Development of Ideas

I thought divergently about my idea, and how the kinetic energy might benefit the audience. To start with, I made a list of all the possible uses for my current design, that consists of a usb inserted in the back, linked to a pendulum mechanism that turns a motor producing electricity. The usb is a universal plug used for data transportation and charging points for many electrical appliances. The main uses would be:

  • Phone charging
  • Ipod
  • Portable speakers
  • Portable Lights

However, my target demographic is largely going to a be young adults, aged between 18-30, and my angle is marketing the product as a festival shoe, or to commuters. Other items they may not think of but will certainly find essential in a basic stripped back environment such as camping are as follows:

  • Hoover
  • Straighteners
  • Hair dryer
  • Electric toothbrush
  • Fridge
  • Electric Car

This divergent thinking has opened up a wide range of products that could be used in the shoe, and customers will hopefully like the versatility of the free energy adapter. The shoe is also good for emergencies and survival situations where energy can be produced from movement.

Personas & Journey Mapping

Today we learnt a good technique to use when thinking about our audience. It’s very easy to get tunnel vision and run with my own thoughts, however i’m probably missing a whole range of peoples needs a scenarios that may exclude them from using the shoe, or what they might like about the product.

First we were told to make a range of personas from extreme to normal, producing an identity of a fictional character that will encounter my product in some fashion

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After making up our fictional characters, we ran through how and why our identities had encountered the product, and what there thoughts and feelings were. Here is the outcome.

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I found this useful to identify potential flaws such as waterproofing, and who might be excluded from using the product, such as a disabled person or and office worker that doesn’t move the necessary amount in a day to utilize the product effectively.

Further Development

After looking at my research, I started to make decisions about the materials I would use to create the shoe, and what impact it might have on the environment.

As previously mentions, cork is a very versatile material, and could defiantly be utilized in this project. I also think hemp would make a good natural alternative to synthetic material that pollute the environment all along the materials economy.

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Poster Design Thumbnail Sketches

I wanted to clearly communicate my message of sustainability, but show it in a way that would challenge the audience to think about the over riding issue of the planet. I came up with two key signifiers which I think will help me. One being the planet, as this is what sustainability is all about, and the other being electricity, or lightening bolts to signify electricity. Below are a few variations of what I came up with. I think they would communicate the desired messages well and the audience would instantly know what the shoe did.

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Sports Shoe Adverts

I took a look at some other well known sports brands to see how they visually communicate the messages of a sports shoe.

The poster below is big and bold, but simple. The text takes up almost a whole third of the top of the page. The light background has a very slight radial gradient from white to a slight tone of grey. This makes the big bold black text almost leap out at the audience, and really catches the eye. The tagline is also very clever. The quick fix makes the audience ask how and why?  The poster flows from text, to the image of the shoes, to the small piece of information explaining the design and technology. The poster is well balanced, with the main bulk of the information being at the bottom. This gives the audience the opportunity to read the information quickly and effectively.

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From a typography standpoint, i think this design is very effective, however i’m not sure if I used this technique, whether the audience would pick up the purpose of the shoe and what impact it has of the world.

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This poster is clear and striking, however the image is solely focused on the shoe, which isn’t a bad thing. However I feel my design needs some sort of information explaining what the product does. This design would fit well on the fibanche spiral as the eye is drawn to the bottom right of the page where the shoe starts. Directly above in another focus point is the logo that contrasts well with the white back ground.

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I think this design is incredibly simple but effective. One small line of text saying “Walk on air” with white text on a black background positioned centre of a landscape billboard. Directly above is a 3d model of the shoe, implying the shoe is light enough to rise to the the top of the billboard.

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The Audience of My Design

As the brief states, PDF two should include research on my intended audience. Who is my audience? What might they think about my product? And how might they perceive my visual communication.

To do this, we looked a couple of techniques that would help us to jump into the shoes of our audience, and experience what their thoughts and feelings might be when they see the product. This is important to understand before the design process to make sure my product has a purpose, and a customer once the product has been made.

One of these techniques is called personas. A lot of design companies use this technique to better understand their intended audience. Sancha asked us to come up with three identities that might be a potential customer. Its easy when designing to have tunnel vision, and to focus on my own thoughts and feelings, and not consider other peoples age, gender, and own beliefs.

After creating my personas, I took them through a journey map. This means taking the identity through the process from noticing the product, to buying it, and then using it. Doing this raised some questions about my design, and from this I have developed the idea further. I realised that the waterproofing of the shoe would be fundamental to its success. I then looked into other ways the shoe could protect the usb from getting wet. I thought about other waterproofed electronics, for example my mobile phone the samsung s5, and how I might use replicate this in my design. I noticed that the charging port was sealed with a plastic piece that fitted into the plug, meaning no water could go in nor out.

DSC03233.jpgThinking sustainably, I wanted to use a material that isn’t going to harm the environment from production to the end of use. At this stage, I’m thinking of using cork, like a wine stopper, in order to keep my product dry, however I want to do some more research in order to find out if there is a more suitable product available.

Siva Cycle

I looked at alternative methods of power generation in order to better understand how my design would work. Siva cycle generates power through kinetic energy. A fan is attached to the back wheel that spins when the wheel is in motion. This in turn spins a motor that produces electricity, and then is stored in a small black box. This black box can then be detached and plugged in to your phone in order to charge it.

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