C1 work with design briefs and specifications

Posted: October 7, 2010 in CORE

Starting knowledge 2

Current working level 3

My initial understanding of working with design briefs and specifications is that I need to establish the context of solving a problem in developing a new idea.
There is an easy way of remembering how to start with the initial specification and that is the three P’s:

 Person Who is actually going to use the product, will they be old, young, male or female, what specific things could you bring to a product for instance colour, or graphics that may be suitable for one group of people but not the next. Or is it a generic product that will be used by all sexes across the age groups, it is the initial assessment of who the target market actually is.  For instance when designing for Lynx deodorant at Sheffield Hallam it was obviously for the male market, but was I just going to latch onto the young alpha males or was I going to target a wider audience?   Was it simply a product that sold through brand name alone? These were all specific things I needed to consider.  When looking at the target market we basically need to consider age, gender, the incomes of people buying the product, their tastes and views, their attitudes and their lifestyle.

male targeted, innovative, portable, clear

 
PlaceWhere is the product going to be used, is it outdoors, would it have to be waterproof, will it be used in a confined space, does it need to be portable for instance, all plus more questions need to be answered when issued with a brief.

PurposeWhat is the actual function of the product going to be, how can it be used how will it be operated, is it designed for practicality or is it a product designed to be like nothing else on the market.

Basically what is the need for the product, what is the problem you are trying to solve, what does the design brief tell you? What is its concept?

When looking at the Design specification, this is more to do with the actual specifics of the product itself.  In your specification you are more likely to use statements such as:

It will be stored……..The overall size will be……..It will be made from……..

A specification basically tells you the direct function of the product, it will include any important details about how the product will be produced and what it will be made from, its size, shape, cost, safety issues e.t.c.  It is a statement of what you intend to do and how you have answered your design brief.

I have had to set myself 2 briefs in each of Bhav’s and Dean’s projects.  On reflection when looking at my briefs they are perhaps too long-winded as I have been told that a brief should be just that, brief.  What I have  previously classed as a brief is actually more of a design context giving more detail than is necessary than to be seen as the design brief.  It has been suggested by Bhav that the brief need just be a sentence or two.  So if I compare the two briefs from each of Bhav’s design and make projects.

ED216:  My aim is to produce a contemporary plate and bowl storage device that will fit into any modern kitchen.  I will create an original design unlike the plain ones available on the current market that will be both aesthetically pleasing and highly functional.  It will be aimed at people of any age and sex who enjoy quality kitchen appliances, and view the kitchen as an integral part of their home.  It will be a minimalist style to fit the current trend of products and furniture currently available in contemporary kitchens.  It will be unique and desirable as well as practical, and it will aim to link in with the appliances that already occupy my own and any potential customers appliance

ED32O:  I will be designing and manufacturing a multipurpose study and storage unit designed to save space in small living areas.

The difference is evident.

To fully show competence of working with the design briefs I think that including a detailed objective evaluation in my projects is a massive factor in going to prove this.  In honesty I was not happy with the first two final products and evidently I fell short of being able to say with confidence that I had answered my design briefs.  This is something that I will be looking at drastically improving for my final projects and then I can be confident in saying that I have worked well with the design briefs and specifications.

As far as the specification goes I feel it may be necessary to include an initial specification as well as an updated one later in the design process to indicate any major changes that have occurred along the way.  The design process is an ongoing one and by making a specification at the start of a project it is likely to change when looking further into design creation and material research for example.  The initial specification can be used to give the onlooker a basic knowledge of the direction that the thought process will undertake in the initial stages, and may include phrases such as ‘the product will be made of wood’ or ‘the product will be no larger than x…’.  However the final specification will indicate the exact wood and the exact measurements once extra research has taken place.

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