Abstract

Innovation is key to enhancing product performance and customer benefits, with designers having a core role in conceiving and actioning innovations in response to evolving conditions of use and customer needs. This paper discusses the scope for innovation in jockey’s safety vests in relation to the constraint of official product standards. The Australian standard for jockey’s safety vests, ARB 1.1998, has not been appreciably updated since the early 2000s despite a consistent rate of serious injuries to jockeys, grown in the number of females and the rise of smart wearable technologies in other sports and health. For this product category, those setting standards seem habitually unable to revise their norms, limiting product development to styling. We complete the paper with a snapshot of results from a program of user research, which shows how jockey’s needs and perspectives contest the existing standards for safety vests and could significantly inform product innovation.

Keywords:

jockey’s safety vests; personal protective equipment; product innovation; safety standards, design innovation

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Aug 11th, 12:00 AM

Product standards as a barrier to innovation: the case of jockey’s safety vests

Innovation is key to enhancing product performance and customer benefits, with designers having a core role in conceiving and actioning innovations in response to evolving conditions of use and customer needs. This paper discusses the scope for innovation in jockey’s safety vests in relation to the constraint of official product standards. The Australian standard for jockey’s safety vests, ARB 1.1998, has not been appreciably updated since the early 2000s despite a consistent rate of serious injuries to jockeys, grown in the number of females and the rise of smart wearable technologies in other sports and health. For this product category, those setting standards seem habitually unable to revise their norms, limiting product development to styling. We complete the paper with a snapshot of results from a program of user research, which shows how jockey’s needs and perspectives contest the existing standards for safety vests and could significantly inform product innovation.

 

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