Case Study I: Sleep Disrupted by Mosquitos

The Client

A middle-class married couple living in a subtropical country, parents of twin girls aged four.

The Problem

During summer nights, the Client's children are often stung by mosquitos. All the solutions surveyed and tried by the Client proved to be ineffective, either disrupting the toddlers' sleep or posing a potential risk to their health.  

The Problem-Solving Team

The team consisted of (1) the Client (the husband) – an engineer, (2) a graphic designer and marketing manager, and (3) the inventor of the SNAP Method.

The Process

Stage 1. Construct Problem Core Model

Based on an in-depth interview conducted by the inventor of the SNAP Method with the toddlers' parents, as well as on information taken from published articles in peer-reviewed journals on the host-seeking behaviour of female mosquitos, the team constructed a conceptual model representing the core of the problem.

Stage 2. Formulate Usefulness Criteria

Based on the interview with the Client, the team came up with three criteria to evaluate solution ideas, with the following weightings: (1) 0.5 – effect on child's health and safety, (2) 0.3 effectiveness (degree of solving the problem), and (3) 0.2 – cost of ownership for five years.

Stage 3. Generate Original Ideas

The team carried out five exercises for facilitating creative thinking by reconfiguring each participant's mental model of the problem. Each participant generated three original ideas per exercise – a total of 15 ideas per participant and 45 ideas overall.

Stage 4. Refine Ideas for Usefulness

For each one of the 45 ideas, the team identified a core solution concept, generating seven solution concepts in total:

1. Attract and deflect (female mosquitos)

2. Attract and eliminate

3. Deflect

4. Detect and eliminate

5. Detect and prevent

6. Evade

7. Prevent

Multiple ideas from the same solution concept were combined into one idea and then refined for usefulness based on the criteria formulated at Stage 2. This process resulted in seven combined ideas.

Stage 5. Rank Refined Ideas by Usefulness

Each participant individually scored the seven combined ideas, criterion by criterion. Scores for each idea were averaged across participants, and the combined ideas were then ranked according to their averaged overall usefulness score. The top scoring idea, based on the 'detect and eliminate' concept, was selected for prototyping.

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Solve New Problems

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Rea Lavi, PhD

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Statements of fact and opinions expressed are those of Rea Lavi and, unless expressly stated to the contrary, are only his views and positions and not that of any other institution or person.

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