tangents

Potty Hero Juvenile Industrial Design

Thoughts by
Connie Tran

Industrial design and graphic design needed to come together seamlessly to produce a potty training experience that every Potty Hero user deserved.

In 2016, a client challenged us to build an electronic potty training device that was focused on providing positive reinforcement of good toiletry habits in little boys. Crafting a fun and encouraging learning experience was our number one focus.

Our goal was simple: Make every boy feel like a super hero.

Our inspiration for both the industrial design and graphic design components ranged from creative play, different types of kids games, all sorts of heroes from comics, movies, or real life, to popular existing kids' toys. Whatever we sourced as inspiration, we were sure to capture a sense of fun and empowerment in the visual language of our concepts.

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Engineering optimized, kid approved

The client came to Trig with a functional prototype, and proved the potential of the concept, but they needed another level of polish to the design. We optimized the overall product form to account for overall size, use of plastic, visual simplicity, functional balance and positioning, component placement, replaceable parts, cleaning, and customizable graphics to bring the product to the next level.

One of our core strategies of the design was to allow the client to be able to introduce product variation without having to make expensive changes to tooling.

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Bright, primary colors, and those big eyes

On the graphic design front, we did our research to design a character theme that was trustworthy, fun, and empowering to kids, but also aesthetically pleasing to adults.

Because kiddos are our primary audience, our character reached out to them first (even if mom and dad are the ones shelling out the cash). We built our character a back story and went from there: Potty Hero's hero is an independent, fearless boy, who doesn't let any challenge stop him from being all he can be. His ultimate dream is to inspire every boy to feel the same way. We also made sure to reference popular characters in kids toys today to make sure our character fit and would be familiar to every child.

Bright, primary colors, big eyes, basic shapes, super hero costumes and a puppy side-kick come hand in hand with our toilet seat mount design to create a memorable learning experience for potty training boys everywhere.

“I hired Trig in 2016 to do the industrial design and graphic design for our electronic toy that teaches potty training habits for boys called the Potty Hero. Having worked with several firms, the Trig team delivered multiple outstanding concepts that made it difficult for me to choose between. The industrial design phase included a deep dive into the constraints of mounting the device to the toilet seat as well as working with the engineering team to arrange the internal technology to suit the entire product experience. The graphic labels are simply amazing with clear, compelling characters and a playful imaginative background that I know will make the Potty Hero a great learning experience for boys.”

— William Barringer, Entrepreneur

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Connie Tran
Brand Development & Design Manager

Driven by inspiration, Connie is obsessed with any opportunity to master new creative skills. Connie is passionate about stories and discovering the complex layers of every person and of every business. She is passionate about leveraging authentic inner selves to tell new stories in a delightful and surprising way. She believes that the art of great story-telling is at the heart of every powerful brand. At Trig, this is shown in the way Connie helps clients discover their voice, find clarity in their messaging, and speak with a contagious passion about what they do and how they do it.

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