SEM721 – Engineering Design

SEM721 – Engineering Design

Assessment task 1: Individual concept proposal

Task description:

You are required to submit an individual concept proposal to the challenge proposed by the unit stakeholders. This submission is a compilation of creative outputs generated over the first five weeks of the unit and encompassing the supporting unit site activities associated with the user, market and technical research performed during your individual discovery and applied research on the product development creative process, and facilitated via unit site learning resources, seminars and weekly activities.

IMPORTANT: This submission should be reflective of applied research and a data-driven research processes, containing only the information relevant to the problem you are solving and also be visualy engaging and effectively communicated via a ‘creative portfolio’.

This assessment has two components:

  • PART A: Proposal description and project management
    • (Executive summary) / Discussion and reflective practice – 800 words reflecting critically on your process of exploration and discovery, developing and evaluating ideas. Provide an initial description of your proposal and your discovery and decision-making process.
    • Project method, milestones and timelines charts
  • PART B: A documentation of your applied research in the way of a project folio, containing creative outputs such as:
    • Inspiration boards
    • Concept generation (sketches)
    • Mock-ups
    • Early-stage CAD
Assignment: 1 – Individual concept proposal
What is required
for this task
Effective communication of a thoroughly researched and authentic proposal, reflective of applied research and data-driven decision-making processes.
Due date
Wednesday, 14 December 2022 08.00pm Melbourne time
35% – marked and graded
PART A: 800 words | PART B: 20 x A3 pages maximum
Submission process
Uploaded via CloudDeakin (Assignment 1 dropbox) as 1 document in 1 PDF or DOCX file
Assignment: 1 – Prescribed task quality
PART A (10%)
Exec. summary
Executive summary: a concise summary of the entire project, including scope (the challenge, rationale, context and associated stakeholders). Why is this project important, and what are you trying to solve? Explain your individual research & discovery process and key features of your proposal. It should be self-contained and introduce the problem from a critical perspective, describe your solution and present major conclusions (max 800 words)
Project Management
Methodology: A descriptive engineering design methodology reflective of the process you have or will be engaging in to produce a solution to the given challenge – This is NOT an overview of the 4D design process; this is YOUR interpretationn of the required process of development to achieve the outcome that you seek in your proposal. A ‘methodology’ should be described as the specific procedures or techniques used or proposed to identify, select, process, and analyze information about your solution. A descriptive methodology should support the exact reproduction of your solution via descriptive methods allowing your work to ‘contribute’ to the existing body of knowledge and for other people to be able to ‘build’ upon your findings. Use diagrams and schematics.
TEAM Timelines: One Gantt chart per team (a whole trimester!). The timeline should include engineering design process milestones, as well as a detailed task, time and resources identification and allocation, divided into individual (student names included) and team tasks. Make sure the timelines are readable (the text of an appropriate size). For a team task, one student only must be responsible for its completion. Add internal team due dates located a few days before the assignment submission. This is a living document for your team to better plan your individual and team tasks. You can always go back and change the task allocation or make other amendments. Use MS Project, Excel or any other free template from the Internet.
Discover (40%)
User research
Observation: A minimum of 10 diverse images documenting the observation of how users interact with solutions already on the market. It does not need to be from the same industry. Can you find inspiration that will inform your engineering design process elsewhere? Think about physical, social, and psychological user needs. Pin your collected images to your Pinterest board ‘Observation’ or save them to a conventional document folder. Present a large screenshot of your Pinterest board in the report or create a photo diary from the saved photos. You can also take the photos by yourself. Participants on the
photos taken by you must be de-identified (their faces). In all cases, caption or annotate images. This task will help you to identify user needs.
Empathy: At least one photo (captioned or annotated image) visually documenting YOUR OWN individual empathy exercise. Step into the shoes of your potential end-user. Interact firsthand with your
problem from different angles. This task will help you to identify user needs and development requirements.
Extreme users: Exploration about how extreme users innovatively use relevant products. Provide one extreme user’s diagram/table with visuals. At least three different relevant examples of users per each of
3 sections: rejectors, majority and power users.
TEAM/IND Interview: One in-depth 10 min interview of 1 participant (e.g. expert or potential user) per TEAM. Written interview transcript (transcribed in accurate English – manual check) of an audio-
recorded interview in the appendix. Participant must be de-identified (remove personal details). Individually copy 2-4 quotes by the interviewee into an INDIVIDUAL table and interpret them as user needs. Include participant’s demographics.
