Philips • Research & Concept • 2012

A solar light for everyone in Uganda


An exciting 4 month project for Philips in Africa: a user-centered research and design project to develop a new solar powered lighting product for the upcoming market in Uganda. Unfortunately the insights of the research, infographics and the concepts we made are confidential. This portfolio item is an impression of the research.

My role

We worked in a team of 3 research designers from Philips and got help from a local consultant in Uganda. We had a shared responsibility for the setup of the research, interviewing, translating insights into useful infographics and actionable insights and redesigning their current lighting products. I made also a short movie for better understanding and to get cross-functional internal support from the Philips Headquarters in the Netherlands.

Target groups

Interviews with more than 64 inhabitant of rural areas in Uganda. These were divided in 3 target groups; the people with the lowest income (BoP, Bottom of the Pyramid), the top of that BoP and SMEs

Field research

Which lights are popular in Uganda and why? To find out we went to shops to do product and market research and we talked to local experts like electricians.

Interviews & observational research

To be able to design a meaningful solution for a new solar light we had to gain deep understanding of the inhabitants and their way of living in the rural area. We conducted interviews in their homes during the day and went back in the evening to understand their needs for better a better lighting product.

Which improvements could be done?

Next to developing innovative concepts for new lights we also analyzed Philips’ current lighting products. What adjustments should be done to improve these current lights and make them more suitable for the end-user?

Focus group & creative sessions

These focus group sessions helped us gain an understanding of what the most important features are for the future solar lighting product.

Translating insights to concepts

Next to improvements to existing products we made a concept proposal for a new light and we made a simple prototype to test in the villages. Unfortunately this is confidential so I am not able to show it here. Overall we had very positive response from Philips Headquarters and they ended up using our research and concept for further development.


Want to know more?

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