Product standards as a barrier to innovation: the case of jockey’s safety vests

Lisa Giusti Gestri, Carolyn Barnes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review


Innovation is key to enhancing product performance and customer benefits, with designers having a core role in conceiving and actioning innovations in response to evolving conditions of use and customer needs. This paper discusses the scope for innovation in jockey’s safety vests in relation to the constraint of official product standards. The Australian standard for jockey’s safety vests, ARB 1.1998, has not been appreciably updated since the early 2000s despite a consistent rate of serious injuries to jockeys, grown in the number of females and the rise of smart wearable technologies in other sports and health. For this product category, those setting standards seem habitually unable to revise their norms, limiting product development to styling. We complete the paper with a snapshot of results from a program of user research, which shows how jockey’s needs and perspectives contest the existing standards for safety vests and could significantly inform product innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of DRS2020
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 2 Impacts
EditorsStella Boess, Ming Cheung, Rebecca Cain
Place of PublicationLondon UK
PublisherDesign Research Society
Pages838 - 852
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781912294381
Publication statusPublished - 11 Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes
EventDesign Research Society International Conference 2020: Synergy - online
Duration: 11 Aug 202014 Aug 2020


ConferenceDesign Research Society International Conference 2020
Abbreviated titleDRS 2020


  • jockey’s safety vests; personal protective equipment; product innovation; safety standards, design innovation

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