Simple Product Design

Isha Nadkarni
19 min readMar 2, 2022

Isha Nadkarni

National Institute of Design, Andhra Pradesh

Industrial Design, Semester 4 ( Batch of 2022)

Course : Simple Product Design

Mentor : Kuntal De .

The Peeler

Date: 1 June 2020

Peeler has a simple function as well as a simple mechanism. It’s parts include a metal sheet and a handle. The metal sheet has a slot , which has one sharp edge and the other edge prevents the blade from cutting too deep into the fruit.

To start with, our mentor told us to imagine our products in their simplest form and what could be their complex forms.

For me the simple form would consist a flat blade with a slot which will have a sharp edge and the other edge will stop the peeler from going in too deep. Therefore it will function as the peelers which are present in out homes right now.

When I thought about a complex peeler, what if a peeler can peel a fruit as well as slice the fruit? So below as you will see, there is a protruding blade from the peeler’s main blade which will slice through the fruit. Apart from that the peeler will have a normal slot which will help peel the fruit.

This exercise helped me to understand that if we were to really think about it a product can be broken down to a simplest of all form and it can also be made into a complex form.


Date : 2 June 2020

Why is purpose important while redesigning or designing a product? when we think of a purpose, i.e why we need a particular product , because when we define a purpose for a particular product, we sometimes automatically define the user. It also sometimes helps us understand the context for using a product, which helps us in many ways.

So this brings me to today’s brief, we had to make 3–4 purposes and had to sketch them out in three storyboards without using any sentences.

The product which I have chosen is peeler, so I tried to push boundaries of the peeler. The purpose of peeler is to peel the skin of thin skinned vegetables or fruits. Also peeler’s mechanism is pretty simple, with a slot which has one sharp edge , which peels and the other edge prevents it from letting it go any deeper into the vegetable or fruit. So i have tried to redefine the basic purpose, by tweaking the basic mechanism.

Instead of explaining the purposes, we were told to make 3 story boards for each purposes and were not told to use any sentences. So following images does the same.

Understanding the purpose of a particular product and breaking out of that purpose is i think important, because if we can’t break out of that then most probably we never can make different crazy products.

Design Brief

Date: 4 June 2020

We have arrived at a stage where we have to make a design brief, which will lead us in a particular direction.

Peelers have only existed for thin skinned fruits and vegetables. Hence i thought to stir away from the thin skinned fruits and vegetables, and go towards Jack fruit.

“ The jack fruit will definitely become the most sought-after fruit in the coming years in India” says Shree Padre, a farm journalists who has done extensive studies on jack fruit.

He says about 60–70% of jack fruit gets wasted in India. In times of food shortages Jack fruits are going to be our saviors, since it can grow even in harsh conditions, says Mr Padre. Today most jack fruit is wasted, since it has a biggest curse. It is hard to harvest, cut and peel. A person who is unfamiliar with peeling of jack fruit will take 5 hrs to come to a stage where jack fruit is ready to be cooked. The very preparation of Jack fruit is very time consuming and hence people generally avoid this great fruit.

If the process of cutting and Peeling is made less time consuming there will be more intake of jack fruit.

So by taking all of the points into consideration, following is the design brief :

Design a peeler which facilitates effortless peeling of Kapa jack fruit, to make the process less time consuming.


The above link was last visited on June 3 and June 4.

Process mapping

Date : 7 June 2020

As discussed in my previous blog, I have decided to head towards designing a peeler for Jack fruit , so that the process of peeling and cutting of jack fruit becomes less time consuming. For this I had to understand the whole process of cutting and peeling of jack fruit. Thankfully I had a jack fruit at home.

There are six basic steps of complete preparation of jack fruit for making its ‘sabzi’ or curry.

  1. Application of Oil on hands.
  2. Cutting of jack fruit in smaller sections.
  3. Cutting/Peeling of prickly skin.
  4. Separating bulb fruit from the fiber strands.
  5. Separating seeds from bulb fruit.
  6. Crush the half cut seeds and peel the skin.

