes was an essential part of the whole design process.
The final design for Pre-podium offers an ergonomic collection vessel designed to be easier to collect urine with, this includes an exterior handle to keep the hand away from urine. Once a sample has been collected this can be placed on top of the transport bottles and distributed safely using two valves in the base of the collection vessel. The updated bottles are designed to not look intimidating whilst having the security pin contrast and stand out; allowing athletes to feel comfortable using them yet giving them confidence that their sample is secure and cannot be tampered with. Once the bottles have reached the lab they can be easily opened by cutting through the trapped security pin - leaving obvious evidence of opening.
Material selection and sustainability considerations were challenging due to the harsh environment bottles are kept in (sometimes frozen as cold as - 80°C), because of this, the functional components of the bottles are made out of polycarbonate. PET was chosen for the collection vessel as it is essential that it does not leach any chemicals into the urine sample. Unfortunately due to the large number of tests completed and the nature of the testing, equipment is likely to be disposed of after use, because of this a major sustainability consideration was to include as few components and materials as possible to reduce the carbon footprint of the product;
Pre-Podium uses just 5 materials compared to the 8 of its main competitor.