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  1. Designing for Human Variability

    October 15, 2012 by Georgia Konzel

    Human variability is measuring the ways humans can range from one to another. Designing for Human Variability takes into account handicapped people who need a special type of product. Because there are many ways of being disabled, it is important for companies to find ways for everyone to use their product. This brings the disabled person to a more normal functionality. There are some companies that specialize in designing for human variability, by modifying other products to meet the needs. This could involve designing a new product to meet new requirements, or slight modifications so that it is easier to use by someone who is handicapped.

    There are many important aspects that designers have to keep this in mind when designing for human variability. This includes if the disability is permanent, or just temporary, ex. being paralyzed vs. broken limb. The designers should also ask for input from the target audience when developing. They would have the best say in what they are looking for in a product, because mostly likely the design team will not be able to relate to the disability. Implementing the adaptive technology should be done in the earlier stages of the design process, but could really be added anytime.

    Designing adaptive technologies can tackle some unthinkable problems. In video I watched, I saw a high school design team build a durable automated wheelchair for a girl who played wheelchair rugby. Because their game of rugby has a lot of intentional collisions,  this wheelchair must be very durable so that it lasts throughout the game, while still having the automatic controls. The clip for the automated wheelchair can bee seen here. By designing for the the rugby player the team was able to build a more powerful wheelchair that could with stand more collisions  This product could also have other uses besides wheelchair rugby, maybe an introductory chair for someone who is newly disabled.




  2. Environmentally friendly designing

    October 15, 2012 by Georgia Konzel

    There are many benefits to designing a product that is beneficial to the environment  or does not have a harmful impact on it. Nowadays, many companies want to be more environmentally friendly, because it appeals to the consumer which would increase sales. When designing with the environment kept in mind, many companies are worried about the sustainability of their products. They are also nervous that customers will not think it is durable and of high quality because it may have recycled products made into it.With this in mind, it is very important to keep in mind sustainability because they want their product to be durable and long-lasting as well as friendly to the environment.

    These products must meet the intended action while being sustainable, and environmentally friendly.   When designing with the environment in mind, it is important to target areas that could be improved. This would mean that parts of the product could be changed so that they either are better for the environment, or have less of an impact on it. It is best to consider the environment during the early stages of the design process. If thought of later, it can be harder to implement the Eco-friendly ideas. Companies can choose to purchase software that will assess the impacts of environment design features. The will take into account the price to manufacture each product, and what environmental aspects better the product.

    For the most part, companies tend to focus on improving their product based on a few key concepts. The company usually makes a few points that they try to keep in mind when designing a new product.  For example, the company Herman Miller  likes to look at the materials of their product to make sure they are safe, and do not harm the environment. They also look at the ability to recycle their products once they are not used anymore. Another important aspect of Eco-friendly design deals with how efficient the product handles energy.   It is not environmentally friendly if it wastes energy, because many ways to create energy are non-renewable.

  3. Prototypes and Models

    September 27, 2012 by Georgia Konzel

    A model is a 3-D design of the intended product. A prototype is a model that functions just like how the product will, and is exactly what the product will be. The prototype shows exactly what the new product will look like and it what it is capable of. A prototype is a more advanced model.

    Usually a company takes a model to simulate what the product will do. On the other hand, a prototype usually tests what will happen. A simulated model is use to estimate the results. Because a prototype is more advanced, it is tested to see the actual results. Most companies usually model their product, simulate it, then develop a prototype and test the results. They want to make sure the the estimated results from the model match up with the actual results from the prototype. On the other hand  companies with a smaller budget, may choose to skip a step, but it is often a risky decision.

    When trying to decided what is better for a project, model or prototype, it is best to look at what would give the company better information about their product.   Although modeling and prototyping are very important processes when completing a project it is very important to make sure the design is perfect. Neither a model or a prototype would be beneficial if there are many design errors.

  4. Reasons for Unintended Use

    September 27, 2012 by Georgia Konzel

    It is the human nature to be curious about how things operate. Especially being an engineering, it is vital to understand why,how, and for what everything is created for.  O’Reilly says that “the measure of a product’s success is how far it diverges from its creator’s intentions.” Its a little funny that how when a product is found to do more than intended, the company usually takes full credit for it, but if something negative comes out, they immediately determine it as an unintended use, and claim they are not responsible for that.

    As humans we also have the desire to make things better. We try to change and play with something until we believe that it is now a better product. Exploring and messing around with a product is the heart of innovation. Innovation is the development of a new product based on the customers needs. Everyday you probably use a product for something other than it unintended use. I personally finding myself using napkins from the dining hall to blow my nose, instead of using tissues. Its human nature to make a substitute with a different product to accomplish their goals when in dire need.  User innovation is the act of the consumer taking a product and redesigning it to meet their needs.



  5. Unintended Uses of Products

    September 27, 2012 by Georgia Konzel

    Its always a cool thing to notice that a product can do more that accomplish its intended goals. When messing around with an item, it is possible to find that a product can actually do other strange things than its intended values.  Many  popular things used nowadays, came as a result  as an accident. For example, when Text messages were originally invented by cell phone companies to let their customers know about problems with their phone service. They cell phone companies had no idea that texting would become such a popular thing.

