The goal of this project is to find out what the ideal prototyping lab for the Internet of Things course at the Hochschule für Gestaltung looks like. Questions such as „Which groups of people are involved?“, „What are their basic needs?“ and many more need to be explored. Not only is the application of methods and tools during the respective phases crucial, but iterations are also an essential part of the design thinking process.
Understand and observe
A brainstorming session supports the start of the project in order to exchange the first points as a group. The next step is to use the stakeholder map to record all relevant people and user groups, as these also define the function and structure of the lab. The Lab serves not only as a workspace for students, but also as a classroom or presentation space. At the end of each semester, the space is transformed for undergraduate exhibitions. The frequency of use should also be considered to determine the flexibility of the conversion. For example, there must be the ability to quickly and easily transform the space for weekly presentations.
As much information as possible is now being gathered from the resulting user groups. Creative surveys as well as observing students in the Lab will allow for a quick overview of the biggest Pains & Gains. Relevant are not only the points that need to be improved, but also those that students find good and should be maintained.
Iterate and generate ideas
The results from the previous phases, such as the information from the observations or Pains&Gains, are now brought together to define „How might we“ questions. Analogy building provides inspiration for idea generation from other unfamiliar areas. For example, many students go to Starbucks to learn independently or to meet as a work group. This can be explained by the many available electrical outlets, comfortable seating areas, and beverage and food offerings that provide a welcoming work atmosphere. Ideas from analogy building are partially taken up in the mood board.
A Creative Matrix was created and a Visual Voting was conducted to settle on a „How might we“ question. The resulting question is, „How might we encourage working in groups?“
Consequently, the ideas from the previous Ideation phase are filtered according to the current question and the conditions for group work are researched. The combination of the filtered ideas and the research results lead to the requirements catalog for the product.
Prototyping & testing
Photos were digitally edited to quickly visualize the ideas. This provides a basis for discussion to gather the initial feedback.
In order for the test user to be able to realistically imagine and test the concept or the Innovation Room, a room was set up with cardboard stands, which included standing tables, standing chairs, a monitor and a board for writing. An important component is access to power outlets, this was conveniently placed at the table for the user.
Students were invited to test the prototype for a week and write their feedback on the board. The feedback is the most crucial thing in testing to make iterations with the prototype and consequently design the best possible product.
The Innovation Room addresses the question, „How might we encourage working in groups?“
– To make ideal use of the Innovation Room’s exterior space, a large board was added for other students to work on.
– The satin sliding glass door makes it apparent that people are working in the Innovation Room, allowing other groups to notice the occupancy of the space. However, there is still some privacy for the group working.
The project was developed in the subject „Design Thinking“,
Winter semester 18/19
at the HfG Schwäbisch Gmünd
under the direction of
Bianca Koch and Anna Erlewein.