On the Move (2007-8)

BA Design for Industry (3rd year)

The big questions for students

On the Move Team

On the Move Team members
from left to right: David Lee, Nick Oakley, Mark Law, David Law, Erik Bohemia, Patrick, Neil Sheppard, Nei Smith, Scott Hudson, Aaron Rustill and Emmanouil Chatzakiz

  • How do you find the time and space to explore and develop new insights?
  • How do you inspire NPD staff to go beyond ‘business as usual’ to focus on new territories and opportunities?
  • How do you capture the imagination internally and get buy-in to more speculative new product development?

 

The design opportunity

Student teams were introduced to a range of research and design development methods and tools:

  • To explore how Intel can touch new markets and generate new insights through a human-centred approach to product development
  • To generate multiple ideas and research territories that could be used as a basis for product development within Intel

 

Project scope

The only criterion Intel imposed on the project was that all solutions had to be suitable for screens above seven inches in size. Beyond that the brief was left very open and students were simply asked to explore ‘technology on the move’.

Phase one

As Intel is based in Oregon, the academic team’s first task was to establish an effective way of collaborating at a distance. A ‘Global Studio’ was established in the form of a password-protected online community, using open-access tools such as blogs, Skype and video conferencing to enable real-time communication and immediate feedback between the student teams and Intel.

The project started with a brainstorming session with Intel, which identified a number of potential territories including education, communication, health and travel. The students then created a range of character profiles and real life scenarios to help them to understand how technology could add value to people in these sectors. By employing this human-centred approach, the students were able to go beyond the obvious and open up new avenues for investigation.

On the Move mid project team meeting

On the Move project team meeting

Phase two

The students each focused on a particular end user to give them a clear direction for their research. By investigating individual's stories, students were able to explore worlds in detail and so fully understand how technology could improve lives both practically and emotionally. As a result their interpretation of 'On the Move' expanded to explore more than just ways of helping busy people get from A to B' - instead focusing on how technology can help people move through the world with greater ease. Concepts produced included:

  • An educational tablet that allows children to transport their school work from classroom to home
  • A multi-functional communication tool that enables the user to move nimbly between different presentation materials and a whiteboard
  • A 'Tile Board' that draws down images from Google to aid brainstorming and scenario planning
  • 'Window to the World' an emotional lifeline that allows people recovering from illness to stay connected with the outside world.

The Result

Through the Global Studio facility, students could upload their work and continuously interact with Intel throughout the project. This enabled Intel to engage NPD staff at an early stage and obtain their buy-in to the process and ideas. By sharing methodologies and concept development, they were also able to inspire a new culture of open thinking within the team. The individual stories created clearly illustrated the functional and emotional benefits of the products, which made other departments more receptive to their potential.

Below are three examples from the 11 outcomes for the On the Move project.

Share the City, produced by © 2008 David Lee

Link, ©2008 Mark and Dave Law

The handset communicates with your notebook to open the door of mobile computing and increase the value of your mobile device through better battery performance and unique dual screen interaction.

The initial concept was to explore ways in which the gap between mobile phones, such and the iPhone and Blackberry and notebooks could be bridged. Many people have both a mobile phone/PDA and a notebook however the two devices do not connect in a real and coherent way.

They wanted to produce a design which would allow seamless connection and usage between both a very portable hand held device and notebook computer. The device would allow all information that is stored on the notebook to be accessed by the handset. In the same way, the handset would be a 'window' to the notebook allowing for a remote control style interaction of the notebook.

They started by exploring the different interactive ways you could send and receive information. Wild concepts where created and imagined from a bottle which messages could be tasted.

These concepts where then refined and made more 'real'. The concepts where refined and questioned until a strong commercial design was developed. The design users a dual screen (one on each side of the device) and can be inserted into the notebook for complete seamless mobility.

This concept was presented to both Nick and Patrick from Intel, and after their input the concept was refined into the core usage. A storyboard was drawn up to visualise the usage and then the design was refined with the storyboard in mind.

Twelve product renders where created to present to Nick and Patrick from Intel and there feedback was recorded to the refine the designs down to two more detail designs.

Eight notebook designs where drawn up and then refined down to two CAD models. Once these designs where visualised and matched up with the handset to ensure the design language was the same we moved onto the interface.

Eight basic interface skins where made and then refined down to one. The interface was then mapped out to ensure the relevant features worked. After this the animated buttons where designed.

The final animation was produced using storyboarded scenes and Adobe After Effects and Final Cut Pro. The animation went through several iterations until a final animation was reached.

Dive, ©2008 Neil Shepard

Reflections

In February 2009 David, Mark and Neil shared their expreriense from the On the Move projects.

photo from the On the Move project reflection

In this presentation they reflected on their involvement in the 'On the Move' collaborative project with Intel.

the presentaion was recorded on 19 February 2009
video
recording and editing done by Ben Lovatt

After the presentaion Ré Dubhthaigh Director of radarstation commented that:

I was impressed with the quality of the presentation and overall communication, their engagement with the client and the depth of thinking.