SIV: Five

The demonstration given by Fred, a Line 7 representative, regarding a range of garments used for different work environments  was very useful. It gave me an idea of how vast the scope we are working with, really is. It has made me excited to  prototype my concepts.

Today I started putting the ideas that have been gnawing the side of my head onto paper. Although I have barely scratched the surface of the generate and ideate phases, I have high hopes that after I rid my head of all my boring ideas, decent ones will be born and so on.

However, the past few days was spent weighing out options to make the best decision possible on what the focus of the project should be. I have decided that it will be about the personal safety and security of an urban runner enabling them to focus on their performance and training instead.This decision is based upon the persona I identified most with and which  out of the five personas cover the running demographic best.

There were key obstacles to why this decision had been such a tall order. I wondered whether choosing a persona with a unique angle that only appeal to a niche market will benefit me more than choosing a persona that ensures that all the general needs of all runners are accounted for.

Had I had more time in my hands I would have immersed myself in more research. I feel that I can still gain more insights from more role-playing and even from just the simple act of observing runners.

Though in the span of six weeks, there isn’t really enough time to spend in full immersion in further investigation of the subject of the brief. If I keep allowing more time for research I would be losing time that I have allocated for the next stages of the processes.

Fred (a Line 7 representative), spent four weeks doing field research. This involved observing what the norm is for his subjects in their environment. Four weeks spent on research alone, builds a solid foundation of knowledge that is crucial to any design process. It is important to be familiar with the demographic they intend to design for. Observation and role play have proven to be useful tools in the past, as they allow one person who is unfamiliar with the subject to gain empathy and understanding in a short amount of time. Consequently, this helps with the generation of quality insights and further more fuels concept ideation.

I have role played plenty, but I think I am not getting any new insights other than the obvious ones. The route that I run is generally a very quiet area and I have only had time to run during dawn which is not the busiest time for traffic. If I vary my location and the times I run, I will most definitely gain different insights. This would be my next step if time still allowed me to spend another good solid week on it. (Technically, I can still keep track of my thoughts when I am running, but it will feed the later stages of the process and will not make a difference to the focus I have chosen.)

On this note, I have generated a survey about running and used social media as means of platform. I have also politely requested many organisations to help circulate this survey  ie my past high school and AUT University. The AUT Sports Development Administrator has expressed her interest to hold a conversation with me regarding this project, to look at ways they can support me to get an increased response to my survey, as well as runners to trial gear with.

We have coordinated a time to meet tomorrow. This is such a good opportunity as it adds another layer onto my process. These people have sound knowledge regarding health  and safety. A collaboration with them will guide me to realize things I may have missed  and help me gain more insights that can lead me to possible quality ideas.

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