PRODUCT DESIGN Prototype

Colour Q • Student Work

BRIEF

Work in a team of five to create a solution that helps the mental wellbeing of a certain kind of worker of the team's choosing. This project was completed for my capstone fourth year project in the Global Business and Digital Arts program at the University of Waterloo. My team, consisting of my peers Christine Ganotaki, Konur Ozcan, Sindhujaa Ganes, Katarina Wex, and myself, chose to create a solution to help the mental wellbeing of servers in the food industry.

PROCESS

The research process included conducting primary and secondary research to discover the main stressors of servers. From there, we focused on how improving communication could improve overall wellbeing. Several solutions were brainstormed, and we used techniques such as experience mapping to decide which solution would best meet the needs of our users. We decided on a colour coded light system that would act as a visual communication tool between the server and the customer. Below is an image outlining the research process undergone by our team to understand the specific problems facing this sector of workers and how we arrived at our proposed solution.

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Using some rudimentary materials (push lights and coloured plastics) we created a physical prototype. We then ran user testing sessions in a simulated restaurant environment (details on this testing can be seen by enlarging the 'Design Thinking' image below). This testing session was incredibly helpful in breaking assumptions that we had about the users that would interact with out product and how they would interact with it. We were able to make meaningful changes to our idea through this testing process. The final elements of this project included a summation of our design process, a business case (completed by my team members, Christine Ganotaki and Sindhujaa Ganes) and a final presentation in front of a panel of experts from the University of Waterloo Accelerator Centre. My primary role in this project was as a project manager - keeping deadlines and leading team meetings were two of my main responsibilities in this position. I also worked as a designer on this project, deciding the general design guidelines of our presentations and final proposal documents, as well completing many of the elements for those documents and presentations. 

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