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07 March 2013

Design Need & Oppotunity Write-Up


The following tips for writing your Design Need & Opportunity assumes you can find existing solutions and their respective write-ups about its problem and solution during your research phase.

The suggested procedures are not meant to encourage 'copying' literally because that will make your work 'illegal' and is considered 'plagerism' - which is a serious crime - which in turn is discouraged.

However, with the understanding that there could be better ways by the professionals and writers out there who are able to better describe similar (happens to be like 'mine') problems than 'me', 'I' can use them as references to 'learn how I can' adapt its argument, the language used and its presentation structure to describe the situation or the problem that 'I' have identified.

In that respect, it is perfectly fine. In fact, using existing references to end up writing a better 'Design Need & Oppotunity Write-Up' is a way of 'Innovation'.

The two sections below consisting of 'THREE-Super Express Steps' and 'THREE steps to write your Design Need & Opportunity' should enable you to write a very decent Design Need & Opportunity Write-up.

THREE-Super Express Steps
(if existing or similar solutions are available)

Step 1: FIND
  • Find the closest matching existing product.
Step 2: STUDY
  • Trace the product to its website or better still to the original one where you can find descriptions of the problems identified and other descriptions of it.
Take notes on
  • how the problem is described.
  • how the function is described.
  • how the solution to the problem is described.
  • the descriptions about the user.
  • the descriptions about the interaction on the user and the product within an environment, i.e. the contextual use.
  • Keep a look out for alternative websites that feature the same product. You may find more descriptions that will come in very handy.
Modify the contents as necessary and adapt it for your Design Need & Opportunity Write-up.

Note: If existing solutions are not available, you can also find the next closest solution. The descriptions would not be too far off. It’ll probably only require a little more effort on customization to your needs.

THREE steps to write your Design Need & Opportunity
Focusing on the Quality of its Contents

Step 1Setting the Stage
As a starter you may make use of related definitions for the theme, say, definitions of 'Hospitality', that best fits your problem or design challenge as well as those researches you had done (facts, figures, evidences, etc.) and use them in your introduction.

This beginning by defining the theme as the introduction keeps you in check that the ‘problem’ you describe later on actually does come from and is related to the theme.

Continue by turning your attention to your subject and start introducing your targeted people and their activity in the location and/or their interaction with a certain product, etc.

Step 2:  The Drama
Once the stage is set, i.e. the contextual background to the problem is laid out, bring in your main subject - the identified problem or the design challenge.

Highlight the frustrations and the problems your target users are experiencing. Explaining where and how it all began and who are the people involved. What products are involved? Explaining why the problem remains unsolved? What are the effects and consequences? etc.

Include data and facts you found from your research related to the problem or design challenge you have identified. e.g. How many % of the people have the same problem, How frequently does the problem occur, etc.

Step 3:  The Wish List

To conclude, provide a 'wish list' at the end. e.g. 'It would be beneficial / nice if a solution for (... ) can be designed and realized as it would solve the problem of (...)

Basically you tell a story. Note that 5W1H is constantly in use.


Design Brief, Considerations and Specifications Write-Up

Draft your Design Brief:
'Design and make a (use a general term) to (describe the desired functionality) to solve (describe the problem or the design challenge).

Draft your Design Considerations and Constraints.
(Research and) Draft your Design Specifications.
Research on the requirements from  ‘Design Considerations and Constraints’ and use the researched information to draft a list of ‘Design Specifications’.

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