Joshua Merritt, Jake Carlson, and Luis Trejo
WSU Students, DTC Majors
Pullman, WA 99164
E-Mail: [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected]
Joshua Merritt, Jake Carlson, and Luis Trejo
October 28, 2019
Design Thinking Project
Design Thinking Project
For your Design Thinking project, you will design a new or improve an existing tool or object that using human-centered design processes. Instead of trying to come up with your best idea for a digital tool or object, you will identify your purpose, audience, and context for the design, integrating elements of prototyping and testing.
Refer to An Introduction to Design Thinking: Process Guide for the Design Stages from Empathy to Testing.
Section 1: Vision Statement: Empathize and Define
Collect your observations and interviews about a specific digital tool or object that others have interacted with. Record these observations and define your objective or purpose. Culminate this section with a visionary statement about the problem you are addressing.
1. Pay special attention to human capabilities and human differences in your observations and interviews.
2. Length: 300-400 words
Concerning design, bed frames can be best described by this quote from The Design of Everyday Things by Donald Norman: “…they might be usable, but force us to behave the way the product wishes rather than as we wish.” In other words, the current design of bed frames limits human capabilities, and from interviews with WSU students this limitation appears due to two things—a bed frame’s heavy weight and low profile. Concerning weight, bed frames tend to make adjusting themselves more of a hassle than it needs to be. Concerning profile, users tend to accidentally maim themselves on the legs and edges of bed frames due to the low visibility produced by having objects low enough to the ground that they fade into the darkness of the evening. Therefore, the product should be designed to solve these two key issues of weight and visibility
Based on these observations, the goal of this project should focus on a bed frame that producing that is not only lightweight, but one that contains lights to counter low visibility. These lights should be triggered by some fluctuation in weight and time (i.e. when the user gets out of bed at night) and allow users to control any of its available options: sensitivity, color, and duration. In addition to lights, the materials used to construct the new bed frame should be lightweight yet sturdy enough to support up to 500 pounds. With new variants of steel alloy, these bed frames would not only be mass producible, but cheap making them more cost effective. Lastly, the frame should be adjustable for full to queen sized mattresses—this should allow for a more marketable product to maximize the number of frames sold since consumers will be more incline to keep something that will last and adjust with them.
Section 2: Design Proposal: Ideate, Prototype, and Test
In this section, capture your design process during two different stages of development: your first attempts at designing the object, and your revised attempts after testing it out with potential users. Present both images, and analyze how and why your design changes.
1. Detail the elements of your design, focusing on human-centered design decisions.
2. Include at least TWO images created by you (drawing, photograph, digital design).
3. Length: 300-400 words
First Prototype Final Prototype
Our focus in designing the first prototype was to create a bed frame that is light weight and provides light to avoid any problems with the legs. Using Adobe Photoshop, we created the first prototype, we went with a simple design that can easily be assembled. The bed frame in the design is made of steel alloy, making the weight of the bed lighter than the average bed frame ultimately making it easy to move. To help people avoid having an accident with the legs, we added a light that would go under the bed. This light would be controlled by a remote that can turn the light on and off.
After testing the first prototype we discovered flaws and adjusted the design. We noticed an opportunity to improve the first prototype by adding adjustable sliding parts that allow the frame to extent in width. This addition allows the bed frame to hold up a variety of mattress sizes. We tested the light that would be attached to the bottom of the bed frame by placing a lamp under the bed. After observing the light, we realized that the single light under the bed did not provide enough light to help people notice the legs of the bed frame. In the final prototype we added lights on each leg of the bed frame while keeping the light that is located under the bed. Placing lights on the legs helps people notice where the legs are located and provides visibility when getting up in the middle of the night. Instead of turning the lights on via a remote, we added a pressure plate that is attached to the top of the bed frame and the lights will turn on when weight is lifted off the bed. The color, brightness and duration of the lights can be adjusted with a remote that comes along with the bed frame.
Section 3: Reflection on the Design Thinking Process
In this section, reflect on your design and the design process, connecting your decisions and insights to at least two texts from this unit.
1. Emphasize the cultural implications of your design. How will your design impact our culture?
2. Refer to at least two texts from the Design Thinking unit.
3. Length: 200-400 words
In order to shift the culture, an idea needs to be bright and then refined to become a better version of itself. Upon the idea of this design, there needed to be some sort of mechanism to enable the lights on the frame. Early considerations were a switch that would turn the lights on, but it presented too many problems, where would the switch go? What happens if the switch stops working? After re-thinking the switch, our team came up with the idea that the lights could be triggered by fluctuation in weight and time (i.e. when the user gets out of bed at night).
Feedback is the most important mechanism when taking this project into consideration; author and researcher, Donald Norman touches on the importance of this response in his 2013 novel, “The Design of Everyday Things”. The response of a user getting off the bed and the light turning on is called ‘feedback’ by Norman. Norman describes feedback as communicating the results of an action and goes in depth about how it is important to the success of a product because the human nervous system is equipped numerous feedback mechanisms like visual, auditory, and touch sensors. Author and Computer Scientist Bret Vitor elaborated on feedback with his 2011 article “A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design”. “Pick up a glass of water. Take a sip. Notice how you know how much water is left, by how the weight shifts in response to you tipping it. Almost every object in the world offers this sort of feedback.” This is the mechanism that will allow users to have the lights on the legs turn on as they leave their bed.
It is very difficult to fall back asleep after stubbing your toe, it is also difficult to find your phone after it falls between the bedframe and wall and lands face-down. This design prevents both from becoming an issue by the lights activating once the user leaves the bed. The user will easily be able to see, avoiding any issues.
People are spending loads of money on mattresses to improve their sleeping lives. Not all innovations are life-altering, but this innovation will aid in sleep health. Combining a well-made mattress with this bedframe will maximize user’s opportunity at a good night’s rest.