Persona profile: One end-user persona profile (fictional character). This is your target user. Their needs are based on all previously completed tasks combined. Determine demographics (facts: age, gender,
background, status, etc.), ethnographic (aspects of their culture with an effect of solution use), and psychographics (their needs, wants, attitudes, aspirations, lifestyle). Use a free template from the Internet
or create your own.
User journey map: Study of intended & unintended product use. A five-stage end-user (customer) journey map to help you better understand product circularity; how an end-user would potentially interact
with your solution before, during and after use or upon disposal. Use a storyboard or a free-online template that suits you best. Include visuals of intended and unintended product use for better understanding. This task will help you to identify user needs.
User needs list: One user needs list of at least ten very specific needs informed by the previous tasks undertaken as your background research. Include needs factors (1-5).
Technical research
Emerging trends: A collage board with at least five diverse captioned & referenced images from 5 different reliable online trends magazines, journals or newspapers. Your visual output must contain evidence of broad and applied research into state-of-the-art and emerging trends. Your visual output should represent emerging trends in materials & highlight potentially relevant material properties. Provide information on emerging bespoke and mass fabrication processes, new relevant technology and connectivity, relevant infrastructure, trends in user interaction (UI) and user experience (UX) from relevant unexpected cross-disciplinarity areas, ergonomics, dexterity, psychological acceptance and aesthetics etc. What innovations or disruptions are currently emerging and may have the potential to grow? Where can you find inspiration? Which signals of the future inform your engineering design process or may even be used as a part of your solution? In the assignment, present a screenshot of your Pinterest board with those ten images. Alternatively, you can save the photos from the Internet to a conventional document folder and present them in the report as a photo diary. Reference and caption or annotate images in any case
TEAM/IND Patent search: One table with data of 4 current protected solutions and development avenues that have been registered with a brief analysis per TEAM. Each team member should INDIVIDUALLY
collect one patent data for the TEAM table. In the table, include student’s name who has collected the patent. Use bullet points and visuals. With 1-2 sentences per patent describe what have you learnt from this resource? How will you implement the learnings into your design solution? This task will help you identify the state-of-the-art of current technical solutions.
Market research
Market analysis: Determination of the market size -potential buyers and sellers using graphics, charts, graphs and captioned data-driven (numbers, statistics) analysis. What is your interpretation of current data and trends within the current market? Where the market is going, and how will you respond to it with your solution? Based on the market offer and demand as well as your potential for market-share,
what could be your targeted price point for market introduction?
TEAM/IND Competitor benchmarking: One table with data of 4 competitive solutions per TEAM. Each team member should INDIVIDUALLY collect one competitive solution for the TEAM table. In the table,
include student’s name who has collected the competitive solution. Compare against already collected user needs, technical and market research findings. Use bullet points and visuals.
TEAM Regulations and standards: A list of legal aspects and industry standards that may influence your solution. What are the currently enforced standards (the quality benchmark for your solution), relevant
regulations and regulatory bodies you should consider?
Early Define (40%)
Concept generation
Needs-metrics matrix: One needs-metrics matrix pairing practical dependent metrics to the list of identified user needs (see: Karl T. Ulrich and Steven D. Eppinger, 2004, Product Design and Development,
Exhibit 5-5, Chapter 5, 3th Edition, p. 77, Irwin McGraw-Hill)
TEAM Mind map: One digital or readable hand-drawn inspirational mind map per team. Organise your team brainstorming into a mind map with at least 4 branches with 3 keywords per branch. Only words,
no images.
Hand sketches: Quick hand sketches and/or schematics representing ideas. Exploratory development (minimum of 4 different ideas) as well as explanatory development of individual proposal containing
studies of context, user interactions, and scale. A minimum of 4 x A3 pages containing exploratory and explanatory sketching of your individual proposal. Other development images (if numerous) can be included in appendices with the most relevant sketches directly in the folio body. Annotate or caption images. Annotate or caption images in order to further describe your proposed ideas. Do not forget to
draw the USER in to communicate the scale/context – a silhouette is enough
Mock-up: One scale or real size mock-up of one individual selected idea from your sketches. Include the user as a reference for scale and mode of interaction. Photo documentation of the mock-up to
presented in the report. Annotate or caption the images. Annotate or caption the images with 1-3 sentences: What have you learnt from the mock-up (further from your initial sketches)? How will you implement the learnings into your design solution?

