Last post we ended deciding between the pick keychain and the protective shirt for contemporary dancers. After a SYDER meeting, we decided to start developing the…(drums sound)…
This week we started working on it. First of all, we found which was our specific customer. We decided to focus the product only on contemporary dancers, even other types of dances like hip-hop have similar injuries. After this decision, Kaja started speaking in deep with her friends who are contemporary dancers. All of them were extremely excited about our idea, and they couldn’t wait for us to launch the product. It was a positive beginning.
It was time to start building the entire product. We started deciding the name of the brand. “Safe and dance”? “Baila”? “Danza”? We liked the last one. DANZA. What does it mean? Danza is the Spanish translation of the word dancing. We asked some people and they like how the brand sounds.
We defined the costumers, the name of the brands, now we needed to start building the prototype. So, we began making sketches according to the areas that contemporary dancers frequently hurt. After some research, we realized that the shoulders, shoulder blades and the spine are the areas that they mostly get hurt.
The next step was to prepare all this information for the Dragons’ Den. Which is an event that we will have next week during the class where judges from different areas will hear our product ideas and ask us any question they have. We have to convince them that our idea would succeed. For this reason, we have to practice a lot and leave the judges speechless. We mustn’t leave any question without an answer. We have too much work to do….
After last Friday experience, it was time to start all the way over and came up with new ideas. We had a team meeting at my place on Wednesday. We started speaking about last class presentation, after that, we did a new brainstorming saying all the problems that we or our friends and family have. After some pizzas and beers, we choose three products to create.
The first one was a guitar pick keychain. Thanks to Vivian`s music bandmates, we knew that losing the pick for guitar players was a big headache. And having them on the guitar cover or any other place, it would be easy to lose them. Keys are a thing that all of us always have with us, that’s why we choose to make it as a keychain.
The second one was a portable ashtray. In London, both trash baskets and ashtrays are hard to find. These make people throes their cigarette filters making a dirty and more contaminated city. Also, if a police officer sees you doing this, they will fine you. This portable ashtray was compact so you can carry it on your pocket or bag.
And the third one was a protection shirt for contemporary dancers. Kaja is a contemporary dancer, and every time she practices, her shoulders, and lower back area were hurt. This made her stop training every day because she needed time to heal the wounds. It was impossible to practice with such pain.
We couldn’t decide which idea was better. That’s why we let the class decide. Instead of presenting one idea, we presented the three of them and wait to see the reaction of Janja and our classmates. During the presentation, we were confident, we had three ideas so it was hard not to find the correct one. We started speaking about the pick keychain and most of them liked it. After that, we explained the portable ashtray. Our classmates were excited about the idea because even if they don’t, they know someone who smokes and would need this product. But, after some discussion, we realized that selling a product that is made for smokers (which is a habit that everybody tries to reduce) wouldn`t be well seen. In the end, we present the contemporary dancers’ protection shirt. They loved it! Even some of the classmates wanted to have one ASAP.
After the presentation, we had two ideas that had survived: the pick keychain and the protection shirt for contemporary dancers. Which one should team SYDER choose? You will find out on my next blog post!!
I just arrived home from uni. I`m exhausted!! Today was an amazing day. My team SYDER and I did the first idea presentation for the Design Thinking for Start-ups class. During the last weeks, Alice teaches us how to create products to solve people problems. She taught us how to find these issues and think like the people that are facing them.
On Tuesday, we have our first group meeting outside the class. Sheng-Yi, Vivien, Kaja and I went to Kaja`s flat during the morning and started the meeting. The first thing we did was to brainstorm the ideas we already had. During the previous two weeks, we wrote down every single problem we found out in our daily life. After 4 hours of debate, we decided that the problem we should focus was crowded underground platforms. We realized that on peek ours, when you get off the train, it`s really hard to quickly find the way to the exit or even to make connections with other lines. These platforms are so crowded that, for the first 10 seconds you can`t see any sign to know which way you should go.
To solve these issue, we came up with the idea of painting lines on the underground platform floor, so when you get off the train you can instantly follow these lines to your destiny. Why on the floor? We thought that everybody watches the floor while getting down the train to make sure not to stumble. The color of the lines accords to the train lines or exits. For example, if you need to make a connection to the Piccadilly line, you must follow the blue line on the floor.
We did sketches, draws, we practice the speech, and after 8 hours of meeting, we went back home. During the way home I stayed 20 minutes at Covent Garden’s platform making sure that every train stopped on the same spot. And fortunately, every single train stopped on the same place, so the lines on the floor would always be able to be seen by the travelers as soon as they get off.
Friday arrived. I woke up a little bit nervous. It was my first presentation in English! We met with the team 1 hour before the class to ultimate details. We were ready. After some groups, it was our turn to present. We started speaking about the problem and, with the help of some classmates, we did a representation about the situation. Whit real underground sounds, Kaja and I acting as travelers, the classmates being other travelers, and Sheg-Yi and Vivien acting as rude people, we recreate the “crowded station”. The acting was funny and the class was relaxed and ready to listen to our idea. While we were explaining the solution, I could saw the approval expression of the classmates and the seat with their heads. Janja, which was her first class teaching us, was also happy with the idea.
But… there is always a “but”. Having a constructing conversation with Janja and the rest of the class. We all realised that it was very difficult to make profits of this idea, given that it is not a product that we can build and sell. Even we all agreed that the idea was amazing, we also agreed that it would be very difficult to negotiate with TFL (Transport For London) to include our idea. So, for next week we should think of a new product. But I know SYDER team can make it!!
