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Back Home Bar

Experience design & research over the course of 9 months

  The summary  


Back Home Bar is a universally accessible bar for people of all backgrounds, centered around inclusion for those with invisible disabilities.

 The elements 

  • product design (coaster prototype)

  • experience design

  • design research & ADA compliance


  How can I, through experience creation, make the world a more accessible place?  

In the initial three months of research and exploration, I mapped out my thought processes to present to peers for feedback and further ideation.

  • Do I go into a broad scope of a legal-based concept to solve the problem?

  • What's the goal? What matters most?

  • Diverge, converge–a bar concept?

Colorful visual map of thought processes

(Click image to expand and zoom in)

The goal/beginning

  1 in 5 Americans have a disability  

As I researched, I realized those with invisible disabilities are often overlooked from a design standpoint.


Note: These are reported numbers. It is likely the amount of disabled people is much greater.

The numbers are as follows (U.S. Census Bureau, 2017):  Total of 73.9 million young professionals in the U.S. (ages 18-34)  4.7 million of them have a disability  2.9 million have a cognitive disability  991,487 have an ambulatory disability  887,910 have a vision impairments  652,350 have hearing loss or are d/Deaf

  Problem #1:  

Bars lack proper structure for Back Home Bar's main demographic

The major problems bars pose:

  1. Those with autism like consistency and gravitate towards subject matters of interest to them

  2. Introverts or those with social anxiety don't necessarily like initial introduction

  3. Environment can be sensory overload with noises, lighting, and crowds

Two graphs side-by-side of the days of week people attend bars
Research results from Instagram poll of people's hobbies and interests

  Solution #1:  

A consistent weekly calendar of various activities to cater to many subject matters of interest 


Based on the research above, the activities chosen and created appeal to disabled and non-disabled people alike, which is the purpose of Back Home Bar.

  Problem #2:  

Bartenders dislike being waved down & main demographic feels awkward putting themselves out there to ask for service 

This is a common problem in the American restaurant and bar industry due to the culture and financial (tips) setup in the U.S.


  Solution #2:  

Unique coaster system with two main purposes:

  1.  RED LIGHT  = indicates that the customer needs attention to bartenders and servers

  2.  BLUE LIGHT  = indicates the person is participating in the daily social activity


The video here shows how the concept works.


The slideshow displays various stages of the process of ideation, research, model making, and the first working iteration of the coaster.

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