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OUGD405 Interim Evaluation

What problem did you identify? After discussing our various ‘How To’s as a group, we decided the most versatile and opened how to that would allow a varied and experimental exploration into possible ideas and outcomes would be ‘How to take care of guinea pigs’. After further discussion we identified that there was a lot of information out there about the care of guinea and some conflicted, but often it was poorly organized, extensive and not necessarily easy to read or understand. We also identified that a our key audience would be first time owners of guinea pigs as these people will be the least experience in the care of the guinea pigs and will also need to understand all of the basic care requirements for care.

What evidence did you find to support your decisions? We found that most of the existing information about caring for your guinea pig, was long winded, conflicted and not presented in meaningful, understanding way. Furthermore although much information is readily available on the internet, most of the information will come from the pet and the information provided that was informative but didn’t engage or encourage the audience to read it. Furthermore it was evident that all of the information was disposable whereas it needed to kept, read and acted upon, the leaflet and carrying box are both example of easily disposed forms of communication, we wanted to change this and make people read the information and also keep it.

What methods did you use to gather your evidence and what forms did it take? The main research method we used was the internet to gain a broad range of information about the care of guinea pigs. However members of the group also used internet forums to find more focused information in answer to specific question, this allowed for the group to understand more detailed information on specific areas of care for a guinea pig. Research was also undertaken by visiting local pet shops, such as Pets at Home this allowed us to gather primary research as well gather used research resources such as the leaflets and documents provided by such establishments about the care of guinea pigs.

What methods of research did you find useful and why? Using internet forums was an advantageous form of research as it allowed us to ask specific, targeted and focused questions to those who have knowledge and experience about the questions we were asking. This form of research also created detailed information that was relevant to us. Furthermore as we were asking question to those who have experience it ensures the information we are receiving is reputable and can be trusted. Visiting Pets at home was also a beneficial form of research as this allowed us to understand and explore the existing forms of information from sources that people are most liking to receive the information, which in turn enabled us to understand what was working well in existing product and what elements could be or needed to be improved.

How did these inform your response to your problem? The main ethos we took from this research was that the current products that existed and the breadth of information didn’t fully fulfill it’s purpose and neither we particularly successful. Therefore we knew from this that we wanted to combine these elements together to create one product that functioned successfully, therefore we merged instructional and educative information, a transportation device and also added lasting value to the product by making into a tunnel for the guinea pig. These decision all came as a result of the research, as we knew that the information was complex and we needed to simplify this for our audience, also the current transporting unit were bland and boring and lacked added function and also wasted space for potential information delivery, therefore we combined these elements together to try and make a more successful form of delivery of the information to our audience.

What methods did you encounter as problematic? Generally using the internet as a tool for searching for information did become problematic as there was such a broad range of information found by members in the group that some of the information was conflicting in that some found research that was directly contrasted research that other members of the group had found. Furthermore when we considered the methods of conducting research was discovered that conducting online questions which could lead to interview for more detailed questions and answers would be problematic in that it would take along time to collect the results, the results was not be accurate and by distributing the survey through the college we are only looking at a very limited segment of the population which would lead to inaccurate results being collected.

How did you overcome this? We overcame the this of conflicting information by researching to find more research that supported one idea over another, for example in certain areas of care research suggested chewing cardboard was bad for guinea pigs teeth whereas other had suggested that chewing cardboard is essential in caring for your guinea pigs teeth. However more research could be found to quantify the research that cardboard was beneficial, so therefore as more sources confirmed this we accepted this research as more reliable over the others.

What research could you have carried out that would have proved more useful? Research that would have proved more useful would have more research into what specific areas of care were the most important, although we found lot’s of information regarding the care of guinea pigs we made the decision about what was most important by our selves whereas it needed to be backed up with research that identified this as being key areas of key for first time owners.

5 Things I have learn’t about design process

  • Research is crucial in understand the subject of brief and also the potential target audience you maybe be designing for 
  • The difference between quantitative and qualitative research 
  • Ensure your research is quantifiable and relevant before you allow it to inform your design choices 
  • Conduct research throughly, as without research the outcome you create will not be as successful as it could be 
  • Vary the ways in which you conduct research, use a variety of methods to ensure good quality research is being collected 

5 Things I would do differently next time
  • Use interview as apposed to yes no questions within a questionnaire to provide more detailed and accurate information 
  • Assign jobs to members of the group that allow them to work to there strengths rather than everyone working individually and coming together to combine ideas 
  • Outline a set of design guidelines that members of the group can follow before designing to ensure that work that is created similar in ways which makes it easier to combine the work together to create the finished product 
  • Work together more tightly when available the most productive time we spent as group was when we sat down and worked through ideas together rather than going out separately first and then coming together to discuss them 
  • Practice the presentation before presenting to ensure everybody in the group is aware of what they are saying and the concept and all the key elements are delivered effectively within the presentation

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