Design Project I (July 9, 2020)

My Learning from this course-

With the course, Simple Product Design, coming to a halt for now( the prototyping will be done when the situation favors and the institute re-opens), here’s a video consisting of my learnings from this course-

Every product has a large system surrounding it.

Each and every product that we can possibly think of is a part of a much larger system. All the components of this system are interdependent on each other.

It can be considered as a widespread web of components, where every component affects one another in a certain way.

So, sometimes, the actual problem lies not in the product itself, but in some other component of the web to which they belong. The solution of a problem might not necessarily be a product.

Embrace ambiguity when it approaches you and ‘Trust the Process!’

Yes, this is the biggest learning I’ve had in this course. The term Ambiguity or indecisiveness has been generally feared of. In this course, there was a lot of ambiguity in my mind. I wasn’t able to picturize the end product for a very long time, since the course started. A lot of times, I would even doubt the selection of the product I had made. But, as my guide Kuntal said,” Don’t think about the outcome as of now, just follow the process”, I just went on trusting the process, and was at the end able to come up with a good idea.

When you are not sure of a particular thing, you tend to find more information about it. That’s how ambiguity helps! Because of not being sure of a particular solution, our mind is open to all the possibilities without any bias.

While conceptualizing or ideating, think ‘laterally’!

Most of the times, when we think of a problem, we very quickly come up certain solutions. While doing so, we also come across some seemingly hypothetical ideas which are crazy.

Now, the most common behavior would be to discard them, because they don’t seem feasible. What I learnt through this course is to let them in! Give them sufficient time to ponder upon. We cannot possibly think of in which way a particular idea might be useful.

This helps in having a variety of ideas, which broadens our field of focus. So that we can connect the dots and draw parallels between different ideas.

Designing a simple product is not so simple after all

With the product being simple there a lot more constraints attached to it. This requires us to look at a lot of factors such as semantics, ergonomics, material etc. with respect to the constraints that the product has. Incorporating all of them into a product which is simple in terms of function and looks was quite a task. That’s when constraints came in for help. Constraints seemed to be more like a set of guidelines whilst coming up with ideas. They made the job of coming up with a simple product a lot easier by eliminating certain things.

Most of the times- A creative solution is like a convex lens! It converges the parallel solutions existing in different domains, into a single solution.

I did a parallel product search during my research. That’s when I realized that partial solutions to a particular idea are already existing in some different form. You just have analyze them, and take what is required. That’s how connecting the existing dots, help in the generation of a new idea!

Acknowledgements

Also, I would like to thank Kuntal, my guide for the project, for guiding me well, and taking me through the entire process of designing a product, with all the things to keep in mind, and most importantly, helping me build trust on the process itself, not thinking of the outcome. Not to forget my fellow batchmates, for constant feedback on my work.

I would consider this design project as a good foundation, onto which, I would surely build upon in the upcoming future! Cheers!

Experience Designer, NID-AP