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Engineering Design

Engineering System Investigation Process


Biomedical Engineering

Technical Communications

Electrical & Computer Engineering

Selection of Engineering Materials

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Physical & Mathematical Modeling


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Processes to Make Products

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Hands-On

Engineering Discovery

Minds-On

Engineering Measurement
Social Science

Engineering Analysis & Computing

Teamwork
Mechanical Engineering

Professionalism
Civil & Environmental Engineering

Engineering System Design Process


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Topics
Introduction to User-Centered Engineering Design High Performance Teams, Leadership, Managing Conflict Conducting Meetings, Project Notebook, Team Writing, Project Scheduling Written and Oral Communication Defining and Researching the Problem Writing the Project Definition Generating and Learning from Alternatives Choosing a Design Concept Failure Modes and Effects Analysis Conducting Design Reviews Concluding Conceptual Design: Moving toward Detailed Design
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Introduction to User-Centered Engineering Design


The idea of design of making something that has not existed before is central to engineering. The heart of engineering is complex problem solving that leads to new products and solutions. The best way to learn design is to actually do design, i.e., work on a real project involving real people who need your products and audiences who are not simply your instructors. Here you will be introduced to the user-centered design process, along with the team and communication skills, you will need for doing that work well. The design process is iterative rather than sequential.
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In design, you move back and forth through the different stages of the process. You redefine your problem by gathering additional information from experts or new groups of users, do more testing, and finally more design.
Design is a systematic approach to problem solving with fairly predictable results.

Design A Complex Recursive Process

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Help humans understand and describe their world Seek to explain how the world works Follow the Scientific Method for discovery and understanding: Observe Hypothesis Prediction Test Predictions by Experiment or Observation and Modify Hypothesis Repeat to Eliminate Discrepancies

What Do I Want To Create Today ?

Attempt to create new objects and devices that are important to humans and society Rely on the Engineering Design Algorithm (step-bystep process to achieve a goal) to create nearly every object around you: Identify Problem Define Goals and Constraints Gather Information Create Potential Solutions Analyze Choose Best Solution Build Test and Evaluate Repeat As Necessary
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Engineering Design

Technology

Business System (Viability, (Feasibility) Integration Sustainability) Business Research

Engineering

HumanCentered (Desirability) Design Human Factors

Complexity
(Usability)

INNOVATION HAPPENS
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Conceptual Design vs. Detailed Design


The design process can be divided into two large phases. Conceptual Design is the systematic process of developing a general solution to a problem but not performing all the calculations and the evaluation of components, materials, and manufacturing processes necessary for implementation of the design. Detailed Design is the process of performing necessary calculations and evaluating components, materials, and manufacturing processes in order to see a design through to implementation. This requires advanced knowledge in mathematics, science, and engineering. Here we focus on Conceptual Design. As you continue through the process of becoming an engineer, you will have many opportunities to perform detailed design work.
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Communication: An Integral Part of Design


The design process requires communication at every step of the way. As a design engineer you will have to communicate with experts, clients, and team members, not only when you write reports and give oral presentations, but also when you sketch ideas, build mockups, and provide graphs and equations. You will also need strong interpersonal skills for working successfully in client and team meetings. A real design is something you can articulate and explain to others. As you become a skilled communicator, you will become a better design engineer. Good problem solvers have the logical ability to be good communicators. You will use your analytical skills in both to succeed.
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Comparing Design and Writing

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Supplementary Materials
The following pages contain:
Marquette College of Engineering June 2008 Deep Dive for the Developing World Posters Some Thoughts on Design A Design Thinkers Personality Profile Design Thinking, Tim Brown, IDEO, Harvard Business Review, June 2008. May 26, 2008 NY Times: How Green is the College? ASEE Prism Magazine, March 2008: Caroline Baillie Business Week: Power of Design, May 2004 Design Research for Radical Innovation

In addition see:
ABC Deep Dive Video Dave Blakely, IDEO, Video Design Case Study
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Deep Dive Design for the Developing World June 2008 Marquette University

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Some Thoughts on Design


Leadership and Excellence
The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to his/her commitment to excellence, regardless of his/her chosen field or endeavor. To achieve success, whatever the job we have, we must pay a price for success. It's like anything worthwhile. It has a price. You have to pay a price to win and you have to pay the price to get to the point where success is possible. Most important, you must pay the price to stay there. Success is not a sometimes thing. In other words, you don't do what is right once in a while, but all the time. Success is a habit. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing. We have all watched people achieve success and then be unable to repeat the success. To succeed again requires dedication, perseverance and, above all, discipline and mental toughness. Every really successful person understands deep in his/her heart the grind, the discipline that it takes to succeed. Once you have established the goals you want and the price you're willing to pay for success, you can ignore the temporary failures.

Vince Lombardi
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Focus and Motivation The Right Mindset


Technical expertise without the right motivation and without a vision will not lead to successful designs. Focus on the need; become an expert in the problem and solve the right problem. View problems as opportunities to excel! Dont ask the customer what they think they need, ask what the problem is! Dont overlook the big picture; look at the problem and its surroundings; test the limits (big, small, fast, slow, ) as you explore the problem; never stop asking Why? Find inspiration from outstanding examples products, people, companies, methods. Embrace the design attitude: be willing to take risks, try different things, extend yourself, and learn from failure. Identify multiple solutions to the problem; it is highly unlikely that the first solution identified will be the best solution.
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Process and Procedure


The successful designer or design team follows a process, a procedure, from the problem definition to the problem solution. This process is not a rigidly-adhered-to set of rules, but rather a guide to keep the designer or design team on track towards the final destination the problem solution. This formal plan is essential in breaking the project down into tasks, in assigning responsibility and authority, and in measuring progress. Consider whether radical product innovation or incremental improvement is best. Believe in iteration in the design process and strive for constant improvement.

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Documentation
The steps which lead to the problem solution must be documented so they can be continually reviewed, as design is an iterative process. Good documentation will show others how the design solution was obtained. State all the assumptions made during the process and why they are necessary. Assumptions should be challenged since they are often constraining and limit opportunities in solving the problem.