Now that the basic steps are well defined, we had to question what could be the challenges , because that would make us more aware of the whole process.

These questions help in understanding the whole process in more detail. This was important, because without understanding the whole process we might not know the exact reason to design a particular product.

Through this whole thorough understanding of process of cutting and peeling , I understand why the whole process is very time consuming, and why people tend not to eat jack fruit that much, which makes me want to make the whole process less time consuming by designing a peeler for the jack fruit.

Search Research

Date: 10 June 2020

Research is the phase where we know all about the existing product and how it affects our day to day life. To conduct a proper research we need research goals. These are important because they lead our research in a particular direction.

The research goals are as following:

  1. Finding out tools and methods used for peeling /cutting of jack fruit.
  2. Identifying different types cutting sizes for different types of jack fruit dishes.
  3. Understanding the whole anatomy of jack fruit.
  4. Locating places where jack fruit grows abundantly and understanding the role of jack fruit in the daily lives of people in these places.

Tools and Methods


Today jack fruit is widely cut with knife. While cutting with knife there are different techniques used.

  1. Removing the prickly skin first and then cutting the jack fruit in to different pieces
  2. Giving a spiral cut all over the jack fruit and then removing the whole skin, and along with the skin fiber strands also come out leaving the bulb fruits attached to core.
  3. The basic process where the jack fruit is cut into halves and then the skin is removed.

Automated Peeling Machine

in this machine, jack fruit is attached using two rods at the two ends. There is another rod with a peeler mechanism. The jack fruit spins and the peeler peels the prickly skin off.

Jack fruit Dishes

There are many jack fruit recipes that exists in this world. In India alone we can find recipes that range over curries to fritters to sweets. Jack fruit is so versatile even Jack fruit Biryani is cooked in some of the places!

Both ripened and unripened jack fruit are used in variety of dishes. Ripened jack fruit , as we all can guess is predominantly used while making sweets and Unripened jack fruit is used for curries and pickles.

The reason it was important to know the recipes is because, to make these recipes jack fruit is cut in different sizes and pieces. And to understand the cut and pieces i had to look for the jack fruit recipes and came up with two predominant ways in which jack fruit is cut:

  1. Squares or Rectangular cuts: in some cases these cut pieces are boiled and smashed to make a dry masala dish.
  2. Thin slices

Square cut is mostly predominant for curries and pickles. Square cuts are mostly cut when bulb fruit and seeds are not developed fully. For unripened jack fruit with fully developed bulb fruits, we have to deal with a very meticulous process of separating bulbs from fiber strands and seeds from the bulbs.

Above are the images in which jack fruit is mostly cut ( second image and third image). The first images shows boiled jack fruit which is smashed, which gives illusion of shredded chicken while eating.

Since Ripened jack fruit is often made in to paste and used in variety of sweets , so it also has to go through a very meticulous process of separating the bulb fruits from fiber strands and seeds from the bulb fruit.

When the seeds are separated from the food, seeds can be boiled or roasted. Seeds can be ground and used as a substitute for wheat flour. Jack fruit is truly a very versatile fruit.

Locations and Lifestyles

Jack fruit is a tropical fruit. It is believed that its origin was in India and then it was cultivated throughout tropical lowlands in South and Southeast Asia parts of central Asia and Eastern Africa.

Jack fruit is very Indigenous to rain forests of Western Ghats of India.So indigenous that a tribe called as Kaani tribe uses it for many purposes it does not let any part of jack fruit tree to go to waste. They use the jack timber for making furniture, the gum secreted by old jack fruit tress is also used as medicine, and many other. This whole tribe is sort of depended on jack fruit tree for their daily life.

It is important that I have to know this because this tribe views the jack tree in a different perspective and I have to learn to look at the tree in the same perspective.

Anatomy of Jack fruit

It is important to understand to understand the anatomy of jack fruit because it will help us understand how the product will get its form. We need to understand the thickness of the peel, how are the bulb fruits are attached and many other things.

