After several weeks of research and surveying I am now on track to designing a bag for students. My target demographic is ages 10 to 18 and my aim with this bag is comfort and weight distribution along with trending aesthetics and functional storage.
Some things I found through surveys:
1. Pockets are important. After surveying almost 80 students I found that a large majority of them appreciate pockets for carrying small and large objects.
2. The largest majority carry a weight of about 10 - 20 pound backpacks. This puts the average student right on the dot of a backpack that is 20% of their body weight.
3. 53% of students answered that their body leans forward when walking with their backpack. This means that their body is using its righting response to counter the weight on their back, which is what causes a forward head lean, and poor posture.
4. 80% of students are concerned for their posture.
5. The largest majority of users typically but 20-25L backpacks so that they can pack the essentials and have room for more if necessary.
6. About 80% of students answered that their backpacks do not have a sternum strap, and for those that do, only 6 people actually use it.
7. What do students even pack?
Well the most reoccuring items that came up when asked were; textbooks, laptops, writing utensils, water bottles, binders, lunchbag, phone & charger, shoes, and clothes (gym clothes extra layers).
8. Features that students appreciate?
Again the most reoccuring features were; adjustable straps, lots of pockets in general with one or two easily accessible pockets on the outside, comfortable straps and back, simple aesthetically pleasing style, designated place for electronics.
My next step from here to further complete a design that sits well with what I've learned over this period of research, and prototype models for further iteration.