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Harvard Business Review June 2008 Design Thinking

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New York Times May 26, 2008 Front Page

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ASEE Prism Magazine March 2008

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High Performance Teams, Leadership, Managing Conflict


Defining a High Performance Team How do teams develop? What makes a team succeed? What causes teams to fail? Developing a Leadership Structure Three forms of leadership structure Guidelines for exercising effective leadership Resolving Team Conflicts Sources of team conflict Guidelines for resolving conflict Tools for resolving team conflicts
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Defining a High Performance Team


Teams make the engineering design process more efficient and productive.
Ability to approach problems from many perspectives Varied knowledge and skills among team members Opportunity to motivate each other Leads to improved communication

Teamwork is important no matter what profession one enters.


Teams are a fundamental feature of organizations. The world is teeming with teams! Teams have become integral to organizations largely because of the accelerating complexity of the decisions that need to be made. Solving complex problems demands the integration of many divergent points of views and the effective collaboration of many individuals.
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Successful teams dont just happen; they are built by individuals working together.

How Do Teams Develop?


A real team is two or more people who recognize and share a unified commitment to a specific, common goal and who collaborate in their efforts to achieve that goal. Real teams take time and work to develop. There are four stages of team development: Forming Team members exchange vital information, learn about each other, have high expectations for success, act politely and considerately, and deny or suppress any potential for disagreement. Storming Team members encounter problems: tension and conflicts build between team members; team harmony breaks down; expectations are no longer so idealistic; the team feels disillusioned and discouraged.
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Norming Team members discuss and resolve problems; they establish operating rules / checks and balances, methods for communicating, scheduled meeting times, and ways to hold individuals accountable for responsibilities. Performing Team members work collaboratively, use individual differences as a source of strength, resolve team problems as they arise, achieve a high level of productivity, and put success of the project above individual goals. Eventually team members become deeply committed to each others growth and success.

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Stages of Team Development

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What Makes a Team Succeed?


A clear, challenging, and urgent goal: High performance teams have both a clear understanding of the goal to be achieved and a belief that the goal embodies a worthwhile or important result. A results-driven structure: The success of the team is measured by results, not effort, and the team needs to be structured to achieve those results. Each team member has a clear role and is held accountable for his or her contribution. The team has an effective communication system, keeping all team members informed in a timely way. Team members give each other prompt and helpful feedback on their performance so each can do his or her best work. Decisions are based on facts and data, not on preferences, hunches, or assumptions.

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Competent team members: Team members need technical skills and knowledge, to know how to work with others, and to be able to identify, confront, and resolve issues as they arise. A unified commitment to the team and its goals: Every team member must be willing to do whatever it takes to make the team successful, including helping each other out if the need arises. The most common reason teams fail or fall short of their potential is lack of commitment from all members. There needs to be a balance between group think and analysis paralysis. A collaborative climate: Members should have defined roles, mutual accountability, and clear lines of communication. Team members must also trust each other. They must be honest, open, consistent, and respectful.

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Clear standards of excellence: Standards should be measurable whenever possible. Both individual and team standards need to be established and members need to be held accountable to these standards. Hold yourself and each other accountable to team standards. External support: Make sure the team has the resources necessary to achieve its goals. Principled leadership: Be honest, trustworthy, open to others ideas, willing to do things differently, and faithful to your commitments. Put your ego aside.

What Causes Teams To Fail?


Lack of unified commitment Lack of collaboration Poor time management Failure to get to know each other
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Engineering Design

Developing a Leadership Structure


A team must decide which leadership structure works best for them. Three Forms of Leadership Structure Shared Leadership
Team members who decide to share leadership tend to be self-motivated and comfortable taking charge of a particular aspect of a project.

Rotating Leadership
This model works well when team members have time constraints at different points in the project. Rotating leadership also is a good choice for teams with members who have strong personalities and are reluctant to give leadership over to one person.

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Single-Person Leadership
This model works well when one member is good at managing, motivating, and communicating with his or her teammates or when sharing leadership is causing confusion about roles, missed deadlines, and poor communication.

Guidelines for Exercising Effective Leadership


Assign tasks based on members interests and skills But make sure everyone has a learning experience and broadens their knowledge and experience base. Trust team members Work towards ownership not consensus! Consensus is something in which no one believes and to which no one objects! Shared ownership is the key! Encourage communication: send e-mails, lead meetings effectively, help identify and resolve team conflicts.
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Resolving Team Conflicts


Team conflict is inevitable. Successful teams learn how to manage team conflict. Sources of team conflict
Differences of opinion about goals and decisions Differences in personality and working style Perceptions that members are not filling their responsibilities

Guidelines for resolving conflict


When your team is having conflicts over goals and decisions, shift the focus from what team members want to why they want it. When you have a problem with a team members personality or working style: Decide what you can and cant change. Use members personality and working style to their best advantage.
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Decide when and where to discuss the conflict. State explicitly that you want to discuss the problem. Precisely describe the irritation behavior and when it occurred. Begin by stating facts. Next, explain how the behavior affects you and the team. Finally, offer a suggestion. When someone tells you he or she has a problem with your behavior: Try not to get defensive. Paraphrase what you heard the person say. Comment on the suggestion your teammate offers. Offer explanatory facts if appropriate. When conflicts arise from the perception that some team members are not doing their fair share of work, try the following: Find out through discussion whether youre correct in thinking these members are not doing their fair share.
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When it becomes apparent that one or more team members are not doing their fair share, the rest of the team has two options: Discuss a fair way to assign responsibilities. Ask for intervention from your supervisor.

Tools for resolving team conflicts


Team Process Checks These provide an opportunity for the team as a whole to take stock of its effectiveness and make necessary improvements. Process checks also give team members a chance to raise issues they believe are important to the teams success. Peer Reviews These provide an opportunity to assess your own and your teammates contributions to various aspects of the project. They also allow you to compare your assessment of yourself with your teammates assessment of you. In a successful team, each member makes a substantial contribution to the overall work of the team.
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Conducting Meetings, Project Notebook, Team Writing, Project Scheduling


Conducting Meetings
Setting the Agenda Conducting the Meeting Keeping Meeting Minutes

Project Notebook
What Should a Project Notebook Contain? How Should the Notebook Be Organized?

