Link
BA (Hons) Product Design - Final Major Project (Condensed)

Challenge:
To tackle the issue of restricted and unreliable communication within hospitals, in order to improve the safety of both the patients and members of the healthcare team.

Approach:
An in-depth research and development process which utilised  an array of prototyping, testing and user feedback to lead to an unobtrusive form of communication.

Outcome:
The solution comes in the form of Link, a compact, user-focused device that has been designed to replace the current out-dated and unreliable forms of communication.
1/ Breaking down existing forms
Studying the trends, forms and design languages that existing products are carrying allows for the trajectory of the products aesthetic to be determinted, right from the start. 
2/ Research
Prior to the initial design process beginning, research needed to be undertaken. An array of in depth research methods were utilised, and the findings were compiled into a research report. Research methods used:
- Ethnographic Research
- Task Analysis 
- Interviews with the target users
- Analysis of journals
3/ Initial Sketches
Quick, loose sketches were used to explore potential forms for the communication device. detailing, touch-points and technical elements were left-out to be explored in more detail later down the line. 
4/ Prototyping
Starting with rough, low-fidelity foam prototypes and then moving onto 3D printed, detailed scale models, the ergonomics were continuously tested to ensure for a comfortable user- experience when using the device. 3D printing allowed for multiple iterations of the device to be created rapidly whilst allowing the analysis of manufacturing aspects.
5/ Further Development (Digital Sketching)
Digital sketching allowed for rapid development of the prototyped ideas. Iterations and minor alterations could be produced and explored until the final solution was met. 
6/ DFM
Due to its intended destination being the medical market, it was important for the product to be as commercially viable as possible, so reducing the cost without compromising its functionality was key; any unnecessary material was removed. In addition to cost, it was important to test that the design was manufacture- any undercuts, material constraints or wall-thickness issues were corrected after receiving feedback from injection moulding suppliers. 

Stress tests were also conducted to ensure that each component was capable of withstanding repetitive usage. 
7/ The Solution

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