Learning: The Design Process

In this time at home, I completed a 6 week course on product design. The course was a perfect introduction to idea-generation, user research, sketching, and prototyping for product design. Over the 6 weeks, I developed a product solution for a problem I identified in my own user experience. See my journey through the design process below!


The Problem Statement

Create a durable, yet simple way to attach bike locks to bike frames.

I’m an avid cyclist, as such I have owned many U-Locks. The mechanism which attaches the lock to the frame has always been a hassle for me. It slips over time. It’s a pain to attach. It can be better.

Defining User Needs

The primary needs for the attachment mechanism are as follows:

The attachment is durable.

The attachment is more convenient than that permanently attaching items to the bike frame.

The attachment is aesthetically pleasing.

The attachment is installed easily.

The attachment is sturdy.

! The attachment can be locked to avoid theft of the attached item.

The attachment does not wear or damage the item which it is attaching.

The attachment is compatible with U-locks.

Each of the listed needs break out into more specific needs, totaling over 30 individual needs that the end product should meet. This formatting is quite useful for organizing needs after conducting user research. Click here for the full list of needs.

Weighing Alternatives

There are many different ways to do this part of the design process. The way that was taught in the course was to decompose the problem into individual parts. Then brainstorm many different solutions for each small part. So coming up with alternatives is just a matter of combining the small ideas into one. Click here to see how I weighted alternatives.

Pencil Sketch to Digital Render

Final Prototype

Admittedly, this infographic isn’t perfect. But the focus was to clearly show the digital sketch of the prototype, and clearly describe the problem and the needs. The subpar infographic is a great segue into my next frontier of design; visual/digital design! Applying the lessons from this course, on how to conduct a full design process will certainly help in my next phase.

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