Team Writing
Guidelines for Team Writing

Project Scheduling
Responsibility Allocation Matrix (RAM) Gantt Chart
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Conducting Meetings
In addition to the time you spend in studio, you will need to meet at least once a week outside of studio to plan tasks, analyze information, write reports, and practice presentations. These meetings are valuable for the following reasons.
Members can talk about their skills, interests, and outside commitments so that work can be distributed in the most realistic and productive way. They are an incentive to complete your work, knowing you will have to report on it at a team meeting. They help you figure out answers to difficult questions such as, What should our objectives be? and What kind of user testing should we do? They help clarify team goals, reach consensus on decisions, and bring to the surface and resolve underlying problems that may be hampering the teams performance. They spark creativity by having you bounce ideas off each other.
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Setting the Agenda


Prepare a formal agenda, with input from team members, to make the best use of your time. The agenda should include: Meeting Date, Time, and Location Meeting Objective: Be specific as possible in your meeting objective so you dont get off track. Key Roles: The leader posts the agenda and facilitates discussion; the scribe takes notes during the meeting and posts the minutes to the team afterward; the time keeper makes sure the team stays within its allotted time for each agenda topic. Rotate roles from meeting to meeting. Discussion Topics: For each topic, specify allotted discussion time, presenter, required pre-meeting preparation, desired outcome, and method of achieving the outcome.

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Team Meeting Agenda Example

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Conducting the Meeting


Below is a list of responsibilities for members holding roles in a team meeting. Leader Set the agenda and send it out well in advance of the meeting. Make sure the meeting starts on time and ends on time. Keep the discussion focused on the topic and tactfully steer it back when it drifts. Encourage everyone to participate. Make sure all agenda items are discussed. If that is not possible, ask individual members to circulate material on items that will carry over to the next meeting. Help the team reach a consensus. Encourage discussion to clarify and resolve any disagreements. Help the team identify what actions need to be taken based on decisions made at the meeting, who will be responsible for those action items, and when they will be completed. File a copy of the meeting agenda in your project notebook.
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Timekeeper Let the facilitator know when discussion time is up for an agenda item. At that point, the leader, with the concurrence of the participants, can decide to continue the discussion, and thus modify the agenda, or table the discussion and continue with the original agenda. Scribe Take notes on key points of items discussed, decisions reached, and actions to be taken, along with who is responsible for those actions and when they should be completed. Review the action items with the team at the end of the meeting. Type up your meeting notes (called minutes) and email them to the team promptly so members can offer additions, corrections, or clarifications. After all corrections are made, post the revised minutes to team members and file a copy in the project notebook.
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Topic Presenter Prepare the material specified in the agenda and bring it to the meeting. If circumstances prevent you from completing the assigned task or attending the meeting, notify team members immediately. General Guidelines for Participation in Team Meetings Have everyone participate. Dont interrupt. Dont reject ideas out of hand. Require consensus, not majority rule, on all key decisions.

Keeping Meeting Minutes


Minutes serve as a record of key ideas discussed, decisions reached, and tasks assigned. Minutes help keep the project on track. Meeting minutes should include: Location, date, and time of meeting Names of people present and absent Name of scribe
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Topics discussed, plus a brief summary of the major points and decisions made in regard to each. Actions planned, the names of team members assigned to them, and the deadline. Minutes should be posted promptly for review and use by team members. Writing and posting minutes usually takes no more than 15 minutes if the scribe has taken good notes at the meeting. The payoff is a valuable reference for the team.

Project Notebook
Professional engineers and designers know the importance of keeping complete records of all their projects. The most common tool for doing this is the engineering notebook, which has two purposes.
It provides a central location for recording research plans and results, design ideas, data, notes, and sketches all of which are used by the team and others who continue the project.
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It serves as a legal record of design activity to preserve patent protection.

What Should The Notebook Contain?


All documents in the project notebook should be dated and initialized. The project notebook should contain: Title page with name of team and team members Student / Client understandings forms (signed) Project management tools Initial project description, course syllabus, Gantt charts, RAM charts Written deliverables Research reports, progress reports, project report, proposal Drawings and other visual representations Brainstorm sketches, alternatives sketches, mockup drawings, dimensioned drawings of final prototype, photos taken at observation and user testing, photos and drawings from the Internet
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Interview guides, questionnaires, and other instruments for gathering information Client interview guides, expert interview guides, user testing guides, performance testing protocols, designreview questionnaires and notes on oral feedback Notes and summaries of research gathered from client meetings, expert interviews, user observations, user testing, performance testing, competitive and model product analysis, Internet and library research Memos and e-mails to and from the client, experts, and instructors Oral presentation materials including slides, posters, and design-review handouts Teamwork-related materials including team standards and teamwork reports from instructors Agenda and minutes from all team meetings Project definition with all versions Other material you deem relevant to your work on the project
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How Should the Notebook Be Organized?


It is the responsibility of each team to maintain and organize the notebook. Organize the material by topic and also chronologically within a topic, making sure topics are narrow enough for users to quickly find relevant documents. Heres a possible set of topics: Project Definition Team Standards / Meetings Gantt / RAM Client Communication Reports Internet / Library / Expert Research Brainstorming Alternatives / Mockups User Observation / Testing Design Reviews Final Deliverables
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Team Writing
Engineers and scientists in both industry and academia often team up to write. This collaboration allows them to split up their work, pool their strengths and talent, and solve difficult intellectual and business problems. Here are guidelines that can help you produce effective documents.
Work as a team, not as a group. Remember that a team is a group of two or more people working together in an interdependent manner to achieve shared goals. Follow these general team practices to succeed at team writing. Decide as a team what you want to accomplish in the piece of writing. Select a leadership structure and a fair way of dividing the work. Create a schedule and set deadlines, then do your part to follow the schedule.
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Keep the lines of communication open, whether its to share ideas or problems; make sure everyone gets heard. Draw on members individual strengths and contributions. Keep your goal in mind and dont let petty annoyances distract you. Develop a set of research questions and an outline. These strategies will help you focus better and thus save time. Once you have completed your research, organize your findings and then meet to discuss them. Then decide the goal of your introduction, the purpose of each section of the report or presentation, and a method for dividing up the writing. Agree on a consistent style and format. To save time later in the project, decide on font style and size, type of headings, personal pronouns (using we to refer to work done by the team), and other such considerations. After you produce a draft, have one team member revise it. A team paper should read as if it were written by one person with consistent tone, style, sentence structure, and level of detail.
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Have the whole group read an almost-finished draft. Members should be on the lookout for errors or omissions of any kind, and sections that need more explanation or argument, or that might benefit from a figure or table. Keep in mind that when your name goes on an article or report, you are responsible for everything in it. Give and receive criticism of the draft with respect. Whether you are giving or receiving criticism of the draft, be open-minded. Your goal is to produce a clear, persuasive report. Have one team member edit the final copy. This includes carefully proofreading all headings and references, which tend to be the most error-ridden parts of a document. Make sure the document looks attractive and professional.

