My first large design project was called ‘Nunki’. In a group of four students we created a stuffed animal for children that have difficulty with falling asleep. The stuffed animal has a heart rate sensor inside it, which enables it to measure the child’s heart rate whilst they hold the stuffed animal. The product comes with a beamer, which projects a moving night sky on the ceiling. The projection moves slower when the heart rate of the child also goes down. There is music played that has lower BPM than the child’s heart, which (scientifically proven) lowers the heart rate. This together makes the heart rate of the child go down, which makes it easier to fall asleep.
Before starting this project I expected to create a product that is well-thought of and worked out completely, because this is something we didn’t got the time for yet in other courses. I wanted to focus on all the competencies and make sure that I developed all of them during this semester. I wanted to use my strengths (business and entrepreneurship, user and society) and get better at the competencies which I didn’t develop as much yet. My vision focuses a lot on the user, so this is something I also wanted to implement during our project. In the ideation phase we started with doing a lot of interviews with parents. So our product helps a common problem. When we finished our prototype we also tested it with possible future users, which was a nice way to validate our finished product.
Even though I followed some technical courses, I still felt that I needed to learn more to have enough knowledge to build a technical prototype. This is why I choose to help make that the prototype. My teammate was more experienced than I am, so we worked together so I could learn from her. This helped me with getting a hand of coding and wiring.
Something I am very proud of is our planning as a group. We made sure that everything was due within the right phase and we held effective meetings with a planning. This worked very well for me and I will definitely continue this in all my group projects.
However, one thing that I would have done different in the ideation phase is the brainstorming. We only used two techniques and didn’t come up with a lot of ideas. Maybe if we tried more techniques we would have come up with a better idea. This is something I will focus more on in my future projects.
What I should have focused more on is aesthetics. I am still not as good as I want to be at sketching or developing a good-looking prototype. I believe that this is very important to convince people of your product. In my next project I want to focus more on working on the aesthetics.
One of the final things I learned was how to present in a professional way. This was the first time for me to have a professional demo day. Even though I have a lot of experience with presenting from my work, I learned how to present for the specific expert audience that wants to know more about a product. This requires a professional approach, which I think I developed during the tutor meetings and the demo day.
Overall, I am proud of our result and myself. I focused on as developing as much new skills as I could within our project which will help me in the future. There are some things that I should have done different, but which I can change in future group projects.
Eindhoven, The Netherlands
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