Week 3 Entry 17: Streamlining Project Inspiration Refinement

Amraj Singh Sukhdev Singh - Mon 9 March 2020, 6:54 pm
Modified: Mon 9 March 2020, 7:16 pm

Before I progress into sharing some ideas for reapproaching the concept... I thought it would be useful to clear some roadblocks for myself... not wipe the slate clean, but reprioritising.

In the previous post, there was a little bit of thought into the situation I'd intended to address, so I think it's best to lay down the conclusions I'll be sticking with, so that at the end of my refinement, I can compare the presentation of the initial pitch and refined one, to see what happened.

In this case some solid components are:

  • Instead of just "designing a tool to teach knife safety", we're "designing a tool to be used to help train young volunteers at a homeless shelter to cook", which is less specific but has a detailed context.
    • Optionally: There's limited space to store tools at a shelter, the tool shouldn't be a large machine or terminal.
    • Optionally: It doesn't have to be one tool that does everything, it could be a set of tools that can be stored together
  • The knife talking to you to correct your mishandling of it isn't interesting, so it should be removed - its not playful if it simply says catchphrases and so on, its the interaction that has to be interesting
  • The idea needs to be more safe so it can fit into realistic situations - it would be awkward to be having a conversation with your tools, while someone else approached you to talk - I'd pictured the tool being used while alone in a quiet place before
Addressing Ideas Differently

Words aren't always the best way to convey ideas,.. especially if your thoughts can't match them sufficiently. As much as I'd say "I'm good at English", it's still my third language, occasionally I instinctually use Malay to describe something in my mind, and then translate it as I speak, which results in a description that even I don't understand on reading it a second time.

So, I'll use pictures instead. Images make it easier to just throw out a whole bunch of thoughts, so long as I'm the only one that's interpreting them.

Set Up

Before continuing in more detail on a pivot to the idea, it's best to know what already exists. So, here's a set of tools that I would say are used most commonly in shelters. Now there's a simplified picture in mind when I think "tools".

Thought Train and Carriages
  • the diet at different shelters might mean that the food cooked there uses different processes
    • maybe other tools are more common at other shelters that I haven't volunteered at
  • presentation of the training tool
    • is it one or a bunch
    • does it even need to have realistic parts
    • no more tool talking to you
      • something else should make it interesting
      • how to get people to empathise with the tools?
      • what were common mistakes people made with tools?
  • I shouldn't be using tools interchangeably for the thing I'm proposing as well as the existing utensils