4th October 2017 - No Comments!

Design Sprint with Leeds Beckett

A couple of days ago I took the Numiko design team to see some students who are studying the BSc Creative Media Technology at Leeds Beckett. They are first years and have just started a few weeks ago so I think we might have been their first 'industry' presentation. I hope I didn't put anyone off. Instead of the usual 60 minutes of show and tell I wanted to get them doing something and give them an opportunity to interact with us and each other. Could I intro our company in 15 minutes and do a Google Ventures style design sprint in 45 minutes? Probably not but I thought I'd give it a try.

Setting the problem space
One of their first briefs was around wearable tech for professionals. I had a look at it and decided to tweak and tighten it up a bit so we could be on the same page and move fast in the same direction.

    Wearable devices for families

    With the looming crisis of children getting gradually more obese, Nike have decided to enter a new market and create a device, for families, that will help encourage higher levels of exercise among the children and adults. They have already created a watch series that is built in various sizes to fit adults and children. The primary feature that excites them is the ability to have the watches communicate with each other over long distance via 4G network. They think this will open up a variety of new types of interaction between family members that could encourage increases in movement.

    Technically the watch will have a small touch screen and include various features to help track movement: GPS, a gyroscope, pedometer and a 4G connection to connect the family of watches together.

    Nike invites you to think about the technology available and ideate some creative ways to
    use the watches to encourage family members to stay healthy together.

    Areas of opportunity
    • Gamification
    • Competition
    • Encouragement

Sounds quite good... Actually I wonder if this could be a real thing. Being a Dad myself I'd probably like something like that.

I also pulled out some slides from a Public Health England research paper which highlighted the problem.
- One in five children in Reception is overweight or obese
- One in three children in Year 6 is overweight or obese
- By 2034 70% of adults will be overweight or obese

God this actually makes me cringe. Its not good is it. Anyway it seemed like a decent problem to try and solve. Maybe the family aspect of it would be lost on these youngsters but I hoped they could build a mental model of the situation from their own childhoods.

The Sprint

As I had very little time I had to set a super tight agenda. It just about worked although sadly we didn't get a chance to do the final presentation - I would have liked to get around the other 2 groups to see what they started to hone in on. Also the feedback was limited but I think we (the Numiko design team) managed to give each student a few pointers. Ideally we would have had more time and encouraged them to give good constructive feedback to each other.

• Set the design problem (5 mins)
• Split into 3 groups and find an area to work (5 mins)
• Sketch out a bunch of different ideas (10 minutes)
• Present favourite idea to the group (1 minute each = 15 minutes)
• Steal the best bits of everyone else ideas and sketch out 1 higher fidelity concept (5 minutes)
• Present idea to team (30s each / 5 minutes)


My group very quickly oriented towards a competitive approach that included rewards. Something along the lines of a league table (based on walking distances and intensity of activities) that paid out a reward / punishment at the end of each week/month/year. If you come bottom of the league you have to do something horrible like the washing up etc. If you come top you get to decide something like what's for Sunday dinner.

Sadly they all had to rush into another session but the lecturer grabbed a few bits of paper of some students today and sent me a snap. I'm hoping to get some more, steal their ideas, and turn it into a real product. Kickstarter here we come!

All in all I was pretty happy with the hour. We intro'd them to Numiko and get them working together in teams of around 10. They still didn't know each other's names so hopefully the session will have broken some ice.

Published by: robmillington in Interactive, Pitch

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