Nara Bassinet

Research / Human Factors / Industrial Design / Branding / Animation / Engineering / Production

Nara is our baby. It was internally created from the ground up as a new, innovative hospital bassinet. It was designed to bring mothers close to their newborns when it matters most and provide caregivers with a beautifully designed, safe, ergonomic care solution

We recognized that the bassinet market has been relatively ignored for decades. Current bassinets could be described as one of two things: a wood filing cabinet or a metal filing cabinet on wheels. We started to ask the question, why are we pushing newborn babies around on filing cabinets?

We started our research at the source – with NICU and mother/baby nurses. We heard complaints of bulkiness, uncleanliness, and inaccessibility that added up to an experience that was just plain clunky. We studied each person’s interactions and allowed their feedback to evolve our design. Some nurses were stooping and straining too much, others struggled to quietly and efficiently maneuver the bassinet, and mothers had trouble reaching for their babies from bed. It was clear we needed to develop a new solution.

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We implemented our iterative prototyping processes and leveraged sketch exploration, CAD development, in-house 3D printing, and fabrication methods to refine the aesthetic and functionality.

We conducted one-on-one user interviews, focus group discussions, and took full-scale mockups into the field to get feedback from people who would use this product every day.

We conducted comprehensive formative and summative usability testing with Labor/Delivery and NICU nursing staff, hospital environmental services, and new moms. Their overwhelmingly positive responses validated the final design and new features.

As the product evolved, so did the brand, differentiating it in the market as approachable, caring, and inviting. Branding efforts included print material, animation, and video creation. The true value of experience that we were reinventing was taking shape but it needed a name, and ultimately we had to look outside the English language to capture its essence – Nara.

Research and Testing on a product

Nara received a Good Design® Award from Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design, as well as the Core77 Community Choice Prize, and a 2017 Core77 Notable Award in the Commercial Equipment category.

Altogether, initial user research, opportunity identification, and industrial design grew to mechanical engineering, regulatory support, branding, and manufacturing for a Class II medical device. The exciting value propositions presented by our end product captured the interest of a major medical device manufacturer that led to an OEM opportunity for us. Our team ensured every bit of design intent was captured when we brought the product to life and delivered a solution that’s locally designed and manufactured, leveraging a supply chain based predominantly in Michigan.

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