Courage drives our creative process. We're open to feedback and talk about our failures as loudly as our wins.
Back in March, 15 athletes set off to test our products - the final hurdle before pressing go on production. After six weeks of testing, 10 hours of insight calls, and 22 pages of notes, we decided to pivot one of our products.
The tank was to become a sports bra. Collarbone protection without any compromise.
Read on to find out what we learnt from the testing and what we changed before launching Set 1.
Hand-selecting 15 women
In December 2019 we defined our final product testing phase. We wanted to answer two questions:
- Is the protection supporting athletes as intended?
- Do athletes have a positive experience training in Blue Elvin?
This phase would be different from all others before it. It would involve athletes having the product for several weeks putting the products through rigorous testing, on their terms.
We hand-selected 15 women, meeting beforehand to learn about their training journey and share our ambition with Blue Elvin. We wanted this to be a two-way relationship, where we both felt aligned in values.
Testing period on their terms
We wanted to bring the 15 women together, over a few hours. To talk about our training, share in our experiences, and get a sweat on together.
We intentionally handed out products at the end of the day. Sportswear can be deeply personal and we wanted women to try on our products for the first time in the comfort of their own home.
They left, tank and leggings in hand, ready for three weeks of testing. This coincided with London going into Lockdown and gyms shutting. We extended the test period to six weeks and were overwhelmed with how our athletes were able to test Set 1. We saw barbell cycling, sweaty bodyweight workouts and plenty of running.
There were three common themes; performance, aesthetic, and distinction.
The protection surpassed expectations. The Set had a beneficial impact on workout performance. Athletes felt “empowered”, “powerful” and “more confident”. Athletes loved the fit of the products and the quality of the fabric, describing the Set as “sleek” and “slinky”. After initially being unsure about the exterior impact panels these became a favourite feature.
However, enjoyment of training in the Set was compromised by three things; overheating, pin-point bruising and the RHEON impact panels catching.
The tank was fairly tight-fitting and, combined with the positioning of the protection panel, left some athletes with compromised comfort during cardio-heavy workouts. Pin-point bruising emerged on some athlete’s collarbones as a result of movement friction with the RHEON impact panel. During barbell cycling the barbell occasionally caught on the top of the RHEON shin panels.
We listened and acted
We made three key changes following their feedback.
- Pivoted our protective tank to a sports bra. This was to ensure a more contour fit to enable the RHEON collarbone protection to stay in place during different movements and to provide better versatility across different workout types.
- Improved the fabric construction around the collarbone protection panel to further reduce any pinpoint bruising caused by heavy barbell cycling.
- Added a silicone print to the interior of the leggings to mirror the position of the shin impact panel to keep it firmly in place during barbell cycling.
Thank you to the 15 women who played an integral part in developing our products.
Take a look at the final Set 1 products. Products for Power.