Hang U

A home for all types of umbrellas

HangU is a re-design of umbrella stand. It revise the way we used to place umbrella and make umbrella stand friendly for different types of umbrella.

Motivation

Problem

Taiwan is a rainy country. Many public spaces would provide umbrella stands at the door for their visitors to leave umbrellas before entering. However most umbrella stands are designed for straight umbrellas. It’s hard to find an appropriate place for the folding ones, that they usually end up laying on the ground.

Use of umbrella

In fact, there are almost 60% of Taiwanese prefer to use folding umbrella in rainy days because they are more convenient in carrying. But somehow, umbrella stands didn’t follow up with this tendency.

Pollster Online Survey

Date |  02.08.2010

Confidence Level |  95%

Relative Error |  2.55%

Research

Competitives

Most umbrella stands on the market are designed for straight umbrellas.

There are designs taking the need of fold-up umbrellas into consideration, but people have to furl the umbrellas before putting them into the holder and thus get the hands wet. 

Going out with umbrella

The user journey shows the process of going to a store/public space on rainy day. This project would focus on the upper-middle part of the diagram, which is placing umbrella outside of the space.

Analysis

This map shows the forms of umbrellas, the ways of placing them, and the challenges in designing. Instead of dealing with substantial difference of the membrane sizes when closing, working on how to hang different types of handles seem to be a possible solution.

Objectives

The research yields these opportunities and constraints:

Universal

The stand should be able to carry different types of personal umbrellas, regardless of their shape. The most critical challenge here are the different sizes when umbrellas are closed.

Organized

The stand will be placed at the entrance of a shop or a public space. The umbrellas need to be storage in a good order to keep the facade tidy.

Unmistakable

It’s important to keep the umbrellas visible for users to find their umbrella in a short time, as well as not to take other’s umbrella by mistake.

Temporary

An umbrella will be stored on the stand for a short time on a rainy day (while its owner shopping in a store etc). The umbrella is wet when it’s put on the stand, and most likely still wet when it’s taken away.

Solution

Ideation

With the former research, I decided to hang the umbrella instead of putting them into a holder. This way, the different sizes/shapes of the closed canopies won’t be a problem in terms of storage. Also, the umbrellas are more orgainzed and easier to find when being hanged.

The form is designed to be simple, but at the same time provide enough usability signal of how to place umbrellas.

Different handles

The cylinder handle pass the circle hole, and slide along the rail until being hanged at the end.

The umbrella with crook handle can be hanged on the junction of the circle hole and the rail.

Prototype

I collected dozens of umbrellas and measure the size of different handles and shafts to find out the right size of the circle hole and the rail. Then, I made rough model out of cardboard to test if it works.