This is our kickstarter page which contains the information about our product
In general, I think the process of the product development went very well. We had a planning and a clear division of roles within the team. Everyone showed up and put a sufficient amount of work in their role.
The first weeks were a bit less organized, as not everyone made their blogs in the right week according to the workbook and we were starting to fall a bit behind. I think Qu did a great job here in organizing our work and setting deadlines as a team. From this point, everyone did their work and made their blog posts on time.
The idea for our product came pretty quickly, so we already had a good basis to work with from the start on. The code was first written before the design phase of the product came to be.
The product has gone through several concepts before the final design could be made. We had a number of requirements that the product has to meet and we found new ones with every step. This has been a great learning process.
- First draft
- Design was too hard to pull off
- Would not be practical, clunky and not ergonomic
2. Second draft
- Too heavy and clunky
- Not aesthetically pleasing
- Too expensive
3. Final design
After the first 3D printed prototype, we had a group brainstorm session on how to improve the product.
- Design is inexpensive
- Design is small and light
- Currently there are no product with the same set of features
- Similar products are more expensive and not suitable for our target group
- Pain reliever: Not having to operate phone on bike, creates traffic safety
- Motivates to take the bike more often
- Detachable and easy to bring
- Might not be compatible with every bicycle handle because of the orientation of the buttons
In my opinion I succesfully worked at my learning goals during this project. My goal was to improve my illustrative skills and create a representative product.
Throughout the several design steps and improvements I have learned how to demonstrate the looks of a physical product to make it a working prototype.
I also practiced with a new technique to visualize a product, by first making a 3D sketch in SketchUp and tracing this in photoshop. I found that this is a very fast and effective way to make drafts.
What went well
In general, I think this project went very well on group level and individual level.
- We managed to finish all items and have a good in depth knowledge on our product
- We learned a lot by making and testing the physical product
- We managed to keep a steady planning schedule
What could be better
- On my part, I could have discussed more about the design in the group. This way we probably wouldn’t have as many redesign steps.
What methods are suitable for the concept test?
Based on the target audience of our product, we have the following options for concept testing methods
- Interview — interview people on the street using cameras and microphones
- Online – survey
- Physical product testing
- Use 360 video camera to record the use of our product
We will interview around 10 people in Enschede center which suit our target group. They need to be traveling by bike and be between 18 and 25 years old.
Link to the target group post
Link to the questionnaire:
What prototype is suitable for the concept test?
3D printed model
For the prototype testing we need to have a physical product, this makes it easier to show the concept to the target group and find potential problems. Using this methods we found problems with our first prototype and came with a new design.
Link to the 3D modeling post:
To show the functionality of our product we made an app prototype that responds to the LightBlue bean signal. The app controls the music player and is designed in an easy to use, simplistic way that fits with the style of our product.
link to the app prototype post:
To demonstrate possible uses and to attract the target group we used the basic prototype as a basis to design a new, aesthetically pleasing design. This illustration will be used to promote the product and make the usage clear.
Link to the illustration post:
What test persons will be selected for the test?
- youngsters aged between 18 -25
- Bikers on the street
- People who are wearing earphones on the street
What conclusions will you draw from the test?
Things that people like
Design. : It’s small and portable, can be carried around easily. //
functionalities : It’s easy to understand what to do with the product .//
Things that people dislike
Design. : The edges are too shape , maybe it can cut my hands when i use it . //. the surface of the product can be a little more smooth.
functionalities : Not enough functions for the price of the product .
What are the consequences of the conclusions of the concept?
This product has potential because a lot of people had mostly positive feedback from the interview and survey. However, for the product to be successful in the market we need to change certain aspects, like the shape, corners and add extra functionality to make it fit with the price.
Before the product can be introduced to the market, we need to make sure that the use of the product and all of its features is conform the (Dutch) law.
#1 General product requirements
The European Union Law has a number of requirements that every product needs to meet. In order to prove that our product is legal we answer these requirements.
Product safety (Richtlijn 2001/95/EG)
The law states that every product that a consumer can use has to be safe. Producers are therefore obligated to make sure their products meet the general safety requirements, and warn the consumer for every possible safety risk.
According to the Dutch road traffic law book (Wegenverkeerswet) article 5 and 6, anyone who participates in traffic is obligated to behave so, that they do not form a danger in traffic that could cause accidents. Doing so will result in punishment.
- In short, the person has to pay attention to the traffic to not form a danger
- The user can listen to music, as long as they are not distracted (e.g. a smartphone)
Place of origin
Products need to provide information that allows them to be traced back, like identity of the manufacturer and a product reference. If there are safety risks involved in using this product, this needs to be mentioned.
European and national norms
Products can be considered safe if they meet the national requirements and norms. If these are not present, the safety needs to be judged on
- Recommendations of the European Commission
- ‘Best practices’ in this particular branche
- Current level of technology
Our prototype is allowed to be tested in traffic according to the traffic safety law (wegenverkeerswet), because the bicycle user is allowed to listen to music as long as they are not distracted from the traffic. Our product is not distracting the user or causing trouble to operate the bike in any way.
However, for the product to be released and manufactured, the safety would need to be tested to meet the requirements of European and national norms.
To protect our product from copying and theft, we need to consider patenting in the early development stages.Although a patent can be given to any type of product, it needs to meet certain requirements
- The invention must show an element of novelty; that is, some new characteristic which is not known in the body of existing knowledge in its technical field. This body of existing knowledge is called “prior art”.
- The invention must involve an “inventive step” or “non-obvious”, which means that it could not be obviously deduced by a person having ordinary skill in the relevant technical field.
- The invention must be capable of industrial application, meaning that it must be capable of being used for an industrial or business purpose beyond a mere theoretical phenomenon, or be useful.
- Its subject matter must be accepted as “patentable” under law. In many countries, scientific theories, aesthetic creations, mathematical methods, plant or animal varieties, discoveries of natural substances, commercial methods, methods for medical treatment (as opposed to medical products) or computer programs are generally not patentable.
- The invention must be disclosed in an application in a manner sufficiently clear and complete to enable it to be replicated by a person with an ordinary level of skill in the relevant technical field
Our product shows novelty, as there are no products with the same features at this moment. It solves the problem of safety issues within traffic because of mobile phone distractions.
To acquire a patent, we would need to contact the European Patent Office (EPO).
#3 Business organization structure
An important step in setting up a business is choosing the business organization structure. All businesses must have a legal configuration in which the rights and control of all participants are described.
Some of the types are:
The type would need to be discussed with the investors and team members, dependent on which role the participants want to fulfill.
This week we got to print our prototype at the Fablab.
Before the actual printing could happen, we visited the Fablab to discuss the options with the students there. We needed to have flexible material in order to make the clicking mechanism more efficient.
There were 2 options
- PLA filament
- ABS filament
The prototype was printed in PLA filament, this material is less strong, but a bit more flexible. As our product is not very large and pretty solid, the strength would be good enough.
The product fits with the attachment clip as planned.
We did find problems with this prototype however.
The design is too clunky to be practical for a bike, the material is heavier than we thought and it would be in the way of the biker’s hand. Also we found that the 3D printer didn’t completely print the object.
After we found that the prototype would not work, we had a new brainstorm session in the group to come up with a new, more practical design.
- It needed to be much smaller and lighter
- Buttons should be on top
- No cornered shape
The new design is a lot smaller and can still fit the LightBlue bean inside. It is attachable in a similar way to the previous design and consists of two parts. The lid is removable to be able to change the batteries.