Criterion A: Inquiring and Analyzing - 8 Marks
During this assessment you must:
Strand 1 - Explain and justify the need for a solution to a problem
Strand 2 - Construct a research plan, which states and prioritizes the primary and secondary research needed to develop a solution to the problem
Strand 3 - Analyze a group of similar products that inspire a solution to the problem
Strand 4 - Develop a design brief, which presents the analysis of relevant research.
Strand 1 - Explaining and Justifying the Need
During this strand you must explain and justify the need for a solution to the problems associated with using a portable media device.
For this strand you will need to define the following:
- What is a problem associated with using a portable media device?
- Whose problem is it? (Identify the client/target market.)
- Where is the problem occurring? (Identify the situation.)
- What is the cause of the problem?
- What effect is it having?
Start by identifying and recording at least 3 physical problems e.g.text neck, associated with using smart devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops).
Choose one of the problems you identified, which would benefit you or someone else, and state clearly why you think it is a good problem to solve.
Now you have identified the problem, you must carry out research to prove (justify) there is a real need for a solution to the problem you identified.
Once you have researched your highlighted design problem thoroughly you will use the information to write your own 'Initial Research Report'. This work must be in your own words, though you must use at least 3 quotes from the information gathered to support your own ideas. Please reference these quotes correctly.
The 'Initial Research Report' must:
- be between 300 and 500 words long
- support the need for a solution to the problem you identified
- use at least 3 quotes to support your views and opinions (Don't assume anything!)
- use images to support the report (must be cited correctly)
- define what your specific problem associated with using a portable media device?
- define whose problem is it? (Identify the client/target market.)
- define where is the problem occurring? (Identify the situation.)
- define what is the cause of the problem?
- define what effect is it having?
Please use Noodeltools to keep a record of all the sources of the useful information you use to create your report, and any other research work. You must submit a 'Works Cited' document at the end of criterion A, which must be formatted using MLA conventions.
As a result of your initial research, pinpoint a specific problem that you would like to solve, and write a concluding statement explaining the background to the problem; we call this the ‘Design Situation’.
Design Situation: I like to watch TV shows or movies on my iPad when I'm getting ready for work, or washing up the dishes. I try in vain to keep the iPad at good angle so I can see the screen, though it always slides down the wall or object I am resting it against, or the light reflects off the screen making it difficult to see the screen. This is frustrating as I'm constantly having to adjust my iPad so I can see the screen! I am also worried that I could damage my expensive iPad if it falls and hits something hard. I also carried out a survey to find out if this is a problem for other people. I sent the survey to 15 people with iPads, and 12 of the people said that they found it difficult to hold their iPads at the angle they needed to watch a movie. Therefore, I am going to design and make a device that will hold my iPad at various angles, so I don't have to worry about it falling over and breaking when I'm trying to watch something on it.
Strand 2 - Compile a Research Plan
Now that you have thought about the problem in detail, you will perhaps have more questions than answers. You need to organize these questions into some form of plan that will state what you need to find out. You must also prioritize this information, most important to least, and write a justification as to why you think the information will be important to solve your unique design problem. You will need a minimum of 8-12 questions.
Carry out your Research
Make sure to use a range of primary and secondary research techniques to find the answers to your questions. You must cite where you found your sources of information correctly using MLA conventions. Please use NoodleTools to create your citations.
Primary research is information you find out by asking the questions yourself - taking a survey, interviewing a client/expert, measuring something.
Secondary research is is data (information) that other people have gathered - internet articles, book research, historical data.
Strand 3 - Analyze a group of similar products that inspire a solution to the problem - Learning By Example
Students must research at least 2 products that solve their own specific problem. A good starting point is Amazon. Under the heading 'Looking at Existing Products' Copy and paste images of the 3+ product's into your inquiring and analyzing document (don't forget to cite the images correctly). Read at least 6 reviews of each product (good and bad reviews). Analyze what people have said in the reviews, and summarize the main points. Also write your own review of the product. In your review write about: what you think about the aesthetics and how well you think it will function.
Investigate how others have solved the problem you have identified:
a) Find at least 2 different device holders, record and label the main features. Identify what materials, making and joining methods have been used, and state clearly why they may or may not be appropriate.
b) Test and Evaluate each device to help you understand what makes a good and/or bad design. Focus on both the aesthetics and the function of each device.
Strand 4 - Develop a design brief, which presents the analysis of relevant research
You should now be able to write a detailed, well-expressed statement outlining what the problem is and what you intend to do about it.
From the IB Pilot Subject Guide - What is a design brief?
The student’s response to the design situation, based on his or her research, detailing how he or she intends to solve the problem. This will summarize the relevant findings from his or her research, and inform the development of his or her design specification.
When developing the design brief, students should concisely summarize only the useful and relevant information they have found through their research. They will present this information in their own words. Students should not copy and paste information from sources without analysis or indicating relevance.
The 'brief' shouldn’t solve the problem at this stage. For instance don’t infer what it should look like by using words such as ‘stand’ or ‘bracket’. This will stop you thinking of a variety of ways to solve the problem. Words such as 'solution', 'device' or 'product' are good to use.
The Brief should tell you what to do, but not how to do it!