Having worked on a design challenge during this module, I have learnt quite a lot about designing in groups. I had done group work before, I had done design work before but not combined both yet. Although designing in a team means you can share out the work, there is a lot more work to be done in general and working together can be difficult. From this, I have gained some design principles;
Firstly, communication with the team is very important! We need to know exactly what needs to be done and who is doing what. This means setting clear goals and communicating these clearly to ensure there is no miscommunication. Miscommunication can lead to disagreements, unbalanced workloads and most importantly, stressed team members. Something that could help communication is doing some team building exercises. This way the team knows each other a bit better and knows what to expect from each other. I have learnt this from the mistakes we made at the start. Our group wasn’t communicating effectively and this led to some major problems. These were resolved once we discussed what was on our minds properly.
Secondly, hierarchy isn’t very important when in a design team. Although there is a team leader, when everyone pulls their weight, there should be no need for one person to have to command others on what to do. We choose what work is best suited for us and what we believe is a fair share of the work and get back to the group with the information we found. We had a clear team leader and this wasn’t that effective as I find it more pleasant to work freely.
Furthermore, good research is key for a design project. We need to know if there is a target market for our product, what their exact needs are, how to make, produce, and deliver the products and much more! Research ensure there is a knowledge base so market needs can be fulfilled most effectively. I learnt this from our camera project as it probably isn’t what poor children need most; it isn’t the greatest cause to go for.
Lastly, contact with clients is another highly important design principle as they are the people that will need to work with the design outcomes. We are lucky to have had a reply from UNICEF, unlike most other groups. However, I do not believe we used this to its full potential as we only mailed them once for information.
Overall, I believe I have learnt about working in groups this module that will be very useful for future projects. I’ve learnt from my own mistakes; I thought I was often clear in what I said but wasn’t really as outspoken as I thought I was. I have learnt I shouldn’t assume things as assuming makes an ass out of u and me ;)