Monday, December 6, 2010

Just for Fun: Christmas Collage

Every year we send out a crafty card for the holidays.  This year we decided to go online ...  Our holiday card will be a collage composed of small squares sketched by participants and then posted on the internet.

Each participant is given a tile, like this one:

They copy the tiles in a creative way, like this one:

All the sketches are assembled and collected at a main site and displayed as our holiday card.

Look here for updates:
http://www.meredithaddy.com/holiday.html

Can you guess where this photo was taken?
Answer: Union Square

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Product (ReUSE): Ear Bud Cozy

Another crazy instant solution that solved a problem quickly.  This fix was for deterring my cat from using my ear buds as a chew toy.

The product:
Ear Bud Cozy

How it works:
An old drawing practice cube serves as a great place to stash my ear buds quickly.  Flip over and peel back the tape on the underside of the cube.  Cram in ear buds.  Flip over again.  Ta-Da!  Kitty proof!



Related websites:
http://makezine.com/
http://www.etsy.com/
http://sugru.com/

Friday, November 5, 2010

Product (ReUSE): Using things that you might consider junk to fix a problem: Pseudo-Swatch Guard

Having not updated my blog in a while (busy with work), I started to look at my everyday solutions to find something to post.  I looked at the stuff that I do automatically - the crazy instant solutions that solves a problem quickly.  This fix was for a watch that was getting too many scratches.

The product:
Pseudo-Swatch Guard

How it works:
Take a cute rubber band (mine was holding together green onions from the store last week), twist it multiple times, and then slide each end loop over its respective watch band end. 



Related websites:
http://makezine.com/
http://www.etsy.com/
http://sugru.com/

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Product: ID Pads

Industrial Design students learn how to sketch for accuracy by drawing within the walls of a cube (perspective cubes).  It is a long and creativity-stifling process.   Ideation (thinking of ideas while sketching) is done separately and the results as a beginning student are not so beautiful.

Why not combine these processes and pre-draw these cube(s) into ideation sketch pads for beginners?

The product:
ID Pads

How it works:
As a learning tool, each page of an ID Pad would contain a light blue cube or multiple light blue cubes.  The position and placement of these cubes would be determined by what type of products the sketcher wishes to draw (small table products require a different perspective than large street objects and therefore should be drawn within different perspective cubes).

The student would then use the proper ID Pad to ideate quickly and accurately.  After they are done sketching their ideas, they can scan the pages of the ID Pad and what would remain is the products and not the perspective cubes (light blue does not show on scans).


Related websites:
http://rhodiapads.com/collections_orange.shtml
http://www.bienfangproducts.com/

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Product: S.Ring

The bus stinks! Literally. If you agree, then read on...

The product:
S.Ring

How it works:
Dip S.Ring into an essential oil, then wear. Similar to a fake nose ring, no hole is needed, it just clips onto nose. Use to avoid unpleasant smells. Clean with water then jewelry cleaner.



Related websites:
http://mypiercing.stores.yahoo.net/failclonnori.html
http://www.qualitynosestuds.com/fakenoserings485

Saturday, June 12, 2010

UX Product: Hat Hat

Ever been shopping for a hat and nothing seemed to fit?

What if ... you could measure your noggin, enter your info and get suggestion for a perfect fit?

The product/experience:
Hat Hat website

How it works:
Similar to MyShape.com, you would be walked through how to take some vital head measurements, enter that data into the system and out would come your personal hat profile. You could then browse the personalized inventory and purchase a hat with confidence.

Related websites:
http://www.myshape.com

Thursday, May 13, 2010

UX Product: Let's Go Shopping

Enjoy a day shopping with a far away friend...

What if ... your girlfriend just moved half way around the world and you miss those sunny afternoons that the two of you went shopping together?
What if ... your spouse is on a business trip and you need help picking out your friends' wedding gift?
What if ... your mom would like to buy you something nice for your birthday?

The product:
Let's Go Shopping
UX: internet conferencing + online shopping

How it works:
You and your shopping buddy log onto the Let's Go Shopping site.  Up pops a chat/camera window and a share screen window on both of your computers.  Browse the internet and share your opinions about the products you like at the same time!