Project Scheduling
Whenever youre working on a large project, its crucial to share the workload, coordinate your activities, and establish and stick to a schedule.
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Successful teams use meeting minutes, the course syllabus, and two other important tools to help them stay on top of things: the Responsibility Allocation Matrix (RAM chart) and the Gantt chart.
The RAM chart details whos in charge of what and when its due. It gives you a detailed view of tasks and their deadlines, and shows who is responsible for performing the task, and by what date. The Gantt chart is a schedule of tasks using a timeline. It displays what work needs to be completed, when it should start and finish, and which tasks need to be worked on simultaneously.

Responsibility Allocation Matrix (RAM Chart)


The RAM chart is a good project-planning tool because it shows the primary and secondary tasks of each individual on the team. It is also a good record-keeping tool. The most useful RAM charts divide complex tasks and major deliverables into sub-tasks.

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A RAM chart takes the form of a grid, with tasks listed on one axis and team members and due dates on the other. If a square is marked with an X, this means the person assigned to that task has primary responsibility for seeing it is done. A square marked with an O shows who else is working on that task. A blank square means the corresponding team member is not involved in that task. A well-written RAM chart divides large tasks among team members, rather than giving all members primary responsibility for all or most tasks. Creating the RAM chart should be a team activity so that it draws on everyones knowledge and makes members feel invested in performing the tasks. Post the RAM chart to the team and place it in the project notebook. Prepare a new RAM chart every one to three weeks. At the end of the project, use a final RAM chart to document who did what.
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RAM Chart Example

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Gantt Chart
The Gantt chart (named after its inventor, Henry Gantt, a management theorist) is the most widely used method of scheduling group work by due dates. Using both a table and bar-graph format, the Gantt chart lists key project tasks on the vertical axis, and time frames (by weeks or months) on the horizontal axis. These bars also indicate which tasks overlap, are interdependent, or take place simultaneously. Gantt charts are used for internal team planning and also for external reporting. Like all project documentation, a Gantt chart undergoes modification as you complete portions of your project and better understand it. Thats why you need to keep updating the chart throughout the project.

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Heading

Generic Gantt Chart


completed tasks

main tasks and sub-tasks Include only those tasks related to the teams design process, not individual assignments.
uncompleted tasks

project milestone

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Guidelines for Creating Gantt Charts Brainstorm all the tasks that need to be done for your project. Group these tasks into categories, differentiating between main tasks and sub-tasks. List the tasks along the vertical axis, starting with the tasks that must be done first. End the list with your final deliverables. Divide your horizontal axis into columns, labeling each week. Use a horizontal bar to show the estimated beginning and end of each task. Review and revise your Gantt chart frequently, as you make progress and also add tasks to your project plan. Include the updated Gantt charts in your progress reports and project notebook.

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Written and Oral Communication


Engineers market their skill through the ability to communicate. Without that skill, engineers are shut out of decision making and, worse, career advancement. Engineers need to be proficient in the following types of communication:
Written: reports, proposals, memos, emails, instructions, meeting minutes Oral: final presentations, design reviews Visual: sketches, drawings, tables, graphs, charts, posters, slides Mathematical: equations, statistical analyses Interpersonal: team meetings, interviews
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Engineers often use several kinds of communication at a time.


They support oral presentations with written slides, which contain drawings, tables, and other visual elements. They write reports using mathematical elements such as statistical analysis of test data, which may be illustrated by visual elements such as tables and graphs. They use written agendas to organize team meetings, where they focus on sketches of design ideas.

In communicating, engineers use a variety of media: paper, email, electronic files, fax, telephone, video, projectors, etc. Each medium imposes specific requirements on engineers as they shape what they want to communicate. Writing is the most commonly used form of communicating among engineers. Your writing communication needs to be clear, complete, well-edited, and respectful.
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Both Writing and Design Are Iterative

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Types of Writing in Engineering

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Planning Your Written and Oral Communication


There Are 4 Elements To Keep In Mind Audience
Who will be reading your writing or listening to you talk? What does your audience already know? What do they need to know? What questions will be on their mind?

Purpose
What do you want your audience to do or know after reading the document or listening to you speak? What does your audience expect the document or presentation to help them understand or do?

Content
What do you need to say to accomplish that purpose? What is the best way to organize what you will say?

Tone
How do you need to sound to accomplish your purpose? Formal or informal? Assertive or questioning?
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Client, Users, Teammates, Experts

Structure Categories Headings Start Finish Emphasis Details

The Communication Square


There are no absolute rules for what to say and how to say it ! There is a process the same problem-solving approach you take to design applies to communication.

Respectful Serious Polite Considerate Positive Concern

Inform, Persuade, Instruct, Request

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Defining & Researching the Problem


The design team first needs to identify an energy need and a client. Sometimes the client has come to you with the need defined. In either case, you need to perform research and define the need / problem yourself. Why? The client may not have defined the problem correctly. They may have told you what they think they need and not what the actual problem is. Studying the problem thoroughly gives you a better grasp of the project. You must define the problem in solution-independent terms. You must become experts to solve the problem in the best way.
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State-of-the-Art Review
Research is an important part of a designer's job. In fact, a recent study of some of the most innovative companies by the National Research Council listed keeping abreast of the state of the art as one of the primary components of good design practice. The State-of-the-Art Review is that body of information that must be gathered in order to become expert in the area of the problem. It is the foundation for the entire design process. If it is done well the chances of achieving an outstanding design are increased greatly. It is important to note that the State-of-the-Art Review will be continuously updated throughout the design process as you gain experience by collaborating with customers and others who are experts in specific areas.
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Historical Perspective

