Participants: Dr. Arun Dixit, Vijay E., Sandip J. and Subir B.

Main observations:

  • From Six Sigma – The Voice of Customer (VoC) element: A customer, most often, does not explain/describe/express what his/her problem is. He/she may just indicate in the vaguest possible terms that there exists a problem. The language maybe very vague and non-techincal and imprescice. Therefore the empathy of the designer is crucial. Its like a doctor diagnosing a patient. The correct and most appropriate questions need to be asked. Here is a very nice story where a GM car owner had some issues with the kind of ice-cream he chose to buy!
  • On assumptions: The full form of assumption in a certain language is “Making an ass of you and me”. Why do we go for assumptions when we can put a little effort and get some real data? Why this lazyness?
  • Why do we compromise either form or function in the pursuit of the other? For example when Sandip and we were discussing attaching a PVC tube to the building to coolect rain water, it didnt strike us to think about the asthetics of this project at all. We have been discussing such projects for a long time and as design students it should be a grave shame if we neglect even thinking about ergonomics. So shouldn’t Sandip take into account how to building will look if black pipe hangs from its roof? Is there a way to make the work look asthetically pleasing without compromising on function?
  • What creates a brand? Why people would blindly believe in a brand instead of questioning and checking each part of a branded product? Why common market Chinese products are not relied upon? Answers to these questions lead to the need for the customer to experience honesty and persistent quality in a product. Why there is so much need to sell more than the real content? Does coning the customer create a loyal customer?
  • “See twice and saw once”: I have been noticing a trend in my work for the past so many years. The dominant tendency is to rush towards making the first cut, building the first naive idea into some solid piece as if the desperation will kill me otherwise. However, although it has helped me educate myself of the various tools and methods and given a ‘first draft failure prone thing’, it has not really helped me to make subsequent prototypes of higher quality or grow as a thoughtful designer. Now i’m reforming myself as to think more before comitting to prototype. I can see this tendency in mthe design/engineering culture in India, the aversion to thinking in the domain of doing.