UCD Charette Blog

by Tabitha Anderson

Learning how to brainstorm in this new environment and getting to use a bunch of sticky notes

For this Charette project, we had to design a device to help enhance the driver’s experience. The design constraints that we had were to create a smart vehicle for emergency use. My group had the idea of coming up with a design to help aid a firetruck. Since the user for this situation would need to react for emergency situations, we determined that this user would need a device in their vehicle to direct them to the desired destination. We decided this because if there is a fire it is imperative for the user to have an efficient system that gets them to the place of emergency and relays important information that could be helpful to the responder. To account for these needs, we outlined a device that would give directions to the spot with the projected destination time. Also, we included a feature that would automatically give them the details of the emergency from first responders.

My group trying to begin our whole process by coming up with the initial scenario
This is what our final product was, having our scenario and design solution all coming together

Working in this new situation was not entirely smooth and seamless. It was difficult to decide which ideas to proceed with because each of us had our own. Because of this issue, there was often confusion which lead to a much sloppier design lay out than we would have liked. However, everything ended up working well and we learned how to communicate better in group projects for the future. I think in different studio sections, a productive way to spend time is to spend a couple minutes making sure that everyone is on the same page and the design itself makes sense.

Something that I really enjoyed doing for this project was taking part in the activities that decided how it was structured. Spending time on brainstorming and working on creative designs was new for me, but I think this provided an outlet to help understand how ideas are formed in a real workplace. There was a lot of switching around, so I got to see the variety of ideas that many people in the class had. I also appreciated how there were quick intervals for each step of the design process. Putting the pressure on us encouraged us to use our time as efficiently as possible. I tend to work better in shorter spurts, so I really enjoyed practicing this in a design format.

When working on this project, it was obvious there were things that worked and others that didn’t. Since there are specific strengths and weaknesses, it only makes sense that this style for rapid fire ideas thrives in certain situations and may be less effective in others. I think that this style would be particularly helpful in the beginning of the brainstorming process. This allows the designers to come up with many ideas at one time that they can eventually work off of. I don’t think that this would be as impactful at the end of a design process. For example, if a team was working on evaluating their design, I would imagine that the hectic pace wouldn’t be ideal if they were trying to fine tune a specific part.

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