The design industry has been evolving over the last few years along with the landscape of Design. UX, UI, Product and Interaction design have one thing in common; design is all about solving problems. In this regard Product Design acts as the compass in finding the best solution for customers.
When you think about design in this way, you begin to see some parallels between the product development process and the scientific method. The Product Design starts with a hypothesis and sets out in multiple directions to see which solution shows positive results and then builds on that work. Understanding the business objectives and user requirements are key for defining holistic experiences. Product design defines the look, feel, and behavior of the whole product. Combining many of the functions of other design roles, and maintaining oversight of the product vision at a high level; from how does this feature add value, to how tweaking the design in a particular way can impact the user flow to reduce friction. It encompasses; strategy & research (Creating a product vision to establish a common understanding of what you’re trying to build and why); Product Definition (turning insights from design and business research into requirements); Iteration (creating preliminary wireframes, and iterating until a defined set of criteria are met); Implementation (using System and visual design to ensure consistency and establishing a link between front-end development and design).
My submission for the design challenge from Unicef and ARM for wearable and sensor technology that serve people in resource constrained environments, was a solution to encourage regular hand-washing and transfer of good hygiene practice using gameification techniques to affect behavior change and specific algorithms to detect and measure hand wash movements.
Using concept design I was able to create prototypes of the wearable device both in terms of testing the game interaction (Simon says game using LED lights) and formulating the hand washing algorithm by using a 3-axis sensor and measuring the relative changes in x,y,z values as users wash their hands following the recommended 6 step process. I then created a mock-up of the full solution including the digital components; mobile app interface to capture and view data, and the interactive hand wash game to bring a fun element to the hand washing experience .
This allowed me to illustrate the concept and test my assumptions and get feedback on the likely success of the design.