Fall prevention on slippery roads

Northern Europe experiences harsh winters, often with roads and pavements covered in ice or hard-packed snow. Being a pedestrian in such treacherous conditions can be nerve-racking, with the risk of bumps and bruises or even broken bones. Fall prevention equipment from Nordic Grip by Unikia, and designed by EGGS, makes it far easier to stay on your feet when venturing out onto slippery surfaces.

User insight revealed need for specialised products

Initially Unikia briefed EGGS for two types of ice grippers. One set of durable grips for running, and another set for walking that could also be used indoors. Through an iterative product development process and systematic mapping of user insights, we quickly saw the need to develop specialised versions for different user groups and situations. This aligned with Unikia’s philosophy to create specified products with a singular purpose, that are easy for consumers to understand and relate to.

In May 2016 Circle K started the process of converting over 2000 petrol stations in Europe from the Statoil Fuel and Retail branding to Circle K. Here from the launch party in Oslo on May 10, 2016.

Ideation, prototyping and testing, and back

The design process was very hands on. Ideas were physically tested out from the beginning, involving constant prototyping with card, paper, rubber, spikes, stapling and gluing, and then experimenting directly onto various shoes and boots. This iterative process, from ideation to prototyping, testing and then back to ideation again proved successful as poorer solutions were eliminated, whilst good ideas were taken further.

All the grippers are made of high-quality materials and durable spikes, or other anti-slip materials.

Process innovation with the manufacturer

From the start we closely collaborated with the manufacturer in Taiwan, and were engaged in integrated innovation processes. This ensured an effective and rational manufacturing procedure. Frequent feed-back throughout the whole process guaranteed sensible manufacturability. We also challenged proposed production methods, resulting in process innovations in moulding with three different materials in a single sequence. Working together lead to an optimized quality and detailing of the final products.

From nowhere to market leader

Nordic Grips were launched in 2012, and within three seasons have gone from being new on the market to becoming the world leader of ice grippers. So far, they have been sold in over 40 countries, ranging from South Africa to Mongolia.