Product Design for Johnson & Johnson

Product design of Women's Rogain Foam to help with enabling correct usage and encouraging continuous usage.

The Goal of the CMU Women’s Rogaine Team is form insights and guiding principles/design recommendations to enhance the experience of using Rogaine for Women. The overall objective is to provide design solutions that will allow significant improvement in Rogaine usage by establishing expectations, and encouraging correct usage and increased compliance.


Develop a novel, breakthrough concept for Johnson and Johnson that enhances the experience of using Rogaine for Women. “Significantly improve outcome through focus on ‘first time right usage’, maximizing the impact by means external to the product itself.”


• Limited awareness of hair loss and thinning
• Incorrect product use
• Unclear expectations of results
• Complex consumer journey


Aaron Kurth, Chenyu Wang, Kana Panchmatia, Peiyun Chen, Ruolan Xia

My tasks

• Conducted different research activities to understand the users and to test the designs
• Generated different concepts and built prototypes for different design concepts
• Designed the user interface and built prototypes of the user assisting app

Process Overview

The project had been lasted for more than a semester from initially engaging with the Johnson & Johnson ( J&J ) team to deliverying the final results to liscensing to J&J. The amount of work will be displayed here may be too much to go through all of them. Therefore, the following diagram demostrated a summary on the general process of the project.

Click the image to navigate to the corresponding section

Phase 1 - Identify the Initial Product Opportunity Gaps

With the purpose of identifying opportunities for Women’s ROGAINE®, we conduct background research on the product based on the information shared by Johnson & Johnson and other information avaliable on the internet. The insights are concluded in six aspects: Who, What, When, Where, How and Why.Furthermore. These insights are used to catalyze the identification and development of Product Opportunity Gaps (POGs).


Even women outside the target group (“Youth seekers” among 35 - 54) requires more attention.According to the survey, women in their late 20s also experience hair loss problem. But more than half of them spend less ten minutes of their daily routine on hair care. That will lead to the result that they have higher potential to have hair loss problem when they enter middle age. And it will also be very difficult for them to build the habit that doing hair care carefully and patiently.


Users have a hard time knowing they have a problem and selecting the product. It is also hard for them to apply the product correctly. Through social media research, some people are willing to share their experience of using the product and recommend it to their friends, however, on e-commerce websites like Amazon, Walmart, and eBay, customers’ critiques on the product have been observed. People are complaining about the hard usage and the results.

When & Where

Users don't understand the journey, don’t know when they have made progress, don’t understand necessary steps and don’t understand/trust the science. Through a “Walk-a-mile” simulation to identify ease of acquisition in local stores, it was observed that the time taken to locate the product varies in 2-10 minutes. And in some store, Rogaine was locked up, that cause barrier for customers to buy. Don’t have good communication with local business stores to find a best way to show the products.
In users home, the product is usually placed with other beauty products, especially the spray/mousse ones. However, since Rogain should be used differently from a spray/mousse to ensure the user experience over time, putting Rogain together with the different spray/mousse could be a potential risk that users may use Rogaine in a wrong way.


Users are not inspired, may lack confidence, don’t have an authentic experience with, aren't motivated by, don't experience joy while using Rogaine - positive emotions. Many people have a failure experience with hair loss product before, so it is common that many doubt about the effectiveness of product at first. And through the usage, if customers have a wrong expectation or the effect can’t caught up with their expectation, they can be very easily to quit the usage.


Users do not use Rogaine correctly and it is hard for them to consistently use Rogaine for months everyday. They often take breaks due to cost, slow-showing results, etc. According to phone interview with Bliss Salon, the most important issue to ensure the effectiveness is using it every day. So if the customers don’t use it consistently, they will definitely fail in seeing the effect. In addition, if they do not apply the Rogaine correctly on the scalp, it will be hard to see the product be effective.

Initial Prodcut Opportunities Identified

Product opportunity gaps exist in terms of helping both Johnson & Johnson and target customers to deal with the challenges and problems faced by them. As can be seen from the diagram, there are different challenges faced by each party. The major challenges faced by the company includes effective customer communication chain, stigmatization of Product and etc. From the perspective of target customers, challenges includes finding the suitable solutions, overcoming anxiety & confusion, compliance with the instruction and etc. By identifying the major challenges through researching and analyzing both internal and external factors, studying and discussing the 5Ws, generating and filtering the potential opportunities through various carteria (seen in appendix) the final product opportunity was selected: ensure correct usage.

After identifying the most important POG - "Ensure correct usage" and secondary POG - "motivation and momentum", more indepth research activities are planned and conducted.

