As part of our series looking behind the scenes at the Prestige evolution, we wanted to share some sketches that document the move from idea to product. Looking at Triumph’s first concept document, it is clear that this product came to life through many small decisions.
First, in consultation with users and experts: what features are most important? What are the best and worst things about current products on the market? What tasks are you trying to do and what features will help you do them best?
Then to expert advice on materials and design. What kind of materials will work best for various elements? Where does plastic need to be rigid and where should it have some give? What method of folding would be easiest for transport and storage? What structures will make the easiest conversations from rollator to wheelchair? Should it fold from front to back or side to side?
Over many years and variations, the Prestige has slowly come to life. Adding an inch to the armrest. Finding a longer bolt so that one part attaches more closely to another. Testing multiple plastics until a new technology became the obvious choice for the durability yet flexibility of the backrest.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the sketches that tell the story of the Prestige:
Most people have seen a rollator in profile, but not this way. Have you ever stopped to think about the relative size of the front and back wheel, what impact that has on balance and sturdiness?
Add a feature to switch from rollator to transport chair and the thinking becomes even more complex: how to balance the same device in two different ways? In these sketches you can see the experimentation with configuration, a study of the device from different angles, pencilling in different wheel sizes.
And orange–a colour that was ultimately discarded in favour of stylish blues 😊
Backrests, armrests and seating
When designing a mobility device, you not only have to think about how to make each element perfect but how to make them work perfectly together. Sort of like that old song about the hip bone connects to the thigh bone connects to the knee bone.
In the case of the Prestige, creating the unique flipping motion on the backrest involves considering where to attach that element on the chair in relation to the armrest, which also relates to the positioning of the brakes.
With the armrest itself, decisions include how high to put them, how long to make them, and what material matches comfort with durability. Which decisions will best help support the user transition to standing?
With the seat and backrest, which incline is most comfortable in each of two configurations, both rollator perch and transport chair? Whereas most combo devices just make it the same, Prestige designers decided on a deeper seat for the chair for added comfort. Another difference that makes the Prestige stand out.
How to make a brake handle
For rollator handles, the advice from customers was key: make it comfortable. And simple to use.
At the design stage, that means thinking about shape, height, angles, and materials.
First, the brake handle itself needs to be ergonomic and comfortable. Then the handles need to be adjustable in height so your taller caregiver is not slouched as they push in transport chair mode.
Then you need a smooth flip from rollator to transport chair mode, in the case of Prestige literally the case of opening a flap, turning the handles 180 degrees and then locking again. Then it’s how to make it all come to life with the right mechanism.