It is important to consider information from the earliest known references to the problem area. This can help prevent efforts that merely serve to 'reinvent the wheel'. It is also possible that information may have been determined in the past which could now be utilized because of inadequate technology at that time. New technology might now be available to make it possible to incorporate the 'old' information into an outstanding design. Trends in the Field We want our designs to meet future needs and be as long-lasting as possible. Therefore, we must anticipate future needs. One way to do this is to look at past and present trends and try to determine future trends.
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New Technology It is the responsibility of engineers to solve problems by applying existing technology, especially the latest technology. We must search for ways to produce designs that achieve breakthroughs in quality, performance, and cost. You must investigate all new technologies that could possibly be applied to the problem. Marketing Who is the customer? Where can I find them? Do I have the names of potential customers that I can approach during the design process? What does the customer want in the way of: cost, reliability, safety, performance, etc.? What is the potential market for the product? What would be the likely production volume? What service requirements are there? Who will perform the service? How is the product likely to be used? In what environment will it be used?
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Design What are the competing products on the market? What are the results of reverse engineering one of the competitors' products? What technologies are being used? What engineering disciplines will be involved (mechanics, electronics, mechanisms, thermodynamics, etc.)? What materials are being used? Is there an opportunity to use new materials? Who are potential vendors for the design? What research journals would have information pertaining to this area? What articles on this topic have been published in the past 5 years? What periodicals are likely to have articles related to this design? What are the pertinent articles in the past 5 years?
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Manufacturing What manufacturing methods are being used in producing the parts on the competing products? What are the limitations of these manufacturing methods? Are there any new manufacturing methods that could be used? How are the competing products assembled? What is the assembly sequence? Where can I find data on manufacturing costs? What fastening methods are used for the parts? Are there any assembly problems? Who are potential vendors for the manufacturing? What research journals would have information pertaining to manufacturing-related topics? What articles on the manufacturing methods we expect to employ have been published in the past 5 years? What periodicals are likely to have articles related to this design? Have there been any pertinent articles in the past 5 years?
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Developing a Research Plan


You need to plan your research carefully. Spend a team meeting doing the following: State in general terms the design problem you have chosen. Generate a list of questions you need to answer to become experts on the design problem. Group related questions into categories. Identify likely sources to answer the questions. Assign each team member several questions to research. Document team members research assignments in a Responsibility Allocation Matrix (RAM). Submit in a Team Memo the details outlined above. Document this research plan in your team design notebook.
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Individual Memo
What excites you about the project? What do you think are the main challenges to this project? What does your group see as the first steps to take on the project? Do you anticipate any particular resources or assistance you will need to move forward on the project? What is your teams goal for the project and does everyone in the team agree on that goal? Is the timeline your team is constructing realistic in your opinion? How do you feel about your role in the team? Do you feel there is anything missing from your teams code of conduct?
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Writing the Project Definition


The topics we will discuss are: Introduction Mission Statement Constraints Users and Stakeholders Requirements Specifications Format for the Project Definition Closing Comments
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Introduction
As you conduct your research, you will get a clearer idea of the problem your design must solve. You keep track of the formulation of the problem through a document called a project definition. The Project Definition has 4 parts: Mission Statement: a concise, solution-independent statement of the problem to be solved Constraints: limitations imposed on the design by the client, regulators, or other stakeholders Users and Stakeholders: those who will use, produce, market, install, maintain, or in other ways interact with the product; also, those in the larger community who will be affected by the product
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Requirements and Specifications: the needs that the users and stakeholders want the design to fulfill, and the measurable values associated with those requirements; engineers translate requirements into specifications as part of the design process. The Project Definition goes by a variety of names in the engineering workplace: user requirements, functional requirements and constraints, and engineering specifications are just a few. The Project Definition is a living document that parallels the creation of the design itself. This document evolves along with your research and testing. You dont write the document first and then create the design. As you learn more about users, your project definition will become more detailed, specific, and focused.
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As you add detail, your project definition will grow, even as you eliminate requirements and specifications that prove irrelevant, unnecessary, or too costly. The bottom line is that your final project definition will contain all the requirements of your design and the metrics for measuring success. A project definitions main function is to describe the purpose of the design, how it will work, and how a user will interact with it so that the team, the client, and the supervisors can evaluate the design. Members of the design team need a project definition to help them evaluate as they are designing. Also the project definition typically outlives the design team, allowing others to make revisions and improvements. The project definition must be solution-independent. It will describe what the solution must do, but it will not actually describe the solution.
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Mission Statement
A good mission statement not only succinctly summarizes the problem to be solved, but also provides direction and tells others what you are trying to accomplish. Guidelines for Writing a Mission Statement Phrase your mission statement in a solution-independent way to help you ascertain the problem. It should not go into detail about the features of the solution. Emphasize measureable objectives that allow you to determine whether you have accomplished your goal.

Constraints
Almost all projects are subject to constraints, usually imposed by the client and related to scope, cost, and regulatory approval.
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Constraints cannot be changed and therefore limit the design space you explore. If a client imposes constraints, review them carefully to understand why the client thinks they are essential. If no clear rationale is stated, talk to your client about eliminating the constraint.

Users and Stakeholders


Composed of all those who are effected by a products success or failure, users and stakeholders fall into the following categories. Primary Users: end users, the client, and anyone else who makes important decisions about buying, using, or maintaining the product.

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Secondary Users: those employed in the clients various departments (manufacturing operation, service, marketing, etc.). Secondary users also include those who will interact with the product at some point: installers, repair people, sales people, and others. Other Stakeholders: regulatory agencies, community organizations and others who are somehow affected by the design and have an interest in its functioning.

Requirements
As a designer, one of your major tasks is to uncover the requirements of your users and stakeholders who are not always aware of or able to articulate them.

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Identifying Client Requirements Face-to-face meetings provide a good opportunity to identify client requirements. Asking clients the reason for each requirement will help you understand their thinking. Indentifying the Requirements of Primary Users You can identify the requirements of primary users through observation, interviews, analysis of competitive products, researching on-line and print sources, and user profiles and scenarios. See diagram on next page. Identifying the Requirements of Secondary Users Assessing the requirements of secondary users those who manufacture, install, maintain, service, sell the product, etc. involves using the same techniques you would employ to assess end users requirements.
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Understanding User Requirements

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Identifying Community Requirements Most engineering designs affect the broader community in some way. There are literally hundreds of public and private organizations that set standards and regulations. Virtually every engineering design has to meet a set of standards or regulations.

Specifications
Once engineers identify user and stakeholder requirements, they must turn them into precise, measurable terms to evaluate whether their design satisfies those requirements. Metrics must be used even for requirements that are difficult to quantify, e.g., easy to clean. As you develop the project definition, you will be able to gather the information necessary to develop specifications with metrics.
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Checklist for Drawing up a List of Requirements

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Format for the Project Definition


There are a variety of formats used to document a design. The format you choose should be easy to update as the design evolves and should help designers see the relationship between requirements and the specifications that measure success. Here is the format we will use. Project Name Client Team Members Date Version Mission Statement
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Constraints Users and Stakeholders Table with two columns: one column showing the requirements and a second column showing the corresponding specifications. There is not necessarily a one-to-one correspondence between requirements and specifications. One requirement may have four specifications, and conversely, one specification might involve two different requirements.

