The Swan

For our sixth week project we were set the title ‘The Swan’ by Gareth Barham who would lead this weeks project. This title was quite interesting and enticing. I was therefore eager to get the brief and begin my week long project.

On Monday morning we were given the brief which was to re-design an electronic or digital product without using:
Push-Buttons
Touch-Screens
Voice-Activation
Pressure-Pads

This seemed like a mammoth task due to the nature of it as well as the amount of specifications we had to follow. We were then given a day to pick an old digital product which was old and broken and re design it using the above specification into an useful and modern equivalent.

I chose an old Nokia telephone which had small push buttons and a black and white digital interface. I chose this product as it is stereotypical of a product which is ugly, although also epitomising a product which was one of the best in the market at its time and is still renowned for its durability and usability which is something I want to re-produce in my very own phone.

I then went on to create a mind map of ways I could get around the specifications shown above, and how my phone would function. I then came up with the following:
Turn Dials
Joysticks
Motion Sensors

After thinking of these solutions i then began producing several sketches, and looked at the different sections of the phone. I then went on to look at the overall look of the phone and experimented with several shapes; such as oval’s, rectangles as well as the more conventional square shapes. I then thought of the practicality as well as the comfort and came to the conclusion that the rectangular shape suited the needs of the user best as it consisted of a substantial screen as well as enough room for the other features. I then went on to look at how the phone would function and decided on a dial system as used in old telephones. This would work in the same way but would consist of two dials rather than the one which was seen on these old telephones. One of these dials would compromise of numbers to make phone calls, whilst the other would compromise of letters to compose texts; this phone would also compromise of a single joystick on the bottom left corner as I found that this was the most natural thumb position whilst user testing, this joystick could then be used to go through the applications and select which function you would want to use.

After deciding on the form and features i then composed three final sketches which I then showed to a target audience which ranged from people between the ages of 18-40, all of those asked were regular phone users and all owned a personal mobile phone. I also asked them which phone they believed functioned best; as well as what they looked for in a mobile phone before purchasing it.

I then received several surveys as well as feedback forms which raised several good points as well as several issues which could arise with the phone. I then took the feedback on board and chose my final design.

I decided after this feedback that the most suitable phone was the one which consisted of several turn dials as it was said to be the best looking, the most comfortable to hold and the most tangible.

Although finding this week long project difficult I believe that I have learn several important lessons from this, such as problem solving, working to a strict time frame as well as presenting skills both in my designs as well as whilst presenting my concept. I have therefore found this project unbelievably valuable for my progression as a product designer.

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