Phase 2 - Intensive Research Activities

Initial Research

Salon interviews, forum Search, websites search, youtube search,and walk-a-mile have been done to get a basic understanding on how to addresse on the POGs identified to help users use Rogaine correctly and be more motivated. The following diagram mapped out the level lf motivation neede by the user across the user journey.

Primary Research

Intensive user interviews, stakeholder interviews and other research methods have been applied to better understand the users and their needs and wants.

Picture the user

Users Respondents - Who are they?
The following graph shows aho are the participants in the different research activities from direct users themselves to people who related to the users. Personas are generated based on the research to picture the user. Several insights are also identified to inspire the design.


By learning from the users about their underlying emotional and rational drivers for different decisions and the values that are important for them, we come up with the design guidelines to direct the concept generation.
For "Perceived Risk":
Must clarify science behind ingredients; demostrate cost vs. value of product over time.
Should show development and sourcing of ingredients; help users find the best deals, consider lowering prices at certain time periods to satisfy frugal customers;
Could give breakdown of ingredients to be more transparent; prevent unwanted dispersal of product;
For "Lifestyle Fit":
Must communicate the importance of hair regrowth while not highlighting vanity; easy for the users to apply in a quick and managable way; follow mental models established by other products for quick adoption;
Should reduce use of Rogaine as a numorous element; design ways to make the application proccess quicker and able to be done anywhere to break out the limitations of daily routine;
Could consider a new brand name to develop a new image for women's Rogaine; consider how it could be done at the same time as doing something else;
For "Feedback":
Must provide certain level of feedbaacks besides the hair regrowth to complement the slow waitng process;
Should create more layers of information to reduce overload; develop a way to help user use only as little as they want;
Could design ways to simplify the process and instructions; give a custom dose for each person considering surface area needed to cover.

Phase 3 - Concepting & Prototyping

A solution that communicates the product’s benefits, features, functionality, and impact in order to solidify and engrain first time correct usage.Help the user correctly use Rogaine in an intuitive and effortless way.

Initial Brainstorm

Exploring the Selected Direction

Experience start from the moment of touching the box

User Emotion Journey Map

By comparing different considerations including time, efforts needed, requirements from J&J, limatioins, marketability, we selected the most preferred ideas which have addressed on the key painpoints. We decided to work on the current Rogaine from the unpackaging to the using process to address on the panipoints which make the current Rogaine hard to fit into users' lifestyle and bring the confusion and preceived risks.

Box, bottle, accessaries, services

Concept Selection

By learning from other products, conducting research on the market, conducting several rounds of concepting and prototyping, the best ideas are selected based on different considerations, including ease of use, intuitive, durable, feasible/viable, whether can address on the 1st time right usage, cost, manufacturability, security, stability, implementation of range of motion, compatibility with other products. The design solutions including different parts to help with dealing the painpoints in the user journey.

Fine Tuning


We explored the different color combinatoins for the box to test the different emotional feelings that the color would bring to the users. Special thanks to Ruolan for creating the beautiful graphs of the box. Different orientations of the box have also be explored. We moved the instructions to the wider side to give more space to users to quickly walk through the instructions and to fill the communication gap.


Rogaine need to be used "90 degree upside down" to ensure that the foam can be consistent from beginning to the end of usage of the bottle. Since required by J&J, we can not directly change the nozzle or the bottle, we created the sleeve to make people use rogaine easier. The sleeve will make it more natural for people to use it as a "pen" to be upside down instead of using it as a normal spray. We had created differnet designs of sleeves, 3D printed them and tested with users to find the best fit.


Phase 4 - Testing & Validating

Several rounds of usability tests have been done to make adjustments and improvements to the design. The shape and material of the grip on the bottle has been changed to be more comfortable, instructions are modified to be more intuitive as well.

Final Design


User Research Skills
The semester long project involved a great amount of user resarch and design activities. I have greatly enhanced my skills in terms of planning, preparing, conducting the research and sorting the information collected. It was a great experience to learn about how to use different methods and deal with different users to learn more about the users and the challenges.

Team Work
It can be frustrating sometime during the long design and research process. Conflicts and misunderstanding can happen especially in a team where people are from different professional and cultural backgrounds. I have learnt during this process how to work better in a team to let everyone make the best use of their expertise and how to promote communication to bring people onto the same page.

Design Skills
Through this project, I have learnt how to condcut more prodcutive brainstorm session and evaluating different design concepts. My skills in terms of 3d modeling, graphics and visual presentation have also been sharped.

Learn from others
It was a great time to learn from the experienced design team from J&J, learn from my teammates, learn from experts in beauty product industry. I was so excited to have the oppotunity to expand my horizon and skill sets.