On Friday the 23rd November our incredibly talented Year 2 Product Design students pitched their final ideas for accessible products to Designability. This was the final step of their project that they have been working towards over the past few weeks.
Designability are an independent charity dedicated to making everyday life easier for people with disabilities or a long term health condition by inventing new life-changing assistive products and technologies. They follow the principle of human centered design, responding to real issues raised by real people living with real disabilities. This is a principle the students have also chosen to follow, as they are responding directly to real issues raised by Stephen, Kate and Wills (their end users).
Last week the students did their final testing with their end users, gathering vital information about ergonomics, colours and measurements. Stephen, Kate and Wills were thrilled with the progress and offered their opinions on how each product could be improved, and what they found ergonomically comfortable. This has informed the final prototype products the students made for their pitch. You can read about the end user testing here.
Following on from this vital feedback the students had one week to finalise and improve their products, as well as create their pitch for Designability (No small feat for one week!). After a week of final preparations, the day of the pitch finally arrived. In a set up much like Dragon’s Den, each student needed to present their ideas to a panel of three experts, including Rob, their mentor from Designability. Each student had prepared a short presentation, collated their prototypes and had a mood board and book with which to present. It was amazing to see the thought and care that had gone into each and every design, how ergonomics and client test data had informed the final prototypes, and how every detail right down to the appropriate colour had been considered. Rob seemed very impressed with the work that the students had undertaken in the short run time of the project, frequently asking students about their thought process and listening to the students recount all the research they had put into it.
Each student pitched their idea to the panel one by one, explaining what in their discussions with the end user had inspired the product. They then presented their initial designs, tests and prototypes, and explained what data had informed the final prototype, as well as the colours, sizes and shapes. Finally, they discussed commercial costs and methods for production, showing again their ability to think about the logistics within the real word of Product Design. There was then an opportunity for questions and comments from the panel. Rob was very interested in all the products and had lots of ideas for progression. Some students had thought about the environmental impact of their products, utilising recycled plastics rather than brand new ones, this was an idea that Rob loved!
It was incredible to see the range of products produced by the students, and how much feedback they have taken on and acted upon since the end user testing. The contrast in ideas across the board reflects the amazing spectrum of creativity within the class and all the students should be incredibly proud of not just the quantity of work that they did in a short space of time but the quality as well.