The Thinkinside Thermometer

The Thinkinside Thermometer is a DIY cardboard, flat-pack, infrared thermometer for kids. The product can be used as an educational resource to promote interest in STEM.



Redesign the out of box experience for an infrared thermometer using design research methods.



We interviewed 12 users aged 8 - 71 unboxing a variety of infrared thermometers. We created journey maps for each user. We then listed observations, problems and needs to form our design guide.

Most of our observations were concerning the packaging of the infrared thermometer.

From our observations, problems and needs we created a design guide and filtered it to focus on the key user needs.


Most users skip instruction manuals and prefer to figure out how to use the thermometer themselves.


The design of the infrared thermometer and its packaging doesn’t have enough signifiers and natural mappings to allow the user to rely on their intuition alone.


This means the instructions are necessary to understand certain features. However, the manuals are often cluttered, badly arranged, difficult to understand and overall not user-friendly.


Most users throw away the packaging and manual after using it meaning it’s difficult to retrieve information if needed afterwards.



From our findings we came up with various solutions and novel ideas. One idea I had during this process was a cardboard thermometer.

How can the out of box experience be reimagined to be adventurous and exploratory?

Stream of consciousness to generate ideas.

What if the packaging was the product?

Learn by building

Spark interest in STEM

Potential in developing markets


Development Sketches

Proposed Design



I began making prototypes of the cardboard thermometer. The first model was used to test the form, the second for functionality and the third was a working model that I tested with a user.

Model Alpha

Model Beta

Model Gamma



Final Design

After gathering user feedback, I finalised the design and made renders in Photoshop. The flat-pack is pre-cut with adhesive pre-applied so no tools are required.

The flat-pack is pre-cut with adhesive pre-applied so no tools are required for assembly.

User Manual

The user manual is minimal, informative and has an app inspired design with quick tabs.