Over the course of this project, through workshops, tutorials and additional practice, I have developed a range of manual sketching, drawing and rendering techniques. Although these skills still have room for further improvement, they have improved hugely and I look forward to further bettering these over the course of my degree. The development in these skills can be seen clearly in the difference from my original sketches in my sketchbook/portfolio through to some of my final developments and designs. I now have a range of new knowledge and techniques when it comes to communicating my ideas on paper for instance, perspective drawing, something I’d never previously heard of, I can now apply as a skill in order to improve the visual of my sketches. Render markers and pastels are also tools I’ve never used not to speak of using these as a tool for rendering, something I also previously couldn’t do successfully. I can now use rendering as a skill of giving some 3D form, visual and perspective to my sketches. The images below of some of my work from this project show the development of these skills from the beginning of the project to the end followed by images of my practice work of these skills during both workshop and my spare time.

During this time, I also began learning and developing some other sketching skills and techniques such as drawing both orthographic and exploded views of products as displayed in the images above.

I now have the ability to evaluate 3D form and ergonomic issues in a responsible and safe manner through the production of soft models. Prior to this project, I had never worked with blue foam in a workshop but, after attending relevant workshops and tutorials, I am now able to produce 3D soft models in a responsible and safe manner in order to evaluate form and ergonomic issues having been assessed and had my workshop passport signed off with regards to the relevant knowledge and machinery. I have also attended workshops in terms of working with card too, in order to complete the same skill/task. I was impressed by how well card models can actually look/help evaluate 3D form and ergonomic issues when the correct techniques are applied in a responsible and safe manner.

During this project I also learned the skill of understanding the role of the User Centric Design Process in product development. Some things I was already aware and capable of carrying out for instance some primary and some secondary research methods however, I was unaware of the sheer scale of the host of methods available, I was certainly introduced to a whole new world of research and development methods in terms of understanding the role of the user centric design process in product development.  I now know and understand these methods and am able to apply them when appropriate as part of the product development process.

In this case, I think we thought we had a good idea of the camping market having only done some basic secondary research. However, when it came to undertaking our own primary research, we soon realised that there were a host of things that we wanted to find out for ourselves so, we planned all of this out, and used it as a guide for undertaking our research with the market/target market.

Setting up our own ‘campsite’ was really exciting and interesting as we were able to get hands on and do some primary research for ourselves in order to gain abetter understanding of this process. Not only were we able to gain our own and each others feedback on the products and the scenario we were using, but we were also able to gain feedback from the general public too (demonstrated in the photographs below).

During this phase, I also learned the importance of legistation when it comes to primary research and feedback, I developed the understanding and skill to carry out and undertake any tests and paperwork necessary before carrying out the research. I have the skill to approach members of the public/the target market and not only ask them if they’re willing to be involved but to ask them to/ help them fill out any paperwork necessary too.

During this project, I also developed the skill of demonstrating creative whilst acknowledging human centred factors so, for instance, in the images below we are testing some of our soft models with a group of colleagues to discover how user friendly they are in order for us to critique them and open up any gaps / suggestions for improvement. This stage is really critical as you get to test your product ideas with real users – we gained some really good insights into peoples perceptions and opinions at this stage in order to move forward in our development. I also made it key to continue testing our models and ideas with people throughout the development of the project and continuously ask for feedback to ensure that we didn’t miss anything and were designing the best solution possible to the brief. I was continuously proposing and testing solutions in response to human centred factors for example, in these photos, the anthropometrics and ergonomics of products as well as how people perceive certain products.

During this project, I developed the skills required to create a range of conceptual designs in response to a given brief as previously discussed using a range of different tools and methods. Even over the course of this one project, my skills in this field have developed immensely in comparison to when i first started on the course. But, moreover, I am able to evaluate and select appropriate concepts against established criteria. In this case, the established criteria being the briefs we made as a group, I was able to create designs in response to these briefs and then use methods of evaluation such as matrix evaluations and user feedback in order to evaluate and select appropriate concepts against the established criteria.

Despite being a bit worried when first discovering the brief for our first project, I thoroughly enjoyed and am so pleased with how far my skills have developed in all aspects. As well as all of the skillets discussed above, I have developed skills in many other areas too over these past weeks for example my confidence in my presentation skills and ability to get up on the spot and talk in front of a crowd of a people in order to discuss or present a given topic. My group work and leadership skills have developed hugely too. I wouldn’t believe now that Ollie, Alisha and I had never spoken previous to beginning this project, we gelled and worked so well together as a group over the course of the project, we have not only completed a project successfully together but made friendships too as we’ve helped each other develop different skills along the way. My time management skills have improved in balancing and organising a new style of learning at university as well as a host of other skills and traits that I hope to further apply and improve on as well as add to over the course of the next 3 years and beyond in my future professional career.

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