Warning: Long introduction and post.
I am a college student at a design school in California and for my project this term I have taken the initiative to design the perfect camera bag. Truthfully, I am not a dslr camera user, nor am I knowledgeable in the field of photography. However, what started this project was when a close friend of mine who recently got into the world of photography asked me to design a bag that would fit his needs and wants. One of his top requests was to design one that did not look like a camera bag, I began to realize that this was actually one of the most popular wants and practically a need for most camera bag buyers. So, I set off to do my research for the project and the class. Who am I designing for, what do they want, need, like and dislike. What kind of lifestyle do they have, what type of photography do they do, how old are they, how much can they spend and earn, and things of that sort. Being a complete beginner to photography and to create a successful product and design, I really wanted to be able to describe and understand the target consumer(s).
Early User Research Findings
And so, my research revealed to me 2 types of photographers:
1: The Casual
2: The Professional/Enthusiast.
1. Top priority: The bag needs took look good and "fashionable."
2. It should be comfortable and protect my equipment.
3. The bag should be affordable $30-80 average.
(Should not cost as much as my equipment)
4. It should limit me on the things I need to carry, for light use and portability.
5. It should match my fashion sense, doesn't look too big or awkward.
1. Top priority: Reliable functionality.
2. Holds all my equipment, accessories, and other non-related items.
3. Convenient tripod holder.
4. Easy, quick accessibility.
5. Willing to spend a little more for quality, we don't skimp out on quality.
6. Could care less about it being fashionable, but it still shouldn't be a thief magnet.
7. Amount and type of equipment carried really depends on the photography type:
(Photo journalist, landscape photographer, wild life, etc.)
8. Interesting quote:
"If you tell me it does everything and solves all my problems, I probably wouldn't
believe you much less buy your product. What gets me to buy a particular camera bag
is the reviews it gets from real photographers who are in the field like me."
*I've done about 8 in-person interviews with both casual and professional/enthusiast photographers and would like to do more interviews if possible. If you would like to lend me a hand in better understanding you, please pm me or reply to this thread saying you are open to do an interview over the web. I would appreciate it very much.
I've also snooped around numerous forums and blogs and read tons of reviews of all brands and models of camera bags to see what people have wanted, needed, liked, and disliked about the camera bags they bought, used to own, or contemplated on purchasing.
Camera Bag Review Findings
The following is a collection of what I found, if you see anything missing or disagree with something, please feel free to add or subtract some from the list as it will help me to create the perfect camera bag.
1: How much gear do I want to store and carry?
2: How big or small is the bag?
3: What other stuff can I carry along?
4: Will this bag attract unwanted attention?
+ Zipped pockets for docs.
+ Pocket for laptop.
+ Able to freely use left over space for non-camera goods.
+ Doesn't look ugly or scream, "I have expensive photography equipment inside."
+ Fast access to equipment, even on sides.
+ Multiple pockets for accessories.
+ Organized layout or user organizable layout.
+ Removable, padded, dividers.
+ Climate proof, rain cover.
+ Padded bottom and sides.
+ Dust protection.
+ Comfortable, strong shoulder straps.
+ Shock and bang resistant.
+ Well made and lasts a long time, camera bags are not frequently replaced.
+ Designed for tripod.
+ Good value : money ration.
+ Fits "all" my equipment.
+ Portable, lightweight, bag should weight almost nothing.
+ SImple and intuitive design.
+ Lots of pockets.
+ Water bottle holder.
+ Ability to carry laptop.
+ Easy access.
+ Stands upright without tipping over.
+ Removable inner shell.
+ Plastic to minimize damage to gear inside.
+ Heavy duty canvas materials.
+ Affordable prices.
+ Carry on approved.
- Plastic strap rings.
- Poor quality.
- Noisy, loud velcro.
- Not enough space for random stuff.
- Doesn't perfect or snugly fit my equipments.
- Dividers that are too big and takes up space.
- Heavy weight with full load.
- Loud logos and placement.
- Loose lids.
- Non padded bag walls.
- Hard shell.
And so, that wraps up the research I have done so far. Again, if you would like to add, change or fix anything above, please let me know as it will make for a better project in the end. I will be going into concepts for the next 2 weeks, so if you have ever wanted to create or see your vision of the perfect camera bag, please feel free to voice your thoughts, as I will take any of your ideas into consideration. I will also be sharing with you my concept ideas and are open to discussions at any time.
This project is due in exactly 6 weeks, in which the final deliverable for this class will be a full-scale camera bag. In which, I will gladly share with you all. Till that day comes, I will continue to keep you all updated and will regularly check back here to hear what you all have to say.