At the end of the day, I believe that this experience was enriching. Even we couldn`t make our idea real, we grew up as a team, we had a new presenting experience altogether. And for next week we will be more than ready to success!!
Yesterday, at the Design Thinking for Start-ups class, Alice gave us the task to find how to improve the Business School building making it easier to navigate for people using wheelchairs. So, to find solutions in the best possible way, we did a “bodystorming”; this technique consists on physically experiencing a situation to understand the users and create new ideas.
We were divided into teams and the bodystorming started. We took turns with the rest of groups to perambulate through the building pretending one of our team members was using a wheelchair. To made-up this situation, we took a computer chair. Without our help, she was supposed to go to different places inside the building like the coffee shop on the ground floor, the bathrooms on the 2ndfloor and back to the classroom on the 3rdfloor
During the route, we realized that the building wasn’t 100% adapted for disabled people. The first problem we faced happened as soon as we exit the class. While we were going to the elevator, we came up with many fire security doors that were too heavy to open for someone on a wheelchair. The next problem was coming back to the class and trying to pulling the door, it was again too heavy and almost impossible to do it in one single movement. The last issue that we find was when trying to seat at the class tables, we realized that the wheelchair wouldn’t fit under it, so the person must take his own desk or table.
To solve all these problems, we redesign both the building and the wheelchair. In the case of the building, we came up with the idea to draw some lines on the floor to show disabled people the shortest and fastest way to go wherever they want. We also thought about an app including a map of the building that can make it easier. And about the wheelchair, we designed a sketch that solves some problems I mentioned above, like being shorter to fit on every single table. After the experience, we presented our ideas to the rest of the groups. It was my first bodystorming and actually, I really enjoyed it. It gave us the opportunity to put us on others shoes and realize how disabled people make huge efforts to go to anyplace.
Last week we went with the entire class to the Design Museum’s exhibition: “Designer Maker User”. The exposition included designed items viewed through the angles of the designer, the manufacturer and the user. During the exhibition, we saw really interesting things such as a prototype of the new London tube train, a wall including old TVs, radios and video games, and even a section where all the Apple products released in their history were exhibited.
But in the last sector of the exposition, I saw what most caught my attention; a huge 3D printer. For the ones who don’t know this product; this printer, guided by computer software, lays down layers of material into a particular shape creating a three-dimensional object. I had seen 3D printers before but this one was massive! While I the machine was working, I was thinking on how this new technology could modify the industrial production.
ABS plastic and PLA are the most popular materials used by 3D printers. But imagine improving the printers so they can support metal or iron as printable materials! This would change the way products manufactured nowadays. Big factories would be replaced by medium size sheds with just space for a 3D printer and a warehouse to stock the products. And the big quantities of employees would be replaced by a few software operators to control the production. This would generate less manufacturing cost and fewer employees for the company, so the price of the products will decree dramatically.
Every time that I think about this kind of innovations, I get worried about the number of workers that would lose their jobs. So, what could be the next step to improve the manufacturing industry without affecting the workers?
Here I am again. Getting used to this “blog thing”.
Last week at the Design Thinking for Start-ups class we had a group assignment. We were supposed to discuss in pairs about problems that arise when you want to give a present to someone. Then, we had to build a prototype of a certain product that solves the issue that our partner was facing at that time.
I formed a group with my friend Siddarth. We started interviewing each other asking when was the last time we made a gift, which was the purpose, who we made it to, which was their reaction, what went wrong, etc.
My partner`s story was hilarious. He was about to move from India to London and he wanted to make a farewell gift to his best friend Goutham. The thing was that Sid didn`t tell him that he was moving to London until the day before he left! Because he was waiting to receive his student visa before telling everyone. So, he planned to make a photo album full of memories from both of them, as they were best friends since primary school. As soon as his visa arrived, he went to Goutham`s house to give him the album in which Sid had put so much effort. But things didn`t go as well as he thought. When Sid gave him the present and told the big news about moving to London the next day, Goutham got really angry because he didn`t expect his best friend to tell him that he was moving just one day before leaving. After some explanations, Goutham decided to forgive Sid and spend the whole day helping him packing for the trip.
After hearing his story, it was time to think about finding a solution to his problem. I realized that sometimes is really hard to give the right message when you’re trying to make a gift. And even more when you are in another city or country. This kind of moments are very emotional and you can struggle while you are trying to give an apology or an explanation. So I focused on finding a better way of giving gift messages and also making the entire process simpler. That´s why I created an intelligent gift box that can speak for you. Once the present reaches its destination, the receiver can watch a personalised video about something you both shared or just a video of you signing the happy birthday song. You can choose within two types of boxes. One that comes with a screen on the top of the box (prototype 1) for the fancy ones; and another one, not that pricey, with a QR code printed on the gift tag (prototype 2). Also, you can add a message or even a picture and add to the present your own personal touch. By the way, you can reuse your fancy box for future presents! And also, all the boxes can be delivered worldwide.
We were supposed to build our prototypes in class with Legos and objects that our module leader Alice gave us. At first, I spent five minutes thinking on what to build, and as soon as I got an idea I started looking for the materials. I took one yellow sheet of paper, two big elastic bands, the box where all these materials were and my smartphone. This is when I made the first prototype. Then I thought about a cheaper option so that’s when the prototype 2 idea came to my mind.
I wish this project becomes real one day. Emotional presents are a big deal for me and giving the right message is really hard. I do believe that sometimes the message is even more important than the present itself. So, I hope that this invention helps people to have better experiences at the time of giving a sentimental gift.