After more than 20 years in the range, the MÅLA easel is a real hero that millions of children have loved. But nothing is so good that it can’t be improved. So, we rolled up our sleeves and tweaked several important details. After that, we asked some parents what they thought of the prototype. Their input helped us make the easel even smarter.
“Through the years, we’ve got some comments on the easel. For example, that the paper roll was difficult to roll up, and that it was complicated to fold up and store away the easel,” tells Jorge Omar Santoyo Henaine, who works with product development at Children’s IKEA.
Together with the supplier and designers, we didn’t only manage to correct the problems; we also lowered the price and extended the drawing surface down to the floor.
“It makes it possible for the smaller children to reach a larger surface, and older children can sit down on the floor when they draw and paint.”
But was the easel good enough now, or could it get even better?
“To find out, we invited parents in a store to test and comment. This way, we could ask questions and listen to their reflections.”
Parents appreciated that the tray for pens, brushes and paint is made of easy to maintain plastic instead of wood. But they thought it should be on both sides so two children can draw and paint at the same time. And one parent said: “My child spills and makes a mess, I want to be able to rinse the tray in the sink.”
“It convinced us that it’s better if you can remove the trays. We want to make life simpler and more creative for both the children and their parents, and to succeed it’s crucial to involve them like we did that day in the store.”