The Final

On Friday the 10th December 3rd year product design students from Gray’s School of Art, Dundee University and Edinburgh College of Art gathered in the impressive surroundings of the Sculpture Court at Edinburgh College of Art to participate in the judging session of the NCR | Scottish Student Design Competition. In this sixth year of the competition NCR was supported and assisted by Creative Scotland, Scottish Enterprise and V&A at Dundee.

The competition launched in Aberdeen on the 15th October with introductory presentations by Caroline Parkinson, Creative Scotland, Paul Harris, Head of Gray’s School of Art and Charlie Rohan, NCR. The brief – ‘Experience a new world of interaction’ – Explore what this could mean to you and your generation in the next 2 years. What is the new world of self-service interaction? Research and understand what people want their experience to be in relation to a particular area of self-service. Demonstrate how the consumers experience is facilitated through a concept design. The initial solutions should be able to be brought to market in a 2 year time frame.

45 students participated, each gave a two minutes long pitch ‘Dragon’s Den’ style to the judges (Caroline Parkinson [Creative Scotland], Joyce Matthew [Scottish Enterprise], Georgina Follet [V&A at Dundee], Steven Birnie and Charlie Rohan [both NCR] and their peers. A shortlist was then created and 8 asked back to give a more detailed presentation.

Callum Brown presenting his concept

The winners were:

1st place: Callum Brown

Project Name: Travel Phone
From: Dundee University
Prizes: 12 week paid internship at NCR, summer 2011
iPad
Commemorative plaque
NCR ATM Moneybox

2nd Place: Charlotta Hellichius

Project name: Make Your Mark
From: Edinburgh College of Art
Prizes : iPod Touch
Commemorative plaque
NCR ATM Moneybox

3rd Place:  Helen Fisher

Project name: Make up and Skin Care Advisor

From: Edinburgh College of Art
Prizes : iPod Touch
Commemorative plaque
NCR ATM Moneybox

NCR Competition Award

Charlie Rohan made the point that this type of cooperation between advocates of design and innovation across government bodies; the museum sector; academia and industry was a unique model and provided the students with a challenging project and insight into a commercially driven design process.  Though our continued support of this program NCR has gained insight and access to some of the best emerging design talent in Scotland.

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Anab Jain

November 18, 2010

Anab Jain at Product Design Research Dundee

The Product Design Research team met with Anab Jain yesterday. It was a good to get the opportunity to sit down with her individually and talk through our own research area and get her valued input.

Founder of Superflux and the instigator of The Power of 8 Anab has experience in interaction and service design, research, filmmaking and speculative design. Her experience in film making on various projects was particularly useful for me – thanks Anab!

NCR Design Competition 2010

NCR Design Competition 2010

I am please to announce that NCR will be sponsoring the Student Design competition for the 6th year. Unfortunately Glasgow University could not participate this year due to other commitments but we still have Robert Gordons University, Dundee University and Edinburgh College of Art.

I am also pleased that we not only have the continued support of Scottish Enterprise this year we have added Creative Scotland and the V & A at Dundee. Members from each will be part of the judging panel.

The Brief:

NCR use the brand slogan: ‘Experience a new world of interaction’ – Taking this as the theme, explore what this could mean to you and your generation in the next 2 years. What is the new world of self-service interaction? Research and understand what people want their experience to be in relation to a particular area of self-service. Demonstrate how the consumers experience is facilitated through a concept design. The initial solutions should be able to be brought to market in a 2 year time frame. All final solutions should be sensitive to the NCR brand.

The Kick-off Event:

This year it was hosted by Sue Fairburn of Robert Gordons University in Aberdeen.

There were various speakers, from NCR, Charlie Rohan (Director of Cx | Design) presenting project background, self-service within NCR and the NCR design process. Chistopher McNicholl (last years winner) came to present his winning project and importantly gave the students an insight into his internship within the NCR Cx design team.

During the kick-off event we like to have a small design activity that get the students working with each other and is a bit of fun. This year the students got to play with Lego while thinking about design solutions that matched objects/things on a series of playing cards. It was a great activity to get the creative mind working and really helped to break down any barriers and I am sure all involved enjoyed the activity.

The student group

Competition kick-off event

Competition kick-off event

Design workshop activity

Video Probes

November 12, 2010

Since my first post on Video Probes I have been developing the use of the design research method through a series of studies. The video probe is a specific time framed video response to a question. The first study was conducted with Dance Base (as previously posted). The participants were asked – “what are your perceptions of dance base?” The responses were then used to help inspire and inform the design of the connected Collection Boxes as well as gain a greater understanding of the people and place.

Video 1:

Video 2:

Video 3:

The second study was conducted with MSc Ethnography students at Dundee University as part of a deeper study into self-service (more about that later). The student groups approached the probes in very different and interesting ways. Some using it more as a field work tool, others to strengthen their initial insights, others were able to communicate their insights through the probes in a very clear thought provoking way.

The groups were split to focus their field observations on different influencing factors of self-service – Interactions, Transactions, Environment, Consumers.

