Personally, I found this project interesting for a number of reasons. As a product designer, I have little experience with digital systems; so this was an excellent opportunity to explore a different discipline of design. It’s also interesting to work with different people in a group project, learning how they work and how they express their ideas, and the team working skills that I’ve gained can be applied to industry.
The key terms in this project helped direct the product development. While the idea of Ubiquitous technology is interesting, I feel modern smartphones are currently sufficient in delivering constant access to information. Therefore, I feel our final design reflects heavily in the area of Ambient Intelligence; enhancing the user experience through a physical gateway to the digital world.
Through the course of this project I’ve developed my skills in user focus through the need to identify a persona. I’m very interested in form and aesthetics, and this project gave me another opportunity to explore this area, and to make the form fit the persona and function whilst remaining an aesthetically pleasing product. Also during this project I was able to make use of 3D printing for the first time, which involved the group creating a full model in SolidWorks. Rapid prototyping is often used in industry applications, and it was informative to experience the process first hand. For the final presentation, I put together a poster showcasing our final design. My Layout was simple so as to focus on the product, but it contained no sense of scale for the user to relate to. I feel the group as a whole communicated well with a group page that everyone had easy access to, to share ideas, photos and documents. Other skills I feel I’ve developed include usability, design practice and self-reflection.
Other improvements to future projects would be to further integrate every group member into every aspect of the project, instead of assigning tasks then putting it all together at the end. The group time-keeping was off at times, with the project starting slow, then turning to a rush of work. It would also have been good if the LED circuit for the model had not broken before the final presentation, therefore more practice at soldering and circuit making will be needed for future projects. Finally, I feel researching into more depth in and around the subject area can only improve knowledge and produce the best possible work.
During the course of this group project, I’ve got to know the other group members a lot better, and because of this we had a good group dynamic where we got the work done, but still had a friendly atmosphere.
My contribution to the group consisted of writing the design brief, contributing concepts, as well as creating part of the Solidworks model. Specifically by creating the side logos that can be seen on the sides of the YouCube. After we finished the Solidworks model, I helped in creating the physical prototype. This included 3D printing the design in the workshops and then creating a simple parallel circuit with 4 LED’s so that we could show our product illuminated. I also contributed towards making the promtional and explanatory videos, which I shot with help from Jacob and Jack.
I feel that throughout the project, the group had a fairly balanced workload, with each of us being delegated tasks to be completed. If someone was struggling with a part of the work, we would help out as a group. However, as the group spokesperson, I did not do a good job of communicating to the lecturer how our group was progressing, as well as making sure that work was delegated properly. Also I believe that my use of time could be improved greatly as sometimes I forgot things or was not organised, therefore wasting time going to fetch materials or documents when I could have been working.
As a group member I did research in digital eco-systems, did four concepts plus sketching too. I put all my effort as a group member including I did mind mapping, mood boards. And we all did a fab job so credit goes to everyone and I hope we will do in future as well.
Throughout this assignment I believe that I’ve worked to the best of my ability, providing work of a good standard and have been willing to do any work required for the group. One of the main reasons the project was such a success was down to organisation. I, as well as my group members had a structured plan of what work needed to be finished and when it needed to be finished. In the design stage of the project I gave a lot of suggestions towards our digital ecosystem, giving my opinion on other people’s designs and which ones worked best. For this assignment, we divided individual tasks between our group, I designed 5 initial concepts, 2 developed concepts and a final design drawing. I also created two detailed research sheets, a questionnaire to help us narrow down our design concepts and understand our target market, and as well as this in the design development stage I created a concept selection graph to make our decision easier of which idea we would take forward. However one thing I think could have improved on was the frequency of group meetings. I believe that I could have arranged group meetings more often and could therefore look over each other’s work and give our opinions and possible improvements. As well as this I believe I could have added a few more concepts to our project, as once we had seen one idea that everyone was impressed with, I believe I focused too much on that and didn’t believe any other concepts could match up to it. Overall I enjoyed the project, it helped show our creative sides and working in a group helped us express our opinions and open up.
For this assignment what I did most specifically as well as influence key decision as well as the rest of my group, I sketched 18 initial concepts, 3 more detailed concepts, made the first CAD model of the product, recorded the audio for the video mad the questionnaire summary and generally assisted all of my group members.
What I thought was good about the project was that working in a group really helped to simulate ideas and comment and suggestion form other people greatly helped with the development of the product and for my own work I had to do.
What I thought I could have improved on was my actual involvement within the group it seemed at time I found myself with little to do and was unsure of what I and to do as far as completing the project. So therefore if I was to do this project again I would get involved in more of the group activity the gat a greater understanding of what is required to complete the project.