Jack fruit is a multiple fruit,i.e it is fruit formed from a cluster of multiple fruiting flowers. Hence jack fruit is formed from the fusion of ovaries of multiple flowers. The fruit consists of a fibrous white core which is 16 to 30 cm long and generally 3–5 cm thick. Attached to the core are the bulb fruits which are almost 10 cm long. Bulb fruits contain seeds which are 2.5–3 cm long. Jack fruit’s skin is called rind and is 1–2.5 cm thick. Apart from the bulb fruits and core, bulb fruits are covered with fibrous strands.


Above links last visited during June 8-June 9

Parallel Products

Date: 14 June 2020


During this research we are told to look at different product that do do somewhat same function as the chosen product.

So when we look at the parallel products, we first have the consider the basic function that the product does. Since i have chosen a peeler, I have to understand the basic function of the peeler.

What is basic function of Peeler?

The most basic task that a peeler can perform is to separate this layer of skins of vegetables and fruits from the flesh of the vegetable and fruit.

So it comes down to the process of separating two layers.

So I started looking at some of the different peelers which perform the function.

These peelers have same basic function, which is to separate two layers, but they are used in different contexts. For example: the corn peeler does not peel any skin, but it separates corn from the core, hence performing its basic function but in a different context. If we look at pineapple peeler, though its form is not same as basic peelers, but it still follows the basic function, it separates the flesh from the thick skin.

Today there are automated peelers which are used in households in which the fruit is clamped and rotated and a handle with a peeler blade peels the skin of the vegetable.

But apart from the fruits and vegetables peeler when I tried to find where the function might be used or is useful, I thought of Bark peelers, which separates the the bark of the tree in process of formation of timber.

If we are looking at function then we could also look at our hands which very efficiently perform the function of peeling garlic.

Parallel product research helped me see that a function could be same but it can used in very different contexts and how we can relate these contexts to our own contexts.


Above Links last visited during June 11 — June 13

My User

Date:14 June 2020

In very simple terms, User is a person who uses the product.

It is important to find a proper user group to understand the needs of the the said user

Now, What is a User group?

A user group is a group of people with same interests, who use a particular product service.

While choosing a user group we need to define their characteristics ( age,sex, job type etc), and their pain points.

When I initially thought about my own user group, I started with the question, Which age group is jack fruit most important to? Then I came up with the answer that all age group require jack fruit, since it is has many health benefits. Then I thought about my product, which is a kitchen utensil, so ultimately the one who will use the product,will be the one who cooks, It can be both male and female, it can be a person who lives alone and cooks, or it can be a person who can cook for the whole family.

After all the above considerations, i came up with the initial age group of 25yrs — 75 yrs. But then i started to think about different contexts and common pain points, which helped me narrow down the user group age.

Common pain points while peeling a jack fruit:

  1. The whole process is very time consuming.
  2. While cutting a Jack fruit a lot of force is required.
  3. The whole process is very messy.
  4. While cutting jack fruit the milk secretion gets stuck to the hand, if oil is not applied

Now that the common pain points are mentioned, i had to look at different contexts, which gave me user groups.


Newly married working couples, who live in metropolitan cities. These couples are busy and hence get really less time to prepare food. So if they were to cook jack fruit, it would too time consuming for them .Their age group would be 25 yrs -75 yrs.


Working Middle Class Indian mothers,who live in Indian Metropolitan cities,have to come home and cook after a long day a work. They might not have much time to cook also since they also have to look after their children and also the whole household. Age group 30 yrs — 55 yrs .


Retired Parents, who live in semi urban areas,whose children do not live with them, sometimes are weak and are not healthy. Age group 60 yrs — 75 yrs.

After a discussion with my mentor, i decided to go ahead with context of Working Middle Class Indian Mothers. Now that being decided, we had to do the contextual analysis , so that we understand the constraints of the said user group. This contextual analysis is also sometimes known as user persona.