Their Video Probes can be viewed below

Interactions: 

Transactions: 

Environment: 

Consumers: 

We will now be using the insights from the Video Probes and other activities to inform a project that aims to gain a greater understanding of consumers in relation to self-serivce.

Christopher McNicholl. Well done to all the students who participated in the event. Chris from Dundee University was the worthy winner and had a 4 month placement within the Cx Group at NCR.

Moneytree Savings

“Nowadays, most banks provide several kinds of savings accounts for young people, however few offer any other services or facilities to bring children to the bank. With finance becoming of increasing importance in modern society, it would seem that educating children more about money should be on our agendas.

‘Moneytree Savings’ is a savings scheme for children, designed to get them more involved in banking activities from a younger age. By giving them a virtual tree to grow and nurture, it is intended that ‘Moneytree Savings’ will instil the skills and values required to manage personal finance in later life. The scheme also encourages children to go to the bank on a regular basis, familiarising them with such an environment and the practices used there. In addition, the child will also be contributing to their own account, which will provide them financial support once they reach a certain age.”

Connection Boxes

November 18, 2009

Connection Boxes
Dance Base

The Background

We were approached by Dance Base to create a collection box for their architecturally designed building on the Grassmarket in Edinburgh. As a group we recognised that to simply place a large collection box in the middle of the front foyer would be insensitive, unrewarding and simply not work.

As well as the obvious use of a collection box, which is to collect donations, the Dance Base team wanted to raise the awareness to their customers of the fact that they were actually a charity. They are dependant on grants and funding to function day to day and manage a range of outreach programs for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

This began a program of activities and design exercises to help the design team understand the environment, the people and the design challenges.

The Approach

We were designing a product to be used by people of all ages and backgrounds brought together in one place by dance. In order to understand the people, the tutors, the infrastructure, and the environment better we enrolled in a dance class. The class we enrolled in was called an Alexander Technique class.

Being part of this class not only showed us the variety of people that attended the one class but also allowed the participants and tutors get used to us. We were new comers into their environment. This helped to break down any barriers which allowed us to communicate with them more effectively.

To get a deeper understanding of Dance Base we asked several of the employees if they would each create a 3 minute film showing their ‘perceptions of Dance Base’. We called this exercise a ‘Video Probe’. This helped us in gaining greater insights and design inspiration.

We took what we learned in the Alexander Technique class and the Video Probes and applied it to a workshop held with board members, staff and customers of Dance Base. We wanted to approach the workshop from their level, to incorporate things familiar to them, not to intimidate them with our initial design concepts.

One of the elements we recognised as designers was the use of the space by various user groups. Professional dancers, drop in classes, children interested in street dance, children interested in ballet, ballroom dancers, administration staff, and the board of directors. We wanted to create an object that connected the ‘space’ with the various interconnecting people.

This began an exploration of ‘connected objects’. The objects investigated connecting the people through a dance studio radio, twitter, flickr and youtube. Although interesting objects in their own right, upon review they were not suitable for the dance base. There was still a strong desire to ensure a financial element to the final design; the collection boxes provided this.

The Outcome

The Connection Boxes are essentially self-service communication terminals. They provide feedback through sound to the consumer directly; giving them an instant reward for their donation. Importantly they also communicate to a wider audience as inserting money in one device triggers a reaction from the rest that are placed throughout the building.

This reaction can be modified to suit a particular environment, a particular event or marketing strategy. One of the key reasons for the whole project was to raise the awareness to customers of the fact that Dance Base was a charity. This had to be done in a sensitive and considered way.

The sounds selected are important as they provide an instant reward to the user which in turn encourages re-use of the product. The greater the reward, the more frequent use, the more frequent use the more money collected.

Three objects have been created initially; the aim is to expand on this. Having three objects allows the objects to have 3 distinct ‘personalities’. The sounds projected from the devices can be for example, informative, cheeky or gratifying in content and female, male or computerized in delivery. By giving the devices a personality the aim is to promote the feeling of trust, encourage repeat use and ensure an unexpected but rewarding experience for donating money.

The objects have been designed to be distinctly different from any other collection boxes that are routinely ignored on counter tops around the country. There is a certain ambiguity about the form. This is deliberate. The aim is to create an initial interest in the object that will attract potential donators. Once the initial interest has been captured then there should be no confusion of how to use the device. There is a large area on the top of the device for instruction and branding. The money slot is prominent, protruding toward to user; this clearly indicates where money should be inserted.

The Impact

The Connection Boxes are to be placed at locations within Dance Base. A series of studies will be held to asses the impact in terms of amount of funds raised and if the devices have increased the awareness with in the community of the fact Dance Base is a charity.

The methods used to understand the impact of the designed object with in the environment will be developed in conjunction with the Dance Base team but will be transferable to different sites, charitable bodies and industry. Understanding how to measure the impact of an object within a community is an important factor of the research element of this project. The insights gained through the partnership with Dance Base will help in the understanding of the consumer experience of other self-service objects and how the designer can impact that experience.

Connected Collection Boxes

Connected Collection Boxes