How the diabetes community helped design KYT

Nov 27, 2023Bridget Scanlan
How the diabetes community helped design KYT

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: the insights of hundreds of people with diabetes went into our KYT Collection.

But I haven't really explained what I mean by that, have I?

KYT started with me and my leather sewing machine. I had this hunch that if I made a few bags that looked like cool, contemporary handbags — but redesigned the inside to organise and store diabetes equipment — someone might be interested. 

After creating many duds followed by a few prototypes, I took some pics and shared them on social media. I also started connecting with diabetes associations, to see if anyone would be interested in giving me feedback on the bags. Turns out, people were keen to chat!

I met people in person; talked to parents and partners; joined group meetups in other cities; and Skyped people (remember Skype?) from all kinds of countries in the wee hours of the morning. Soon enough, I had a bunch of insights, recommendations and requests that gave me enough confidence to develop and launch our first crossbody bag.

Once our first design was out, I launched straight into designing the collection of bags that we have now. This happened through a research roadie, where I visited people all over New Zealand (and kept calling people overseas in the wee hours of the morning), hosting design workshops to understand what kinds of bags people most wanted next, and why.

This is how a community of generous and clever people created KYT. I'm eternally grateful for their help, ideas, and early belief in me.

I'll leave you with some pictures of the design research roadie, and some of the best design suggestions I've heard along the way:

  • Loren gets full credit for suggesting that we put a double-zip on the diabetes half of SideKYT and SideKYT+.
  • Sam was the genius who suggested a detachable trash pouch – game changer! 
  • John told me all he was looking for was a cool accessory small enough to strap to the front of his motorbike, which was the start of StarterKYT.
  • And the prize for best story goes to Chris, who said he was sick of wearing cargo pants as the best way to carry his diabetes equipment! 

Keen to join our design community and put your suggestions in the mix? Please get in touch

Bridget xx
Designer & Diabetic

More from KYT

So, what the heck is diabetes?
Oct 23, 2023
My attempt at explaining what it's like to live with diabetes.
Our first ever bag designed for diabetes
Dec 18, 2023
Introducing KYT Crossbody: our very first diabetes bag that turned a hunch into a business.