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Project Definition Example:


Wheelchair Access Project

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Closing Comments
You will produce several versions of the project definition, each more complete, focused, and detailed than the previous one. Keep a copy of each version of your project definition in your project notebook. As your research and testing evolve, the mission statement will become sharper, the constraints may change, the list of requirements will expand and become more refined, and you will put specifications (with metrics) next to requirements. As your project definition evolves, you will want to eliminate repetition of requirements by grouping them according to their related functions, rather than according to users. The importance of establishing clear design requirements and specifications cannot be overemphasized. These elements drive and control the design throughout the process.
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Generating & Learning From Alternatives


The topics we will discuss are: Brainstorming Generating Alternative Design Concepts Creating Mockups Observing and Interviewing Users Organizing User Feedback Testing Performance Iterating the Process
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Introduction
Once you have begun to research and define the problem, its time to start generating solutions, an activity that continues in one form or another throughout the design process. We speak of solutions plural! Not just one solution! Why bother to generate multiple solutions, when the best one may seem obvious to you? Here are a few reasons: To stimulate your teams creativity Its the most important reason for generating alternatives because it allows team members to approach the problem from different directions, build on each others ideas, and then choose the solution that combines the best of those ideas.
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To make the design process more efficient Focusing on one design concept is like putting all your eggs in one basket. By testing, eliminating, adding, revising, and refining several alternatives, you learn early which ideas work and which dont. To narrow down users preferences and more efficiently assess their needs Giving users several solutions to test helps you better understand what they need, which elements of your designs best meet those needs, and which features should be eliminated, changed, or added. Ask users general questions about their needs, and theyll tell you what they think they like. Show them several designs and let them compare them, and youll get more helpful, specific answers.
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To improve the designs ability to achieve multiple objectives By generating a variety of alternatives that incorporate different functions, you can use the best features of each. For example, if one alternative is easy to use and another is more durable, you can figure out how to incorporate features of both into the same product. Work Together on each alternative and then take the best elements of each to produce your final design.

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Brainstorming
Good engineering design requires creativity in developing solutions to problems. But our own ingrained attitudes can interfere with our ability to think creatively. To get beyond these restrictive attitudes, designers use the tried-and-true technique of brainstorming. Brainstorming involves generating a large number of ideas quickly, a process which sets off a chain reaction of creative thinking. Brainstorming is especially useful at the start of the design process, when you want to be open to as many perspectives as possible. In later stages, brainstorming is effective when you need to generate alternatives or possible modifications for a design or when you get stuck at any point in the design process.
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The goal of brainstorming is to generate as many ideas as possible in a limited amount of time. Two other steps usually follow it: Clustering brainstormed ideas according to similarities. Evaluating the clusters. Ground Rules for Brainstorming Sessions Defer Judgment Making quick judgments tends to block our flow of ideas and dampens the spirit of the session, making other people hesitate to contribute their ideas. Build on the Ideas of Others You dont need a whole idea to keep things going. The secrets of success are being generous with your own ideas and picking up on others half-baked ideas.
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One Conversation at a Time To keep the energy flowing and frustration at a minimum, the facilitator must remind participants to let the first person get his or her idea out before going on to the next person. Stay Focused on the Topic Avoid straying too far afield. Convey that seemingly off-topic idea in a way that relates. Unplanned force-fits can be a delightful surprise. Encourage Wild Ideas Get radical, improbable, unrealistic, impractical, primitive, and even dangerous in your thinking. Your wild ideas are a great way to spark solutions in fellow brainstormers.
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Quantity Not Quality Your goal is to generate as many ideas as possible, not just good ideas. Draw It! A picture is really is worth a thousand words when it comes to help explaining a concept and recording it in detail. Pictures also allow you to see connections between ideas that words may not reveal. Be sure you sketch each idea and number your sketch. Facilitator Guidelines Brainstorms dont just happen; someone has to lead them. The facilitator needs to:
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Keep a high energy level at the session. Keep the session light and spirited. Write a one-sentence problem statement on the board. If the problem is complex, break the concept into simple parts and brainstorm each one. Keep participants aware of the rules and stay focused. Maintain a positive attitude; make only positive statements. Keep encouraging participants to sketch their ideas. Make sure all ideas are recognized. Record ideas. Each idea should be accompanied by a sketch. Assign a number to each idea and sketch. Keep the ideas flowing. Repeat or rephrase the problem statement if necessary. Encourage out-of-the-box thinking.
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Clustering the Brainstormed Ideas Because it is difficult to work with a long list of ideas, the next step is to cluster them so that you can see connections. There is no one right way to cluster ideas, but some common ways are to group them according to user requirements, cost, and functionality, to name a few. As you cluster and recluster, you will discover a wealth of ways to solve design problems. The purpose of clustering is to choose categories that will help you generate design concepts.

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Generating Alternative Design Concepts


Now you are ready to convert the most promising ideas into alternative design concepts that you can test on users and/or in a laboratory or other controlled environment. At this point you should be developing at least three design alternatives that are significantly different enough to give you good information in testing. To develop alternative design concepts: Decide on the criteria you will use to choose which brainstormed ideas to keep and to eliminate. Generally, these criteria focus on cost and feasibility. Discuss each idea in the clustered brainstorm list, eliminating those that do not meet your established criteria.

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Choose the best remaining ideas. Discuss each idea until the team reaches a consensus on whether to keep or eliminate it. Or, have each team member vote for a designated number of ideas in each cluster. Or, have each team member rank each idea in a cluster on a numerical scale. Create an Alternatives Matrix. To decide how different ideas can be mixed and matched to create alternatives, create a matrix: one axis has the major design requirements, and the other has the alternatives. The cells in the matrix contain the ideas you have chosen and others that may have emerged.

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Creating Mockups
Mockups are objects that embody your concepts in a physical form. Guidelines for creating mockups are: Sketch your mockup ideas first. This helps clarify what you want the mockup to do and look like. It will also help you communicate your mockup ideas. Keep your mockups low-tech. By using a fast, low-tech approach you can get your design concepts out to users quickly and learn about their ideas and preferences early on without wasting time in fine details that may be eliminated after the first round of user testing. Include enough detail so users can perform (or simulate) the tasks you want to observe.
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Include only the parts of the design that you want to learn about through testing. Focus on one component at a time in your mockups. Mockups are useful in testing your initial alternatives. After you have settled on a single design conception, you will build prototypes that come closer to looking and operating like a final design. Even at that point you might revert to building relatively crude mockups to test ideas for particular components of the design.

