Draft boards for the D&AD project. A few minor changes are yet to be made but it is nearly there.
Three weeks into this semester seems like an ideal time to talk about this modules project. After the shambles that was last semester, it is refreshing to be back on a project where you are not put under as much pressure. This should mean that the work produced should be better.
The project for this semester is based on ones set by D&AD for their student awards competition. We had a choice of 4 set by different companies who sponsor the competion:
Of the four briefs, I chose to do the one set by Michelin, as it was, in a way, about cars, which I like… very much…
Week 1: In the first week of the project, we sat down in groups, depending on the brief that we had chosen, and discussed the brief. What were they asking us to do? What sort of situation might you be in? Have we been in an accident or other roadside emergency ourselves? After this we were given a week to carry out as much research as we possibly could regarding the company and what sort of area we might like to focus on. I contacted a few roadside emergency services, such as the AA and the RAC asking numerous questions, from which I got no response*. A questionnaire was also constructed and posted somewhere where I knew I would get numerous responses and I was not disappointed. The results given were rich in information and provided a deep insight into what people thought. This along with masses of secondary research gave huge amounts to work with, which was useful for the following week.
Week 2: At the start of week two, we went into the groups once again and discussed what we found out. This then led onto the brainstorming of various different ideas to get us thinking. Different insights and scenarios were also thought of so the idea generation could be continued on as we saw fit. Group discussion over we were to go away and in the style that is synonymous with the product design course here, we were to come up with 100 ideas (which I don’t think is the most effective way of idea generation) for the following week, but this time in the format of an A0 sheet and not a sketchbook as this was thought to make the process easier. In fact it made it a little more awkward. I had the sheet stuck on my wall in my room, and was planning on recording it just to show the process of the 100 ideas but the time it took, eventually led me to scrap that idea after only a small amount of time recording.
Week 3: The 100 ideas were whittled down to 3 and the sheet was handed in. The three ideas (shown below) had to be decided and developed over the course of this next week. This along with a first draft of a scenario board had to be completed in the short space of time. As of this moment in time, I am quite far on in the development part and have pretty much completed the scenario board, which says how the product might be used by the user, and this is, as far as I am aware, at a further point that most other people on the course. The idea which was chosen after receiving feedback from a number of people, was the idea of a high visibility flag or flap which hangs down from the bootlid of a car. This would make the car and driver much more visible when they are broken down at the side of the road.
*The no response was in regard to that week that the research was needed. Today (February 4th, and well into week 3 of the project) I received an email from the RAC with their responses to my rather hastily put together questions, so thank you to them greatly, albeit a bit late.
Part of the main product design module this semester was for the NCR Student Competition, held with a number of Product Design Courses at Universities in Scotland. Having been one of the ones chosen to go through and present at the final event, I pulled out due to the amount of other work that was needing to have been done for the course at that particular time (amongst other reasons).
The following boards show what my final idea was. The basic concept was for those living in rural india to be able to record, share and view other videos on a device aimed at helping those with their own small business advertise themselves to try and increase their income. It was called RECORD.
Again, this post is about something which I found online. I should really stop doing this as, well, it probably isn’t the best of things to be doing when I could be getting on with some sort of work.
How many of you out there have an iPod Touch or an iPhone? Well this post is probably most relevant to you then. A while ago, someone posted a link to this site on Twitter, can’t remember who it was so I am unable to give them credit for it, but nonetheless, it is a site dedicated to showcasing all of the, or what are considered to be the best produced and designed applications in the iTunes App Store.
app.itize.us has a mission statement which is as follows:
app.itize.us is a painstakingly curated presentation of the best produced and designed iPhone applications that are available for download via the App Store.
I agree with every word in that sentence, figuratively speaking of course.
A few weeks ago whilst on this site, browsing, I stumbled across what has to be my favourite game I have ever played on my iPhone or iPod Touch. Colorbind. Essentially, the aim of the game is to connect all the dots on the screen with the coloured strips of paper. It is an utterly gorgeous game which probably wouldn’t work very well on any other platform. It is a good way to let the time slip by. In a lecture, before going to bed, if you have nothing else constructive to do, or even if you should be doing something else.
There are 80 levels in total, ranging from simple one colour puzzles to more complicated 4 colour conundrums. Included is a tutorial, but the game seems very intuitive from the very start. I highly recommend this game, it is without a doubt the one of the best 59p’s I have ever spent. Slight update, I seem to have got the game when it was at its discounted price, it is currently £1.19, but it is still worth the little extra money.
The website for Colorbind is nonverbal.ch
Link directly to application in iTunes: Colorbind
If you own an iPod Touch or an iPhone, or if by the time you are reading this, an iPad, then I couldn’t urge you more to go to app.itize.us and find something which is considered to be wonderfully designed. On top of that I am going to say definitely buy Colorbind, well worth the money, even if you aren’t sure about buying it, there is also a lite version, but why waste time and install that when you could have the full one instead?
If the internet is to be believed, then in the next few days, Apple is set to announce a tablet computer. Essentially a large iPod Touch or iPhone, the tablet is rumoured to share many of features with the two mentioned devices. It will have a touch screen with much more advanced multi-touch and a 10.1″ screen.
For a long time it was speculated that they would enter the netbook market. A market which has grown hugely in the past few years. The tablet is also not too dissimilar in size to these netbooks.
Whilst I am still not 100% sure what I think of this rumoured product, I personally think someone has thrown a curve ball and we are in store for something much more interesting. On top of that, I would like to see a new iPhone, with new features and better specs, a greater step from the 3GS than the 3GS was from the 3G. This is because, unashamed, I would like to replace my iPhone 3G which I have had since launch date, and this is on top of me stating I would keep using it until it dies.
Going back to the ‘iSlate’, as it has been dubbed (rubbish name in my opinion), one of the tablet related issues I am most interested in, is its exterior design, the way it looks. The basis of this, I believe, will depend mostly on what operating system it uses. A modified iPhone OS, or a modified OS X system. If it is the iPhone OS route, it will primarily be portrait oriented interface and exterior design, and horizontally if it is the OS X route.
Since I did a reasonable job guessing with the Magic Mouse , I’ve had a shot at what I think the tablet would look like. Guessing it will be a mostly landscape device, I have made it look not too dissimilar to the iMac. It even has a Jay Leno/iMac G5/Intel chin on it. There may also be a possibility that it has a stand on the back so it can be angled on a desk, in a similar sort of fashion that the iBook G3 had a handle. The back of the device, I think will be the same sort of shape to the iPhone 3G(S), but if it isn’t, then it probably will share many design cues with the next generation iPhone, rumoured for the summer. There isn’t too much to play with on touch screen devices due to the current technology, in terms of shape since it needs to have a completely flat surface for the screen, hence why all, or most of these touch devices look very similar.
And on that note, I leave you with a video of Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer being asked to sign a MacBook Pro, quite funny, if maybe only for the geekier side of you.