This is the 2nd project now where the topic of design has been very up to date and in someways futuristic. With the 6 of us in a group, we were fortunate enough to all have a different view and a different approach to the project. All of us enjoy different hobbies and we tried to use this when creating a suitable design for mobile phone symbiosis.
Group Website http://www.behance.net/gallery/Mobile-Phone-Symbiosis/5907299
This particular part of the project we brainstormed ideas before we chose our persona. This was an error as it turns out because we had no focus point as to who we were designing for. We came up with concepts like a 360 degree camera or a high end tracking device but had no body to design it for. With this, our group had to backtrack slightly and come up with our persona. Our persona was a 35 year old doctor who struggles to find the time to enjoy the things he wants to do like spending time with the family, travelling or even keeping an active healthy life. So to solve his crisis, we came up with a phone case containing a set of sensor scanners that would collaborate with the users smart phone to get a quick and accurate result and then store the information in the hospitals network. Once, we had our persona, the ideas were continually flowing. The whole group contributed creating multiple designs that we believed would solve our personas problems. In terms of originality, the only thing that even came close to what we designed was a prop made in a popular sci-fi television series.
User and user ability
As stated in the previous competency, the user we came up with was a busy middle-aged doctor struggling to find some down time with the family. So, with this in mind, making a simple product to use was key. All the doctor had to do is log on with a password, scan the patient and then receive the accurate diagnostic. We tried to make sure that we didn’t have too many parts to the product, so we embedded the scanner into a case for the phone. This way the doctor can walk around comfortably and have easy access to it by keeping it in his pockets. In looking back at the project, I feel like there was a bit too much going on in the scanner and that perhaps if we developed it for 1 specific purpose (e.g sex clinic checking for the obvious). That way a multiple range of scanners can be developed. The user persona we came up with was a little bit last minute. Because we were trailing behind, we needed to catch up quickly, hence why the persona was a little last minute. The majority of the group put a lot of effort into catching up with this part of the project and had we not, we would have struggled to make the final presentation
Form and Aesthetics
The form was mainly to be designed around the phone. The screen size was important for us so we decided to look into the market of mobile phones so we could pick one to design our case around. A wide variety of current cases had a built in battery power pack which we thought would be appropriate for our scanner (seeing as it would take up some power to use). Because we were designing for a doctor, we decided it was appropriate to incorporate the red cross in our case with a rubber grip to avoid dropping the product. This section of the project I felt was done very quickly and fewer people were starting to put there input in, including myself. I guess the reason for this is the other projects we had on the go left the desire lacking for this project. I understand this isn’t a profesional way to attempt a project and a client wouldn’t care but with 5 assignments on the go, it was difficult to keep up.
Modelling, visualisation and communication
Fortunately, we were fortunate as a group to have confident designers when creating the visualisations. David Forster was our group leader and had a good skill in Solidworks to create our rendered design. For the final presentation, we communicated our ideas through an instructional commercial video. We thought that it wasn’t necessary for the whole group to say anything because we said mostly what we wanted to say in the video and using the previous groups as an example, I feel like whenever everyone speaks in a group, the order will get jumbled and the infamous awkward pause is generated. Along with the video, we intended to discuss a little bit about the advertising poster that we created but failed to clarify behind it. We had a comment in the presentation saying the poster looked like ‘a rave’. We didn’t intend for that to be the case, I feel like we intended on putting it around hospitals to make the hospitals look better than the plane white walls. Also, the groups website said I wasn’t involved in the app design. I felt this was a bit harsh as I was involved in developing it, just not the final rendered design.
Design method and practice
The distribution of the workload created by our group leader, David Forster, we were able to have a sufficient distribution of workload. Admittedly, It wasn’t evenly distributed entirely, but the without one person we wouldn’t have completed the project. The team leader was a fantastic help in the project and as you can see, contributed more activities than anyone. However, my own opinion and I think he would agree, he tended to take a bit too much. The concepts method was a good method. Everyone had to initially generate ideas, come back to a meeting and then choose a few and develop more. This method enabled us to continually narrow down the best design, develop it more and then narrow it down again. In terms of tools used, a simple pen and paper sketch was used, then using solidworks, adobe illustrator and then photoshop. The tools we used really helped us communicate our design a lot easier
Self assessment and criticism.
During this project, I felt I grew a bit more as a designer. As part of developing my skills, I practised using SketchBookPro to generate random sketches (as seen in previous blog posts). This showed my commitment to me wanting to develop my skills. However, I feel some people in the group were stronger using some software than others. And it was the stronger people who used that software to generate the designs. I think it should be the weaker people using them as it will make them grow more as a designer. I personally felt like my contribution towards the latter stages of the product deteriorated due to reasons mentioned above but my overall contribution I felt was key to the project. My skills as a designer has improved like my sketching on CAD software. I feel that the project was a good success, I know people were taken back when they saw our presentation video and I believe that if we had more time for the project, our time management and our workload distribution would be a lot more even and effective.