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Observing and Interviewing Users


Observations and in-person interviews are the most effective way to obtain user feedback. By observing users as they attempt to perform designated tasks using your mockups, and then interviewing them, you can discover how your mockups meet or fail to meet their needs. As you observe and interview users, pay close attention to their facial expressions, which often convey more than words can. Be objective. Keep in mind that the best designs grow out of user feedback. Guidelines for Observing and Interviewing Users Find appropriate users to observe and interview by asking your client, instructors, family, and friends. Go to locations where the product would logically be used.
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Make an appointment. This allows you and your users to prepare and schedule time for the session. Write an interview / observation guide. This provides a consistent methodology, ensuring that all members of the team ask the right questions and that all users perform the same tasks and answer the same questions. The guide is composed of the following: Introduction Team members, purpose of product, background information. Demographic Information Knowing about respondents helps you place them into user groups as well as tell you their knowledge of and experience with your product. Tasks Give users tasks with your mockups to observe how easily theyre able to use the various features.
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After observing users, ask what they like and dislike about the alternatives and whether they have suggestions for improving them. Give users a scale of numerical responses, if possible. Word questions precisely. Ask users to explain their responses. Take careful notes. Resist the temptation to defend your design alternative or explain the rationale behind a feature to your users. Your goal is to gather as much information as possible from users not to convince them of a designs merit.

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Guidelines for Organizing User Feedback


Organize information from observations. Sort your observation notes by user groups. The demographic information you elicited from each user will help you do this sorting. Tabulate your results for each user observation using a three-column format. First Column: list the observations, noting any user difficulties. Second Column: list future design opportunities suggested by the observations. Third Column: list directions the team should take to follow up on those opportunities.
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Organize information from interviews. Organize the quantitative responses (numerical ratings and rankings) and the qualitative responses (users explanatory comments) responses in one or more tables.

Testing Performance
In addition to user testing, you may need to test your alternative designs in a laboratory or other controlled environment to discover whether they work at all. Be sure to carefully record and date test results and to include them in your project notebook. Be aware that performance testing complements, but does not replace, user testing, and that in your written documentation and oral presentations, you should never refer to performance testing as user testing. Your product needs to work for users!
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Iterating the Process


Although you may have figured out a design direction after your initial round of testing, you still must decide on the components of that design by continuing to generate and test alternatives. Design is an Iterative Process!

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Choosing a Design Concept


The topics we will discuss are: Using the Results of User and Performance Testing Using Design Requirements and Specifications Creating Decision Matrices Talking to the Client Interviewing Experts and Testing More Mockups

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Comments:
Generating and testing alternatives will yield a great deal of information that you can use to decide on a single direction for your final design. Of course, that does not mean that you know the details of every feature of the design you propose. You will certainly want to continue generating alternative components for those features, mocking them up, and testing them, but all that will be done within the context of the design concept you have settled on. How do you decide on the key elements of the design concept that will be the focus of your further work on the project? These notes discuss several methods for making those decisions.
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Using the Results of User and Performance Testing


If you have organized the results of your design concept clearly, aspects of your design direction will leap out at you. For example, a team designing the interface for an electronic kiosk to give shoppers information on restaurants and entertainment observed users operating three mockups: a touch screen, trackball, and keypad. The average scores (on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best) were: Touch Screen: 4.36 Trackball: 2.12 ATM: 2.15 Because their research had already shown that the three methods were comparable in price and durability, the team picked the touch screen.
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Sometimes, test results do not clearly favor one alternative feature. When the kiosk team presented users with three alternative methods for searching by location, price, and type (of entertainment or food), they got these results: Location: 4.09 Price: 4.03 Type: 3.55 Users rated searching by location and price nearly the same, with searching by type not far enough behind to be eliminated. In this case, the team decided to incorporate all three search methods into their design concept, because doing so stayed within the clients budget and offered users several search methods.
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Using Design Requirements and Specifications


Your project definition is another important tool in helping you choose the main features of your design. Here is an example. A team designing a structure that would help their client organize the papers on her desk relied on the project definition to help them decide on their design concept. When no clear favorite emerged after testing their three alternative mockups, the team turned to their project definition, which revealed that the client wanted an individually tailored product not offered in an office supply catalogue. The team realized that their alternatives were all similar to catalogue products, so they combined the best elements of all three alternatives in an original way and presented a design that delighted their client.
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Creating Decision Matrices


A decision matrix can help you sort through multiple alternatives and requirements to determine which features of your alternative designs to use. A simple and effective decision matrix lists the relevant design requirements along one axis and the alternative features along another. Each alternative is then scored (using plus and minus signs or some other method) with respect to each requirement. Here is an example. A team designing a stage in a church generated two alternatives a ramp and an electric lift to accommodate users with walkers and wheelchairs.
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Many church members favored a ramp because they worried that a lift would strain the church budget. Other members thought the ramp would take up too much room and that a lift would be easier to use. With these conflicting views in mind, the team drew up the decision matrix shown.
Alternatives Requirements
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Although most church members favored the ramp, the decision matrix helped the team decide that the lift was a better option because it satisfied more requirements. The decision matrix also could help the team evaluate alternatives against requirements that are not equally important. For example, the team may have decided, based on interviews with church members, that cost was the most important requirement. In that case, they could have created a weighted decision matrix to help them evaluate the alternatives (see next page). Using this matrix, the team might conclude that if the cost is the driving requirement, a ramp is the better choice, even though it is less effective in meeting the other requirements. Then they could double-check their assumptions about priorities with the client.
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Alternatives

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Sometimes, a matrix might not lead you to a single answer, but will help you eliminate alternatives. Here is an example. User testing on the electronic kiosk showed that some users wanted extensive information, such as restaurant menus, which would mean more time and money to build and maintain the database and possibly cause long lines at the kiosk as users pondered their choices. To figure out a solution, the design team created a matrix (shown on the next page) to measure three alternatives against three requirements. While the matrix enabled the team to decide against full menus, the other two alternatives fared equally well.

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Alternatives Requirements
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Talking to the Client


When you have tough decisions to make about your design, especially those involving costs, its important to seek input from your client, who can tell you what he / she is willing to spend and what is most important. After eliminating complete menus, the kiosk team had to decide, based on inconclusive user testing, whether to list a restaurants featured dishes or just the type of food and the address. The deciding factor was cost. A meeting with the client confirmed that she / he was willing to spend the money required to enter information on featured dishes into the database.

