My friendly focus group

For the past few months, I've been obsessed with sewing. (So much so that my sewing machine, ironing board, fabrics, and threads have all invaded our guest room.) I've bought patterns for purses, but for some reason, I can't stick to a pre-made design -- I have to use my own. This means my iPad and Kindle bags have been evolving (in a positive direction, I hope). 

As I described in an earlier post, I used feedback from two "beta" users -- my parents -- to fine-tune my Kindle bag design. Last week, I showed my friend (and Kindle user) Jean my latest bag. She had more good advice. Loose the flap, she suggested, and stay away from magnetic closures. Instead, use a narrow band fitted through a loop. 

To improve my iPad bag design, I interviewed another friend, and very loyal customer, Wanda. I asked her about what she likes and dislikes about her favorite purses.  Her top beef is a shoulder strap that won't stay put. Next is a floppy bag -- she likes structure! Her must-haves include interior pockets and a zipper top. 

Sherri Hauser, owner of Seattle boutique Tasty, gave me some good advice on my iPad bags when I brought them to her shop to sell. I was surprised when she chose the simplest bag as her favorite. Here it is:
But she said the pockets were too small for her phone. She wants to see more large interior pockets. (She did like the fact that the fabric matches the strap.)
I've made a bag that fits the bill, with plenty of interior pockets, big pockets on the outside, and not too fussy. 

Finally, I continue to poll friends and family about what they want in a bag for their cell phones. Early on, I made lots of cute wristlet bags. Fans on Etsy love them, but no one will buy them. I think they're not practical. 

What do YOU look for in a cell phone bag?