by Number One | 20170130
Time to get the wheels started turning on your Design Project. I'm Edison and I'm here to help with that.
Your first step on this process is to understand the roadmap to where you're going. Number One has a short video to give you an overview of that map. He'll be talking about the rubric, which you can load from the Mezzanine in the Building Directory, or here for quick access.
Now that you have a map, your next step on this journey is to start defining your problem. If you're having a touch of trouble with this, here are a few questions that may help spark some ideas:
- Is there a product that you could improve for a hobby or interest?
- Is there an item that you use every day that could be improved?
- Is there an item that could be adapted for disabled people or young children or the elderly? or another group of people?
- Do any of your friends, teachers, or relatives have a problem you could solve? (Ask them!)
- Have you noticed anything about CAC's campus that you think should be fixed or improved?
- Does one of the global problems appeal to you? How could you make that problem a local one, with specific people you could talk to about it?
Once you have jotted a few problems down in your design notebook or online portfolio, it's time to have a chat about them with Number One.
Now that you've picked a problem, it's time to start writing up your description of it. To do that, you need to really analyze the problem. One of my colleagues wrote up a short document to help students do this (it's aimed a students a bit younger, but not bad in spite of that). Or here's one way I might analyze it:
- First, write down a rough description of the problem. This isn't your final draft, it's just a first attempt at defining the problem.
- Write a list of the key phrases about your problem, based on that rough description.
- Now explain each of those key words or phrases. It may be helpful to do this as a mind-map, so you can easily capture your thoughts and see connections.
Once you feel you have a firm idea of the problem, it's time to do a little research, then write. You want to collect evidence (websites, quotes, articles, pictures, reports, etc):
- describe a genuine, appropriate problem
- explain why there is a genuine need for a product solution (this should not be personal)
- survey, interview, photograph, or otherwise document your users having the problem
- collect any other information about the problem that seems relevant (brochures, pictures, articles, IDEO observation, etc)
- justify why solving this problem is important (this may required further research on how many have this problem)
- describe how this problem leads to an opportunity to design a solution (either a system or a product)
You may choose to write this up in a Google Doc or a Google Slides document. Word/Pages/etc. are not acceptable because they won't save a history of the comments, suggestions and revisions. Docs allow for more fine-grained comments and revision histories. Slides are easier to format. Either is fine.
Write your problem identification and then share it with Number One. If you already shared it previously, please re-email a link to the document for him, so he's sure to notice it and take a look (if you only update and then expect him to notice, you'll likely be disappointed).
Once you've emailed your document/link to Number One, you've completed this part of the job.
Ok, Visitor. That's off for review. Now it's time to get started on Criterion A.2: Researching the market and users. Get busy!