Urban Testing Project

Research Team: Selvan Thandapani, Rich Woodbridge
LEAD Centre: Centre for Development Finance ( CDF)
Focus Area: Environment and Climate Change
Project Geography: Chennai
Status: Completed


The Rural Market Insight group conducted a study of rapid prototyping and user testing on the Base of the Pyramid (BoP) households located in urban areas in Chennai. The study served to explore whether the findings from product tests conducted on urban BoP users could be applied to designing and prototyping new products targeted to rural BoP users.

The hypothesis was tested through the three step process of Research, Testing and Evaluation. The methodology consisted of first testing an existing improved cookstove targeted to the BoP, following which the researchers product-tested a BoP-targeted solar lantern. Lastly, the researchers designed, prototyped and tested a BoP targeted product concept not yet on the market.
The successful results borne from these case studies yielded actionable design insights and resulted in further research being carried out in this area.

Related Resources
BRIEF – Can Urban User Testing Labs Evaluate Rural Solar Lighting Solutions?
BRIEF – Can Urban User Testing Reveal Relevant Insights for Rural BoP Consumer Energy Products?
BRIEF – Can urban testing inform the prototyping of Rural BoP products?