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Design Process – Developing Concepts

By Brian Gates, President of Design My Idea

www.designmyidea.com

In our previous article we explored what it means to develop an idea and how to define your problem. In this article we will continue our product development by using our problem and criteria to help generate a variety of concepts.

Our problem:  An individual has a cup of noodle soup and only has access to one utensil in order to eat it without removing the bowl from the table.

Our problem criteria:

1)      Be able to consume liquid

2)      Be able to consume noodles

3)      Be able to consume other items (chicken, vegetables…)

4)      Must be a self contained utensil

5)      Bowl must remain on the table

Additional items of consideration:

1)      People of all ages can enjoy noodle soup.

2)      The problem is caused by a desire to consume the soup with proper dining etiquette.

3)      This problem can be experienced in a restaurant or home dining situation.

So let’s start generating some design concepts to solve this problem. Do not limit yourself to all the requirements but rather find solutions for each criteria. The idea is to present as many ideas as possible and then go back to refine/evaluate the ideas.

Solutions for consuming liquids – Straws, Spoon, eye dropper

Solutions for consuming noodles – Fork, Chopsticks, tweezers

Solutions for consuming other items – Fork, chopsticks, spoon, tweezers

Single utensil solutions – Spork, spoon…

By using our problem criteria as a basis for identifying solutions, we were able to look at the problem from different perspectives and therefore generate a larger group of ideas. Having this larger pool of concepts will benefit us when it comes time to look at the advantages of each possible solution and allow us to indentify key features our solution should contain or address.

In the next phase of we will evaluate our concepts using a design matrix to allow us to zero in on best case solution.

 


Brian Gates is the president of Design My Idea, LLC.  To learn more visit www.designmyidea.com.  Otherwise inventors can email at design@designmyidea.com or call toll free at 800-862-0546.


 

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