Most of my experience with the design process has been related to my engineering classes in high school. We followed the standard circular flowing engineering design process that has now been drilled into everyone’s minds. It starts with defining the problem, planning solutions, making a model, testing the model, then reflecting and redesigning. My experience designing houses and gadgets to solve simple obscure tasks using this process has been successful but boring and rigid. We were pushed hard to follow the staple engineering design process to the T. Going off of it, I would keep the main principles but keep it more open to address problems and make it better as ideas come. I tend to try to think of all problems in the beginning brainstorming phase which has stagnated the flow of many designs but I find it more efficient to address clear problems from the beginning. The possible lack of creativity versus function is a sacrifice I tend to make. But working in a group would help me keep moving and do rapid prototyping. Where I do not have restraint is cost, so my design process would tend to first design an expensive version which can then be redesigned down to be more affordable. I would also prefer to incorporate working with other people in the design process. For example, a common baby name selection process is for the two parents to each make a list and have a certain number of super likes and hard nos to narrow it down to one list to further analyze together. Then it most likely comes down to between two names and more outside opinions would be brought in to help make a final decision. My design process would probably be similar in terms of going through the steps of the design process with input from different levels of partners along the way.
In choosing people to oversee the design process and give input, it is important to keep in mind who you are designing for. A commonly female product shouldn’t be prominently designed by men. Recently I went into a modern movie theater bathroom where the sinks each had its own blow drier right next to it like a separate faucet nozzle. The boys bathroom had about three sinks to five stalls and two urinals and I was told that the design was inefficient because by combining the hand washing and drying into one station, people will have to occupy the space longer, backing up the lines. However, in the woman’s’ bathroom it was almost a 1:1 ratio for stalls to sinks which eliminated that possible hold up. The designers were most likely working with bathroom use statistics, making them choose to put more space and plumbing to the female bathroom because more females tend to use the bathroom more often. The sink was also cool because the blow driers blew the water right into the sink instead of on the ground.
I will validate my project concept, technology, usability, and operational/business model by doing lots of testing and getting feedback from many different users. By making a detailed usable prototype to be put into use it is an effective way for people to actually interact with the design instead of thinking about it in concept. It also allows possibilities for issues I would not have even thought of. Especially for widely used items, used by a diverse population, it must then be tested by diverse groups for diverse feedback. For validation, the people to be using the product must be the ones to validate it or else it is not doing it’s targeted purpose.
My philosophy of engagement with communities, partners and markets is to be open and communicate with others. I like working in teams to bounce ideas off of each other. It makes the design process go much faster by running through ideas with many different minds. Engagement with different cultures is also important in expanding design possibilities as well as being aware of issues to keep in mind.