    A good example of an unintended use, is the ability to use an empty water bottle to extract an egg yolk from a cracked egg. Anyone who cooks often, would know that certain recipes call for just an egg white, or egg yolk. It is extremely difficult to manually separate an egg white from an egg yolk. The ability to use a water bottle is just an example of how a product can have more uses that the ones intended by the manufacturer.

    When a company finds out that its product can be used for more, its kinda like a bonus to them. For example, when Kleenex found out that people were using their product to blow their nose, instead of wiping off makeup. The company regrouped and decided to advertise on that idea. Kleenex’s sales rose greatly from the idea of a disposable hanker-chief.

    Link showing how to separate Egg Yolks with a water bottle

  6. Critical Design Review

    September 27, 2012 by Georgia Konzel

    To continue on with the design methods topics, I choose to write about design review for my third blog. Critical Design Review (CDR) is a point when developing a new product, where everything is highly scrutinized to make sure what is wanted is what will be produced.The can use a design review to change any aspect of the product, or anything unwanted. Sometimes, if a problem arises with the product, a design review can be held to change and add new ideas.

    The main purpose that a design review is held, is because it gives the company the chance to make sure that their product meets the needs that it is designed to. The product can be evaluated to see if it is meeting all of the intended needs. The best feature of a design review is that it gives the company the satisfaction of knowing that their product is accomplishing everything that they wanted it to. A design review is kinda like a “checkpoint” for the company.

    A design review is generally a meeting, where everyone involved in the project comes together to make sure they are accomplishing their goals. It is usually lead by the project manager, and the project team goes through a checklist to complete all of the tasks. A design review must have clear communication throughout the project team.

  7. Front End Engineering Design

    September 13, 2012 by Georgia Konzel

    Front End Engineering Design(FEED) is a process that takes an idea and turns in into a design. It consists of an input (an idea that would change the current product), output (what the final design would look like), and a process( how you will go form idea to design).  FEED takes into account everything related to the project, before actual steps are taken to manufacture the product. FEED looks at what need to be accomplished, the market needs, and many other aspects.

    A design review can be used to figure out what should be done to find the solution. A design review is a collaboration of ideas to make smart decisions that would affect the product. It consists of a group of engineers who are looking for solutions on how to solve the trigger idea. They determine who is responsible for what throughout all the phases of creating the new product.

    A major reason FEED is used in the initial stages of a project is to determine how likely it is that the project will be accomplished, and how much the company can expect to pay for it. During the FEED stage, if a company finds out that it is unlikely that the project will be accomplished, they can choose to cancel the program before they waste too much money. They can also choose to cancel if they find out that the project will be too far over-budget.

    FEED is used at the very beginning of a project to map out everything that will happen throughout the process of designing and manufacturing this new item. It is a low budget part of the project to make sure everything is planned before the company starts spending money on completing the project.

    Design Methods



  8. Survey Design

    September 13, 2012 by Georgia Konzel

    When wanting to redesign a item, the first thing to do is to assess what is wrong with the old product. In order to find out what need to be changed, it is a good idea to survey a group of people and find their opinion on the product. In EDSGN 100, we will be conducting a survey in our smartphone project, to see what flaws the current smartphones have, and to see what people would like to see changed. My team and I designed a survey to find these problems, and while designing the survey, I was intrigued on how to write a good survey.

    When starting to write a survey, the first thing you need is to have a goal in mind.  This goal is important, because it is what you want to learn from the survey. When writing the questions, it is very important to keep your goal in mind, so that the questions you ask, when answered, will provide the information you are looking for.  At the beginning of the survey, you may want to include your goal, so that the person taking the survey knows what information you are looking for.

    There are primarily 2 types of questions in a survey. The first type, structured questions, have a fixed response. These are questions when the surveyor provides all of the possible answers, and one answer is selected by the surveyor taker. Structured questions, are generally easier on the survey taker because the survey taker is presented will all the possible options, but structured questions, do not offer any new ideas to the surveyor. The other type of questions are called non-structured or open questions. Open questions provide the survey taker to write in their response. Because new ideas can be presented through these questions, it is best to use them when wanting new opinions or information.

    Before publishing your survey, It is important to review through the survey to make sure it is exactly how you want it to be presented. Look for possible grammar and spelling mistakes, and makes sure all of the questions are worded in a way that is easy to understand. Try to keep your survey concise because it is likely that you will have more respondents if your survey is not tedious. The last step to you survey is to test it yourself. You want to run through it to make sure everything runs smoothly.

    Design Methods


    “Designing a Survey.” Science Buddies. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Sept. 2012. .

    “Survey Design.” Creative Research Systems. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Sept. 2012.

    Halterman, Ed. “Five Guiding Principles of Good Survey Design.” Survey Gizmo. N.p., 26 Nov. 2007. Web. 13 Sept. 2012.


  9. Hello world!

    September 4, 2012 by Georgia Konzel

    Welcome to WordPress at TLT Labs. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

  10. September 4, 2012

    September 4, 2012 by Georgia Konzel

    First post, wanted to see how this works!

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