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:
- Michelin: Create a unique product for MICHELIN that would provide real life assistance to high risk motorists in a roadside emergency situation.
- The Body Shop: Design a contemporary range of packaging for The Body Shop that unites their brand values with the premium nature of the products.
- Oxfam: Present an idea that engages support for Oxfam by triggering shared values and concerns in a wide range of people.
- E.ON: Engage generation “Y” in a relationship with E.ON that champions new ways to use energy in the home and empowers them to enlist others in an energy revolution.
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.