Ideating and Sketching
The main topic of this sprint was ideation, with a focus on creating ideas, then sketching them out. The goal was to sketch out ten design ideas on the topic of cleaning, then choose one “most promising” idea, and elaborate on it with ten more sketches.
I tried creating a positive environment before starting the assignment. I ensured there was plenty of natural light where I was working, and I played light music as well. My main reason for doing this was to make sure I stayed calm and relaxed while working, as this assignment made me a little anxious since sketching and drawing is not my forte.
Once I started working on my sketches for the assignment, I found myself occasionally getting stuck, and drawing a blank while trying to come up with new ideas. To try to fix the problem, I decided to try brainstorming and sketching ideas of different, more open-ended topics. I chose to do this to try to instigate my creativity, hoping it would “light a fire” of sorts, and help with the assignment. This method worked, as it enabled me to brainstorm new, and creative ideas for my sketches.
Once I finished sketching my first ten different design ideas, I analyzed each of the sketches to try to determine the most promising one. I decided on a machine that scans a stain, and is able to determine the type of stain, and spray the correct cleaning solution onto the stain. I chose this design idea because I felt it was a product that was very usable and convenient for consumers, as I, personally, find myself struggling to find the correct cleaning solution necessary to remove a specific stain. I also felt that of the design ideas I came up with while ideating, it was one of the more practical and realistic sketches.
Once I decided on this product, I then began sketching the next ten sketches. I was unsure of what to sketch at first, but then decided on sketching out the possible additional features of the product, and the way in which it would work. While brainstorming these sketches, I focused on the process I go through when trying to remove a stain, and the ways in which my product could make this process easier.
Initially a problem I faced was my lack in artistic ability, as I believed it would hinder me from conveying the ideas I had. Because of this, I initially spent a large portion of my time focusing on my sketches and trying to make them “prettier,” rather than brainstorming of ideas. Gradually, I was able to overcome this consciousness over my sketches, and was able to focus on coming up with as many ideas as I possibly could. In the future, whether I be working on a similar project or something completely different, I think it is important to try to step outside of my comfort zone, and not be conscious of myself.
I also found myself wondering how professionals are able to decide if an idea is too out of the box, or if it is a reasonable one. Something I found comforting in this sprint is that I was permitted to be as creative with my ideas as I wanted. However in a real world situation, this may not be the case, as designers have to think rationally on what is and is not available to them. With a restriction like this, I wonder how designers are able to come up with multiple ideas and decide on a most promising design.
What could you do better next time?
During this sprint, I found myself trying to elaborate and create small specifications of each sketch while brainstorming. Next time, I think I should try to focus on thinking of the basic idea of each sketch and get a rough idea down on the page. This would allow me to work quicker and more efficiently, therefore enabling me to get more ideas on the page in a short amount of time.
I also think I should work on making sure my sketches are a good size. While sketching, I tended to draw small sketches, and when I went back to review and photograph each one, I realized that the basic idea of some sketches was not being conveyed properly, and ended up having to recreate these sketches. A larger size would make each sketch more clear to understand, which would also enable me to use less words while describing each sketch.