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Interviewing Experts and Testing More Mockups


The last two methods for making decisions about your design concept involve interviewing experts and testing more mockups on users or in controlled settings. Interviewing Experts When you dont know enough to measure how well certain features meet all relevant requirements, seek out experts. For example, the team designing the access to the church stage sought the advice of experts on handicap accessibility in rehabilitation institutes, college faculties, and companies that make equipment for people with disabilities. Testing More Mockups Lastly, you can go back to users or the lab with new mockups that embody the alternatives you are stuck between.
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Failure Modes and Effects Analysis


Periodically throughout the life of a project, it is important to assess the risks related to the product being designed.
Some risks are project focused and often have to do with schedules and budgets. These risks can be addressed through careful project planning and monitoring with tools such as Gantt and RAM charts and by creating contingency plans. Other risks are product focused. One useful tool for analyzing the product risks is called Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA). The purpose of a FMEA is to identify every possible way in which the product could fail and to assess the potential effects of that failure on the product and any people interacting with it. Once all the risks have been identified and understood, designers can determine how to change the product.
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A table format is used to capture the information gathered during the FMEA. Different companies vary in their approach, but the basic function is the same. To create a FMEA Table, follow these steps. The column titles in the table appear in parentheses after each step.
1. List the parts of the product (Item). It is helpful to group these parts in their subassemblies if they exist. 2. List each way the part could fail (Failure Mode). Below are questions to consider to help you think of how a part might fail: What are the potential manufacturing defects? How might the product fail due to normal wear and tear? What are the steps the user is supposed to take when using the product? What mistakes might the user make? How would users with various limited abilities interact with the product? What problems might they encounter? How might the product likely be misused or abused?
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3. Explain the cause of each failure (Failure Cause). 4. Describe the effect of the failure on the part itself (Failure Effect on Component). Does the part still function? Is it weakened? Will it need to be replaced? 5. Describe how that failure impacts the overall product (Failure Effect on System). What happens if the user continues to use the product? 6. Describe how that failure is detected (Failure Detection Method). Some failures might be immediately obvious while others might not be noticed until they in turn cause greater damage. 7. Provide a severity rating for the failure (Severity). It is important to determine the relative values of the ratings in advance to maintain consistency. Severity Values (user / device): 1 = mild annoyance / visual but not functional defect 2 = really irritated / damaged part, still functional 3 = minor injury / part requires replacement 4 = serious injury / device requires replacement
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8. Provide a frequency rating (Failure). How frequently do you expect this type of failure to occur? Frequency Values: 1 = 1 in 10,000 uses 2 = 1 in 1,000 uses 3 = 1 in 100 uses 4 = 1 in 10 uses 9. Determine the part failure score (Part Failure Score). Multiply the severity rating by the frequency rating. 10. Describe the action to be taken in response to this potential failure (Action). Based on the results of your analysis, determine what actions should be taken to improve your product. Low scoring items may be able to be ignored no action required. Higher scoring items must be addressed. Depending on the failure, you might be able to design it out. By understanding all of the failures that require design changes, you may be able to combine them to address as many failures as possible with the minimal number of changes. The use of labels and clear instructions might be required.
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Conducting Design Reviews


A Design Review is a scheduled, systematic evaluation of a design by knowledgeable people, particularly fellow designers. The purpose of the review is to ensure that the design meets client and user requirements. A typical review begins with the team briefly discussing client and user requirements. The team then presents its design (or design alternatives, if a single design concept has not been decided on). The reviewers role is to evaluate the design critically: ask questions, identify problems, and make suggestions. Design Reviews are an important way for a team to get an informed outside perspective and to keep the project on track.
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Design Reviews are often done at several points during a project. Each review helps designers to rethink and refine their concepts. In presenting your design for review, your goal is not to persuade the reviewers that it is wonderful. Instead, your goal is to encourage them: to uncover possible problems in the design to offer suggestions for improvement to help ensure that you have followed the design process rigorously with your client and users constantly in mind Dont deflect criticisms and suggestions! Dont attempt to justify what you have done! Use the Design Review as an opportunity to ensure quality control at a point in the process when its not too late to correct mistakes.
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Preparing the Review Design Reviews usually last 20-30 minutes. Outline the key points you will make. Be brief. Focus on the design itself. Present background information as needed. Use visual aids, as needed. Prepare an analysis of failure modes and effects. Designs have to be reliable and safe.
Reliability has to do with the likelihood of the design and its subsystems to fail. Since all systems and subsystems fail at some point, your job as an engineer is to delay that failure and minimize its impact. Similarly, all designs have safety hazards. As an engineer, you are obligated to eliminate, guard against, and and/or minimize the effect of these hazards.
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Prepare a sheet of questions that you want reviewers to answer about your design. Ask general questions about the strengths and weaknesses of the design as well as specific questions about areas that particularly concern you. Assign responsibilities. Who will speak and in what order? Who will take notes? Presenting the Review Distribute a questionnaire. Emphasize that you are interested in getting suggestions and criticisms of all aspects of the design, so reviewers need not confine their comments to your specific questions. Ask for oral feedback. Encourage reviewers to ask questions, offer suggestions, and make criticisms during and after the presentation of the design.
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Respond to questions , criticisms, and suggestions nondefensively. Probe for more information. Give your reviewers a chance to help you think of possibilities you may have missed. Record all comments. Listen carefully and write down reviewers comments and suggestions. Organizing Feedback from the Review After the design review is over, you will need to organize and discuss the feedback you received in order to decide how best to apply it to your design. Have a team member categorize all feedback, both written and oral. Have a meeting as soon as possible to discuss the feedback. Make decisions about how you will act on the feedback from reviewers.
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Offering Useful Feedback as a Reviewer As a reviewer, your job is to offer constructive feedback and probing questions that will help your fellow designers improve their design. Keep in mind the following guidelines: Say what you like and dislike. You dont have to be an expert to offer criticisms and suggestions. Ask basic questions that get the designers to explain their design: Who, What, Why, How, When, Where? Probe the how and why of the design. Get the designers to explain their design clearly and carefully. Be on the lookout for latent defects. These are design flaws that are not obvious and that may surface during the products use. Present scenarios for the products use that may uncover a defect they have not anticipated. Ask questions about the designs reliability & safety issues.
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