Prototyping After a Pivot

After some deliberation, my group (Team Synergy) has decided to pursue a different project idea. We realized that our original design for a solar-powered hot plate would not be able to generate a sufficient amount of energy to keep a beverage warm, so we decided to switch gears and try to make customizable earphone grips instead.

We’ve begun the prototyping process in efforts to catch up with the rest of the class, and are playing around with multiple ideas as of now. While we don’t have photos to share as yet, we’re trying to create something that will clip onto any pair of earphones and then wrap around the user’s ear to hold it in place. We were hoping to get the exact measurements of each users’ ear so that the grip has a customized fit. The original idea was to use 3D scans of each ear to come up with the right size grip to print, however, we realized that the scans have to be re-scaled anyway so there was no point in adding an additional step. We are now thinking of coming up with a base design and then tweaking it according to measurements we take by hand for each user.

Despite the fact that we’re behind schedule, I am trying to remind myself that our prototype does not need to be perfect when we test it for the first time. As the “Prototype Testing” article from SVPG advises, I think we’re going to have to rely on a highly iterative process of getting feedback and implementing changes before quickly retesting the product. It’s also very important for us to keep the test subjects in “use mode” as opposed to “critique mode” as the article suggests. We want to identify what will help make the product serve an actual use case, and then reposition it accordingly.

I’m looking forward to the next few days of prototyping and testing—we will certainly have more updates to share by next week!

One thought on “Prototyping After a Pivot”

  1. Ria,
    It was interesting to hear in class about your decision to pivot the direction of your final project. I think it’s important to reflect and assess often when working on a final project like ours. The new idea that incorporates scanning technology sounds really interesting. I enjoyed your reflection and acknowledgement that your project team is behind schedule. I’m interested to see what your team comes up with for the first initial prototype.

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