Other Projects

March 5, 2009

While my project is coming along, there isn’t anything in particular to report about it – still making progress in the right direction. I now have an extra week + spring break to finish it up (due to my sickness making things especially difficult), so I’m on track.

I thought I’d write a blog post with some general comments about other people’s projects – perhaps not specific details since I can’t keep half of them straight, but some general comments about classes might be interesting.

The other two studio sections are at a different place than mine is – in general, they have hit the milestones for the project, but on some, it seems like they are missing some of the depth – lots of projects are aimed at either extremely generic target markets (e.g. 20-somethings), or centered around a concept (e.g.  For people who want a well built and sturdy appliance). I’m not sure if this is good or bad – in one way,  it has made hitting their milestones a lot easier, but it seems to miss some of the specific-ness we used on the last project where we had 3 words we were sticking with, that together had a very narrow definition of what was a successful design for that critera.

Our studio seems to have the opposite problem for the most part – We did lots of research at the beginning, which took us off schedule some – we focused on identifying our target market, and narrowing down what they wanted before jumping into generation. On the plus side, this gave us some excellent critera for judging a successful design, on the downside, it put us behind schedule some, and it gave some of us (e.g., Me, Adam, and others)  a bit of trouble when we started doing concepts. I had some difficulty with this approach, since I already have some issues with concept generation and going wild with cool if outrageous concepts, when I added a very specific target market (kids) with some specific requirements (safety, fun), it cramped my style some – I got distracted in the weeds by running my ideas through that filter too early, and too many ideas got weeded out before giving them a chnace.

I’m not trying to say my project got screwed and I got thrown under the wagon by getting too much research, but I’m interested in learning what I can from how things went down. First, I think having a specifc target market is something that has to be done – thats how real projects would go down. What I need to do is learn how to deal with it. For one, sometimes ignoring the most restrictive criteria initially is the way to go – go out and do something cool, and figure how to make it safe later, for instance. Also, don’t throw out your criteria all the way – the first step in the right direction for me was making a gigantic mood board, drawing out stuff that was relavant to my market – not only did it get me thinking about what kids want, but it also got my creative juices going for that evening.

Food for thought.



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