Product Design, Implementation & Evaluation.

We started this module off with an IBM workshop in design thinking. This was a very exciting method of brainstorming to develop solutions or products through many iterations.

Here are some images from the design thinking workshop. Getting to work with a group of people with differing backgrounds on a common goal was a great experience & an insight into how collaboration can work.

20161012_113701 20161012_120129 20161012_121522-01

The next step in this project is the “Find the Gap” task. This is where I worked through a number of questions such as listing everyday problems & suggesting solutions, then listing my wish list of projects that could have solutions where if I had a wish I would start on straight away. This is the result…


1.1 Find the gap


List 1: Add in here your list of 5 to 10 everyday problems with possible solutions.

Remove paper receipts from stores & replace with digital receipts.

Paying for parking – Linking a payment app to your phone.

Bad parking – Parking sensors on the ground & in the car.

Missing/Planning travel connections – real time location app a la aircraft scanner.

Library opening hours – Automates/self checkout of books

Finding parking – gps linked parking assist

Shopping, finding products – Trolley mounted live map

Wheelchair access – portable foldaway ramp.

Wheelchair tipping – spring loaded roll cage/bar.

Flooding of property – Portable flood barrier.


List 2: Add in your “wish list” of your 5 to 10 possible design projects.

Portable flood defense.

Portable wheelchair ramp.

Book design.

Subdermal communications.

Civic redesign of traffic system in Dublin.

Building wayfinding system.

Change from paper to digital receipts.


1.2 Design project definition

Write your project idea(s) in the following format. You may pursue more than one idea at this stage and could choose one idea from your list 1 or list 2 from above.

In what way might I use graphic design to Create a portable flood defense.

  1. Analyse the causes.
  2. Break down the pain points.
  3. Identify goals.
  4. Generate the big ideas.


  1. Analyse the cause

I would first look at the issues surrounding the problem:

  • Floodplains
  • Causes of flooding
  • Frequency
  • Property being damaged.

Flood plains – should housing be moved from the most at risk zones. Are we shifting problems further up the source.

Causes of flooding – Are there issues at the point of flooding the contribute to flooding.

Frequency – How often does the problem occur & will a temporary or permanent solution be required.

Property being damaged – Can property be modified to protect against flood damage. Are there any quick response actions that can protect people & property. How can property be recovered after flooding.


Breakdown the pain points

  1. Cost
  2. Displacement
  3. Knock on effects
  4. Sourcing materials

Cost – How to produce the most effective protection while keeping it affordable to property owners.

Displacement – Will the protection works cause displacement to residents & property owners.


Identify Goals

Develop portable flooding defense.

Protect Lives & Livestock.

Protect property from flooding.


Generate the big ideas

I want to be able to design a method of protecting buildings from flood risk by placing a portable barrier in front of all water ingress points. This barrier can be erected in minuets & will be stackable to cover any height or width.

Stackable interlocking barrier.

Built-in water pump.

Protect all ingress points.

2.1 Persona

My target client can be from any area subject to flooding. For the purpose of this project I am focusing on a family in the East Wall area of Dublin which is vulnerable to flooding & has been affected on a number of occasions in the past.

This is a mature family with an age range of 40-80 years. It consists mainly of a widowed mother & her son. There are often guests of all ages down to newborn. While the son is living in the house & provides constant support there are also occasions when the mother would be left alone & vulnerable if caught in a flash flood situation.

3.1 IBM Design Thinking Process Starts


Having completed this task I have since decided to add another possibility to be explored. I have redone the Find the Gap task with this new project in mind.


1.1 Find the gap

Increase the profile & marketability of the college.

Proposed solution – Creation of college magazine to promote the work of the students, the work the college does to prepare the students and raise the profile of the college within industry.

1.2 Design project definition

The main goal of this project is to create a publication that will raise the profile of the college & the students within industry circles. This will be accomplished in the form of a magazine showcasing work & aimed at potential employers & agency’s.

The publication will be designed as a print ready document in case a budget is found to print, however, the most likely outlet will be digital in nature to allow for maximum delivery on a minimum budget.

Input will be sought from all departments with students preparing to enter the workforce or higher education.

In what way might I use graphic design to raise the college profile.

  1. Gap analysis.
  2. Identify the key client.
  3. Identify goals & set targets.
  4. Generate the big ideas.
  5. Creative publication layout.
  6. Consider possible outlets.
  7. Communication skills.
  8. Design thinking.

As is chart

Current information outlets for the college include:

  1. Website.
  2. App.
  3. Student emails.
  4. Moodle.
  5. Noticeboards.
  6. Posters.
  7. Student Union.
  8. Digital internal newsletter coming online in 2017



Pain Points

  1. Equal communication across multiple campus’.
  2. Common policy on promotion.
  3. No take charge personality.
  4. Budget.
  5. Resources.
  6. Media channels.
  7. Lack of industry attention.
  8. Student numbers.


Breakdown the pain points

Equal communication across multiple campus’. – There isn’t always a common communication thread across the 3 campus’ and information can often be lost. Also, take up on events can be low due to a lack of notice or enthusiasm generated.

Common policy on promotion. The college team tasked with promoting activities has limited time & budget to spend on a consistent promotional drive.

No take charge personality. –  The promotional team could benefit from being more visible & perhaps seeking help from the student body.

Budget. – There is a very limited budget available to promote the college. Effective low budget methods of promotion need to be found.

Resources. – Budget constraints mean that resources are limited.

Media channels. – Current media channels Could perhaps be utilised more to get content online in an effort to promote the college.

Lack of industry attention. – Greater efforts have been made to encourage links with industry partners such as IBM by the introduction of events like the IBM Design Thinking workshop & guest speaker events.

Student numbers. – Each year presents the same problem of maintaining or increasing student numbers.


Identify Goals

  • Promote student work.
  • Showcase the work the college does.
  • Generate industry attention & links.

Generate the big ideas

Industry contribution via articles.

Generate online content thru Video, Audio, Imagery, Twitter, Facebook, Blog, Website.

Printed magazine.

Digital newsletter.


Reach out to past alumni.

Alumni contribution via article or guest speaking.


2.1 Persona

Initially my target persona was going to be based around an employment agency character. I created my persona chart on “Bob” from this agency, shown below.

Agency Bob

However having considered this process again I believe I have misidentified my target persona. I now believe my target persona is actually the college principle whose job is to oversee the efforts to promote the college & ensure its success. This is the person who needs to ensure there are efficient methods & channels to guarantee the success of the college from year to year.

I have redone my target persona in the section below.

3.1 IBM Design Thinking Process Starts

Persona creation.

My persona target is the head of the college whose responsibility it is to oversee all aspects of the college to ensure it is successful year after year. My persona’s attributes are here.

Head of College
Head of College

I refined my character with an empathy map using the headings Thinks, Feels, Says & Does. This was very helpful in giving me an insight into the thought process of the college head & perhaps a better understanding of that role & its responsibilities.

Character Map

After this stage I progressed to an As Is chart. This helped me to better define what my steps are & even what problem I was attempting to solve.

  1. The headings I used are:
  2. What is my intent.
  3. Who are my intended users.
  4. What problems am I trying to solve.
  5. What do we stand to gain.
  6. What’s blocking my success.
As Is Chart #1
As Is Chart #1

Next I grouped together the key points from the 1st chart into the As Is chart proper under the headings


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