Working Middle Class Indian Mothers:

Age group: 30 yrs- 55 yrs

Job Profile: Assistant General Manager, ( at a private bank like Yes Bank)

Family: Married, 2 children ( aged 9 yrs and 12 yrs)

Location: Indiranagar, Bangalore

Bio: XYZ is an Assistant General Manager, a post which sometimes demand long working hours, and she often have to stay late at her office. Since her office is 8 km away from her home, it sometimes takes her almost an hour for the commute because of the infamous Bangalore traffic. She gets home and cooks dinner for her family, since she is the only one who can cook in the family. She gets frustrated with the fact that she has very less time for dinner preparation, since she likes to give her family tasty but healthy food.

Goals: To quickly cook healthy but tasty food. To cut down the preparation time.

Pain Points(while preparing jack fruit):

  1. Time consuming, she is a very busy women and she needs her preparation time to be cut down.
  2. the whole process is Messy, she is already tired with whole days work and she sometimes doesn’t have energy for cleaning.

Personality: XYZ is very hard working at her job and is career oriented. She is very out going person and loves adventures.She exercises everyday and she wants a healthy lifestyle.She also loves her family a lot and hence strives to make them food that will keep them healthy.

Frequency : She eats jack fruit, once or twice every jack fruit season. It is less because of the above mentioned pain points. It also depends on the availability of the jack fruit in the market.

I have tried to break down the context of my user as much I could to understand the user set.


Date: June 16 2020

Now that we have defined our user and have done most of the research, the next step is of feature building. We started with looking at the research as a whole and had to jot down the keywords that will define our product, these keywords help us with the conceptualization of the product.

After looking at the whole research, following are the key words that i came up with:

  1. Peel
  2. Safe
  3. Firm
  4. Smooth
  5. Rotatory
  6. Spiral
  7. Angular
  8. Covered
  9. Oil Emitting
  10. Efficient
  11. Pine
  12. Steel
  13. Quick
  14. Slice

Second set of keywords :

The second set of key words help us in seeing the first set from different perspectives.


Date: 22 June 2020

We have started to conceptualize, here are the few concepts that i have sketched:

Following are the videos which show the use of sketch models

After a few more feed backs and suggestions i further developed some of my concepts

The one with oil storage and peel storage:

The one with attached blade and the storage:

The one with removable lid:

After a discussion with my mentor, I decided to improvise the one with the removable lid. So instead of removing the lid to throw away the peel many times, I thought there could be an opening at the back that will make it easier to throw away the peel. Hence i came up with the following concept.

In this concept there is opening provided at the back to throw away the peel and also a hook like grip. The blade is at the front which is covered so that the peel can be avoided by the user. The peeler with come with an oil applicator which will have a roll on ball for easy application of oil. This concept focuses on making the whole process clean and easy. Again after a brief discussion , I finalized upon the above concept.

Rough Orthographic Sketches
Scale drawing of the Peeler
Scale drawing of the Applicator
Isometric sketch of Peeler

I decided to add two blades because it will be more easy, since the jack fruit peel is a bit spiky. So the first blade will help in scraping the tops of the peel and then the second blade will completely peel the skin.

Blade positioning
Isometric Sketch of Applicator
The Whole
Material Render 1 — Wood (Pine)
Material Render 2- Stainless Steel
Material Render 3- Matt Plastic
Material Render 4- Transparent Plastic
Try Outs

Digital Render

Pine Render

Steel Render

Transparent Plastic Render

How do I use the Peeler ? (part 1)
How do I use the Peeler? (part 2)

As mentioned in the above video during the whole project, I felt that research is very important than the solution, because research is where we understand and recognize the issues regarding the product. Understanding the issues then help us to come up with a solution. The other key learning was that, the product should be able to communicate with the user.

During the whole project I also realized that , every person has his or her own set of intuitions , based on which he or she sets their own respective goals and research about it. Design Project is a whole new and different experience for each and every student.



Isha Nadkarni

National Institute of Design, Andhra Pradesh, I am an aspiring Industrial Designer.