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Question 1 Product analysis
This question begins a process of finding out about why people like some of the products they own or use. You will need to find one willing participant to help you in this task. It could be a family member, a friend, a work colleague or someone else you know. In your answer, refer to them simply by their first name and don't reveal any confidential information.
In discussion with your selected participant, identify one product that they like to use - a product that gives them pleasure from its design. This could be a product they use at home, at work or somewhere else. You will both need access to this product because you will be drawing and analysing it. Before choosing the product, read the whole question to see what kinds of work you need to do.
In order to keep the assignment manageable, it should not be a product that is large or complex - for example, a motorcar would be too large and complex. But your chosen product could be a part of a larger object - for example, it could be the dashboard with its displays and controls in a motorcar. On the other hand, it should not be a product that is too small and simple. It is important to choose a physical object rather than something electronically based such as computer software or a phone app. Prepare the following four pieces of work and send them to your tutor.
(a) Description and sketches
Looking at the selected product, describe it in words and sketches. Make sketches both of the complete product and of specific parts or details so that your tutor will understand your communication. Add annotation (labels and notes) to your sketches to identify the different features of the product. Your sketches of the complete product should fill at least one side of A4 paper.
Make sure your description refers to the physical properties of the product, including its materials, colours, dimensions and so on.
(b) Use of the product
Discuss this product with your participant. Communicate to your tutor how, when and why your participant uses this product and what they most enjoy about using it
(c) Four-pleasure analysis
Briefly define and explain Tiger's framework of four pleasures summarised in Block 2 Section 7.
Analyse the design of the product by asking your participant some questions based on the summaries found in the block. Explain what the product offers them in terms of each of the four pleasures.
Write a summary list of the product benefits that they find embodied in the design of the product (see Block 2 Section 10).
(d) Properties and benefits
Briefly explain how the physical properties of the product, identified in (a) above, contribute to the benefits identified in (c) above. (See Block 2 Section 7 for the distinctions and relationships between properties, attributes and benefits, and refer to Figure 44 in particular.) It is not acceptable to say that the participant could not explain this relationship. It is your task to conduct the discussion so that you are able to reveal how the physical properties contribute to the benefits.
Question 2 Guided design assignment
Imagine you have been engaged as a consultant to a manufacturing company that wants you to identify an area for a new product opportunity. You have been asked to prepare a design brief for a new product, suitable for handing over to product designers who will be asked to develop specific product concepts and proposals from your brief. You are not being asked to generate specific product concepts and proposals yourself - you are being asked to write a design brief that enables someone else to generate product concepts.
Choose the product type ('the business it is in') of the company that is engaging you from this list:
- personal hygiene or grooming (for example washing, hair cutting, shaving, nail care)
- products for the kitchen (kitchen accessories, utensils, cookware)
- DIY or home maintenance
- home office or study products
- audiovisual consumer products (hardware, not software)
- practical goods for babies or children (not toys). Choose one of the above as the product type you prefer to work with. Prepare the following four pieces of work and send them to your tutor.
(a) User research
Carry out some user research related to the product type and write a short report of this research. You can choose which research methods to use, but you should use and report on at least two different methods. For instance, your research could include a personal user trip or immersion in the use of the product type, or be based on observing other users (see Block 2 Section 6), or it could be based on using a focus group, questionnaire, lifestyle analysis or kansei engineering (see Block 2 Section 3). Your aim in this research is to identify areas for product improvement, product development or new product opportunities, derived from a user-centred approach.
A significant number of marks are allocated to your account and evidence of application of your research. This account should be a careful and full account reflecting your understanding of the research techniques and their appropriate application.
(b) User profiles
Briefly explain your understanding of a user profile.
Prepare a user profile for the product type you chose. (See Block 2 subsection 8.1 and especially Tables 2 and 3.) List the relevant characteristics of the user group or population for which you will be developing a design brief.
(c) User persona
Briefly explain what you understand by the term 'user persona'.
(d) Product idea and design brief