Entry 5

For me personally, a design process that is both uniquely mine as well as effective would begin with a verbal brainstorming session or “word vomit”. I believe the fastest way to think if a bunch of different ideas is to bounce the idea off of other people. The more people, the better because then we will have more versions of peoples take on the idea (main subject). The next step would be to narrow down the number of ideas and specifically identify them by writing them out in words. The words would then need to be translated into a visual design. I would again ask as many people as I can to implement their take on the visual design so that there is not a shortage of ideas and possibilities. I would then take the time to reflect and decide logically which design or which combination of designs would solve the problem the most efficiently and which design or combination of designs would be the most feasible. The next step would be to execute the design, either testing, prototyping or both would then begin. After a concrete design is chosen and executed, we would need to reach out for opinions and reviews from experts in the field. They could give us tips and suggestions in order to make the design better before implementing the design into its proposed location/environment. For me, the main part of a successful design process is getting a number of different opinions. I believe there can never be too many ideas.

Our idea that a sickle cell anemia test strip can be designed to diagnose sickle cell anemia as well as identify if a person has the sickle cell trait is a valid concept because similar test strips have already been designed. This means that technology/science has already been proven to check out and we are not on a journey that has no hope. Our design is different from current sickle cell test strips because we are proposing a strip that uses a slightly different kind of binding that will ultimately make the test more accurate and reliable. Our test strip project will also be different because the end goal is to implement it into Sierra Leone’s health care system. We are not sure if the other companies have attempted to implement their devices in developing countries health care systems but if they have, they have obviously not been successful. It would be worth looking into if the other companies have attempted to implement their devices and if they have, we can learn from how they failed. As of right now we plan on gathering a lot of different people’s opinions while in Sierra Leone. We plan on asking medical professionals, community health works as well as the local people what they think about our device (if we don’t have a working device by then we plan on bringing a prototype). They will provide insight on if the design is easy to use, if they believe it is appropriate for solving the problem and if they believe it will even be used. By getting the local people’s opinions and taking them into account we are increasing the chance that this device will be successful in Sierra Leone.

Engaging with the community, partners and markets is the most important aspect of making sure our device is successful. If we can get our device to work then the only thing holding us back from implementing the device into the community is our relationship with the community, our partners and the market. Our relationship with the community, our partners and the market has the ability to make or break our device. If we do not have a relationship with them we will not have the connections to get our device out there and implemented into the healthcare system. If we do not have a good relationship with them we will not have people who are willing to do fast and meaningful work and ultimately the local people will not believe in our product. How companies and partners support us will affect how the local people react to our device. If they actively support our device the locals will trust our work and are more likely to seek out our device. The local peoples perception on our device is highly dependent on how the community, our partners and how the market supports us.

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