Master in product development (Product Design Specifications PDS)

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Theoretical Background

Design process

  • What is design?

“Design is a profession that is concerned with the creation of products, systems, communications and services that satisfy human needs, improve people’s lives and do all of this with respect for the welfare of the natural environment. Design involves problem finding, problem solving, analysis, invention and evaluation guided by a deep sensitivity to environmental concerns and human-centered aesthetic, cultural and functional needs” Charles Owen (2004).

  • What is a process?

A process is a serie of activities performed in order to achieve a particular result. Every process counts with an input and an output. In between these two stages, there is something happening, a transformation, called process.
Every process is different in itself, it depends on the results that want to be achieved and do not have fixed beginning or endings.
However, what they have in common are two basic stages; analysis where the problem is broken into parts for examination, and synthesis, where the situation is reassembled based on the study made during the process. It is very important to understand the design process and life cycle to achieve good results. The process followed determine the quality of the result in any kind of process.
A design process differs from the scientific method on the process followed. In scientific method, all the parameters of the problem are defined in the beginning in order to create the solution. Nevertheless, design processes may seem ambiguous compared to scientific methods because of the different paths that can exist between the phases.
Design processes are nonlinear processes, this means that some activities are suddenly necessary in different stages of the process and iterative, which means that it requires many cycles during the process depending on the needs in each moment. In some cases, it is necessary to have many loops but in others, it is not necessary to iterate. Generally, the more loops done leads to more successful results and less chance of failure for the process. [4]. By doing this, hidden parameters can be discovered and this leads to new alternatives and innovative solutions.

Design Approaches

While designing is important to take into account users emotions. If a designer does not understand users emotions, can generate unexpected responses from them while using his products. Understanding the emotional responses of product users can help in designing products that surpass the mere satisfaction experience. A way to improve design and design processes is to use the understanding of the relationship between users and

Theoretical Background

products. Designing better with this initiative leads to products that are easier to use, more authentic and engaging.
The different approaches when designing based on Pieter Desmet and Paul Hekkert (2009) article are:

  • User based approach to design: the creativity will arise from user’s emotions and experience. The design process has to be based then in techniques that involve the users in different stages of the design, such as idea-generation stage or product testing-stage. This approach intends to discover unknown, undefined or unanticipated consumer needs.
  • Designer based approach to design: the designer is the author and provides his design with his own visions and principles without taking into account the user’s emotions.
  • Research based approach to design: relationships between the product and users’ emotional responses are identified and evaluated thanks to a research and emotion measurement. It starts by a questionnaire in which users report their responses and using statistical techniques, the responses are identified.
  • Theory based approach to design: this approach is suitable for product optimization since it requires existing products and specific users in order to evaluate them. Cupchick (1999) distinguished three levels when evaluating products and improving the emotional impact in the users: sensory/aesthetic, cognitive/behavioral and personal/symbolic.

Design Thinking

Design thinking is a methodology; it is the process for creativity and innovation. There are different versions of the design thinking process depending on the stages defined for each of them. Each of these stages can be repeated and occurs simultaneously as explained in chapter 2.1 Design process.
In this project, it is going to be based in 5 stages: empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test, explained below. In all of these different stages, creativity is the essential element and it makes the whole idea to be in continue evolution.
This methodology is based on logic, imagination and intuition reasoning in order to explore the most suitable solutions for the stakeholder since it is a human centered innovation process.
Empathize:
“To create meaningful innovations, you need to know your users and care about their lives.” [8, page 2] This first step consists in understanding how people do things and why do they do it that way, their thoughts and needs. This is a very important stage since the problems that designers try to solve are basically other people’s problems. Designers put it in practice through observation and recognizing the different needs or manifestations of the users. A good empathize work helps to be more creative and see things from another point of view.
Define:
“Framing the right problem is the only way to create the right solution.” [8, page 3]
The main goal of this step is to clarify and focus in the problem in order to start looking for possible solutions. It is a way of arranging all the information gathered in the first step. Designers craft a problem statement to work on. This statement guides the designer to focus in the different needs of the user based on the designer’s new understanding of it. It also narrows the problem just to make easier to find the solution.
Ideate:
“It’s not about coming up with the ‘right’ idea, it’s about generating the broadest range of possibilities.” [8, page 4]
Ideation is about generating different ideas in order to solve the problem that the statement contains. It provides the main information to create the final solution. The more ideas the designer has, the better. It is about finding the most ideas possible so the designer can select the best one afterwards and work on it.
Prototype:
“Build to think and test to learn.” [8, page 5]
Theoretical Background
This stage is based on generating different artifacts that helps the designer to take some decisions while designing the final concept. It helps the designer to get closer to the solution. There are many ways of prototyping but all of them have in common that they are used to interact and communicate with the final user.
Test:
“Testing is an opportunity to learn about your solution and your user.” [8, page 6]
With all the prototypes that designers make during the prototype stage, designers solicit feedback from the final user to work again on their empathy and understand them a little bit more and find new solutions or possible problems. To be clear, it makes a better design. It can be made by testing with a physical object or simulating a real context of the user’s life.

Delivery

Delivery is an activity based on transporting goods from a location to a delivery point.

History of delivery services

Moving goods from one location to another has existed for several millenniums. The first recorded examples are from 2400 BC from Egyptians, who transported documents carved in to stone and materials to build the pyramids.

1 Introduction
1.1 Background
1.2 Objectives
1.3 Purpose and research questions
1.4 Company
1.5 Delimitations
1.6 Disposition
2 Theoretical Background
2.1 Design process
2.2 Delivery
2.3 History of delivery services
2.4 Logistics by bike
2.5 Code lock
2.6 Human factors
3 Method 
3.1 Gantt chart
3.2 Literature review
3.3 Stakeholder analysis
3.4 User studies
3.5 Image board
3.6 Storyboard
3.7 Task analysis
3.8 Functional analysis
3.9 Benchmarking
3.10 Ergonomic analysis
3.11 Brand analysis
3.12 Product design specifications (PDS)
3.13 Idea selection
3.14 Prototyping
4 Approach and Implementation
4.1 Project planning
4.2 Project brief
4.3 Emphasize
4.4 Define
4.5 Ideate
4.6 Prototype
5 Result 
5.1 Final design
5.2 Features
5.3 Technical specifications
5.4 Aesthetics
5.5 Prototype
6 Conclusion and discussion 
6.1 Discussion of method
6.2 Discussion of findings
6.3 Conclusions
7 References 
8 Attachments 
8.1 Gantt chart
8.2 Product design specifications
8.3 Sketches

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Master in Product Development with a specialization INDUSTRIAL DESIGN

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