Sprint 3 Process Blog

In this Sprint, we focused on ideation and sketching. After being assigned a “daily human task” (for me it was commuting), I then had to create 10 sketches of different concepts loosely related to commuting. After those sketches had been generated, mainly relating around different methods of commuting to work, I selected one to expand on. 10 more sketches stemming off my “commuting by bus” drawing were required of me, so I then had to get my creative juices flowing in order to find 10 more variations of something already quite specific. I could only get so far thinking of different types of bus transportation…as there is only one standard type of bus and not a lot of wiggle room for creativity there. Turning to problems that arise with public transportation, and ideas to solve these problems helped me broaden my horizons with the latter 10 sketches.

Had to think outside of the box a bit (left), some general ideas for commuting (right)

I generally consider myself to be a pretty creative person, so when imagining this assignment in my head, I didn’t think I would struggle with generating ideas! Jennifer mentioned in class that the 20 total sketches should take us somewhere around an hour, and I truly believed I would have everything done in half an hour or less — but I certainly did not. I found myself getting stuck after sketch 6 or 7, and even on sketch 4 during the second round of 10 sketches. During studio, my classmates had come up with different solutions for what to do if you get stuck, and I realized that some of them didn’t quite work for me. Drawing the first thing I thought of wasn’t going to help when I was already confined within a narrow topic of what to draw, and I couldn’t seem to find ways to improve a previous drawing I did, as I thought it would be too similar to the original drawing. I eventually had to get very creative and essentially come up with currently nonexistent solutions to problems we have with bus commuting — which I think is still very appropriate for the assignment.

WILDCARD Question: How did you chose your “most promising” sketch? Which variables did you consider?

I chose my most promising sketch because it was very conceptual and not implemented in real life. I felt like it was something that was realistic enough to be transformed into a real project, but not prevalent in our daily lives. I chose my sketch of a “bus workspace”: similar to the trays attached to the back of plane seats. It would just be a table that folded down from the back of the seat in front of you, outlet included, laptop friendly, pen holder, plenty of surface area for a notebook, etc. If planes can have them, buses certainly could too. There’s the implication of bus rides being much shorter than plane rides, and therefore people needing to get out of their seats at different stops, but that is something that can be developed on later. Perhaps only some select seats in a select section of the bus would have this feature. Another reason I chose this drawing is because I have faith in the idea: this is truly something I would use and enjoy on buses. You often see people try to read or quickly manage emails while on their rush-hour commute, so why not give them an easier and more manageable way to do so?

My idea for “bus workspaces” (essentially fold-down tables people can rest a laptop or a book on)

Sketching and ideation are extremely important because they are the catalysts of a revolutionary new product, an accomodation that can help many people, or a productivity feature that no one realized they needed. Ideas are the root of everything, and a small idea can be developed into a large-scale project: giving true meaning to the saying “ideas brought to life”. When it comes to sketching, I believe images are the easiest way to convey ideas, regardless of whether the person receiving the idea is a visual learner or not. Verbalizing or writing something can jumble ideas and things can get lost in translation, but images are very straightforward, as both idea-giver and idea-recipient are looking at the same thing. Communication of ideas is, of course, much easier when both parties are on the same page. This work is extremely important because ideation, along with sketching, is always “square one”. You can’t get anywhere without a solid idea, so think of an idea and the sketches that accompany it, as a foundation. Without them, without your foundation, you really have nothing. No engineer from Apple had an epiphany about creating the iPhone 6 as is. That legacy didn’t even start with the 1st generation iPhone. Someone decades back probably said “Hey, I’m bored with our phones. What can we do to make them more interesting?”, drew a simple mockup of a phone with a screen that had a single button, proposed the idea, and moved on from there. Essentially, ideation is the first, absolutely necessary step for any project, and sketching is the go-to approach in sharing ideas.

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