When designing a product, the best approach is to focus on the users. Thus, making a device not based on your views but based on the needs of your users. The most efficient approach is to understand who are you designing for? the purpose or need for the object, How your product helps solve users’ problem?
The ideation process:
Step one: Understanding the who (our users)
To demystify the idea of who are the users, our group used the sacrificial concepts method. In design fiction part I article I mentioned how we used that technique to deconstruct the Na’vi world to help us better understand about Pandora inhabitants culture. Thus, enabling us to build empathy for the Na’vi and at the same time extract information on the beliefs, facts and assumptions about Pandora and Omaticaya clan. Then based on those understandings we developed four rules to provide guidelines for our designing process:
Step two: uncovering the Na’vi needs and product design ideation process
After establishing the rules, the next step was to brainstorm for product ideas for the Na’vi. Our goal in this process was to come up with number of various design ideas for the Na’vi. We kept the process open without any judgment and wrote down all ideas no matter how bizarre or strange they might seem. This provided us with a good list of objects;
However, we then narrowed them down based on these things:
1) What our users, the Na’vi in this case, really need?
2) What problems the product would solve?
3) How the product would fit with the Na’vi world, lifestyle and society?
Answering and focusing on those questions enabled us to narrow down our design selections.
My design challenge
My first choice was to create a house for the Na’vi. While watching the movie I noticed that they Omaticaya people live and sleep in hammocks hanged to their home trees. I was thinking how a family would fit in there and will the hammock provide protection against weather conditions such as rain? I thought of transforming their hammocks into hanging houses that would accommodate the families and at the same time protect them from environmental conditions.
The idea for the houses or modified hammocks came from the spider houses which are also hanged in the trees. They are open at one area where they can set and enjoy a relaxing evening with the family. When night comes or if there is rain, that opening can be closed by just pulling one slide of the weaved fabric.
After carful examination and discussions with my team mates, I dropped the house idea. The Na’vi are communal in nature and love to connect with their surroundings, so a house would not fit with their lifestyle and cultural beliefs. However, I wanted to still work with the protection concept.
Second design challenge concept
Na’vi live in dangerous world. Despite the beauty of Pandora and the harmony the Omaticaya live with their nature, they are still surrounded by dangers, be it predators or humans. I also wanted to incorporate nature in my next idea so I thought why not combine the protection and nature concepts. To develop my idea, I remembered that some insects and animals camouflage themselves by mimicking their surrounding or a threatening predator to repel or hide from threats. Taking this idea into account I thought of making a wearable that the Omaticaya can use to ward off danger.
Stay tuned to know more about the new concept and the iteration process 😉