Proposal Format / Visual presentation

You are encouraged to use A3 size pages and horizontal layout as much as possible, and annotate your boards, sketches, photographs of prototyping process and your CAD images as a way to aid communication of your ideas and exploratory process. Include high-quality literary and commercial sources and references in your annotations. You may also consider the use of captioned tables and storyboards or charts with appropriate annotation. It is expected from students to refer various reliable resources including scientific journals, datasets, professional magazines, governmental reports, etc. The folio should be readable, clear and visually engaging. Think about the layout and consider including an index /contents table, section headings, appropriate headers and footers, page numbers, equations, diagrams, tables, charts, figure captions (with references), footnote references, etc. Visual representations of your design process are an important part of your product development process and communication of its results, so ensure you include images related to your research and development (your photographs and referred images), etc.

SUGGESTION: Engage in digital literacy! – As a visual portfolio your work should be engaging and communicated effectively with compelling images and a narrative /story that encapsulates your individual development journey. Consider turning this assignment into your own portfolio website. There are multiple hosting sites and blog platforms with free graphic designed templates publicly available which you could use as an available tool to communicate the required work. Think about engaging your audience effectively and tell your story in a compelling way.

Individual vs teamwork

Your concept proposal should primarily be individual work, conceived from your individual research, creative process and perspective and supported with your own words and reflections as a way of contributing to your collaborative effort as a team. As a team you can align direction where necessary and share resources and data to direct efforts of all team members effectively and keep work relevant. However, you must ensure the individual work you produce is genuine and authentic and significantly different in contribution to add diversity of value to your team output. After submission of your first assignment, as a team, you will perform a systematic concept selection phase and eventually choose one design concept per team to develop as a joint output.

Each team is encouraged to allocate team development tasks among team members. It is useful to have a team leader who coordinates the project and ensures an agreed quality of deliverable is met. Product development benefits from an interdisciplinary approach. A wide range of expertise as well as transferrable (soft)1 and technical2 skills play an important role in this unit. Not all team members have the same skills and expertise, so allocate team specific tasks with this in mind.

AT1: Unit Learning Outcomes assessed in this task

ULO1: Raise questions and develop considerations for inquiry and prepare a clear concise description of an issue that needs an engineered solution

GLO1: Discipline- specific knowledge and capabilities | GLO3: Digital literacy | GLO4: Critical thinking

ULO2: Apply strategic thinking and design engineering methodologies to research and develop ideas and systems to engineer improvements to existing or new solutions

GLO1: Discipline- specific knowledge and capabilities | GLO3: Digital literacy | GLO4: Critical thinking

ULO3: Design sustainable and environmentally friendly engineering solutions that address end-users and stakeholders’ expectations, as well as industry standards.

GLO1: Discipline- specific knowledge and capabilities | GLO5: Problem-solving

Aiming for (HD) marks?

High Distinction (HD) marks are associated with successful integration and application of discipline-based knowledge within your course. Demonstration of investigation and understanding of the problem at hand to propose a solution based on succinct high-quality discussion and visually engaging output, showcasing the technical breadth and depth concepts and complying with word limit criteria by thinking of effective and engaging communication via developed graphics and compelling images. It is essential to demonstrate a high critical reflection standard, effective communication of thought processing, and data-driven investigations of the proposed problem.

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