Related websites:
http://www.sightmax.com
http://www.skype.com
http://www.myshape.com

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Marketing: Scanning for fit

Can semi-customization be had for a great price?

What if the products you bought had a personal fit?  Taking ergonomics one step further, by customizing your product to your form. 

Too costly?  Well, let's have a trade-off, lower cost for a bit less customization.

The Demand:
From sports to special needs, the market is evolving.  More costly in the short run, this scanning and ├╝ber-customizing happens more for athletes and special needs cases.  If we engage in only part of the process, costs go down and soon everyone will think it second nature to buy a product that is more personal.

How to meet the Demand:
Flat bed scanners and other personal measuring devices.
Bring product selection down to a personal level.

A product example: The not-so-fitted, fitted shoe
Currently custom shoes are made by going to a store and using a special machine to scan the foot, read arch height and estimate force ... but what if we took one step back and required less data for moderate customization leading to a lower costing, mid-level ergonomic shoe?

Suggested process: I scan my feet on my home scanner, send my scan in via email, the data is entered into a system in which length and arch placement are calculated, pictures of already made shoes that match my foot profile are emailed back to me, I purchase my choice from the list and now have semi-customized shoes.

Perhaps it is even as simple as allowing the buyer to buy one size for one foot and another size for the other foot.

Why doesn't this happen more often?

Similar Sites:
http://www.myshape.com
http://www.customshoes.net/custom_made.shtml 
http://www.healthyshoestore.com/womens-mismatched-shoes.html
http://nikeid.nike.com/nikeid/index.jsp

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Product: Tutor Bee

Texting and spelling ... do you always choose to finish your words with word completion on your phone?  Do you see a red underline and pick from a list of words to finish your thought?  If so, you may be developing an addiction ... or at least a dependency.   What if software helped us learn from our mistakes instead???

The product:
Tutor Bee

How it works:
Load Tutor Bee software onto your phone, desktop and anything else that you use to text or write.  Use your device like you normally would.  Every time you misspell a word, Tutor Bee will capture it and add it to a list.  Whenever you have time, go into Tutor Bee and take a spelling test (with words from the list it has collected). 

Related Products:
http://www.funbrain.com/spell/
http://www.alphadictionary.com/articles/misspell_quiz.html

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Product: Nav device personalities

Lost on the streets of San Francisco (insert your town), wishing your Garmin (or other Nav device) would not be so irritatingly "right" all the time?  Why not create an application that would allow you to switch it up by changing some key phrases?

For instance, what if every third time the device would have to recalculate the route, it would say "You so wrong" or "Sorry I'm just a computer" instead of "Recalculating route."

The product:
G-a-tude (or Car-a-tude for non-Garmin users)

How it works:
Step1: Download application that allows you to edit existing navigation phrases by picking from a list or creating your own.
Step2: Sync the additions and laugh at the wrong turns the navigation systems says you're making! 

Related Products:
http://www.garmin.com/garmin/cms/us/ontheroad/voicestudio

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Product: Substitute Ice Cream Cone: Silli-Cone

Licking an ice cream cone while strolling along, enjoying a beautiful sunny day ... ahhhhh.
But, what if you're one of the three million Americans1 that can't participate?  A wheat allergy may mean that you can't lick your ice cream off a cone like everyone else.

The Product:
Silli-Cone

How it works:
A collapsible silicone cone.  Silli-Cone can be carried in your pocket/bag to the ice cream store, removed for use, sprung into action and be used as a substitute for a wheat-based cone.  Afterward, you'd just stick it in the dishwasher to clean.

Quick 5 Min sketch:
Possible Names:
Silly-Cone
Sili-Cone
Silli-Cone
Faux Cone
Fake-n-lick
Fun Cone














Related Products:
http://www.outblush.com/women/life/kids-baby/plastic-ice-cream-cones/
http://blog.gifts.com/giftrap/categories/gadget-gifts/kids-will-scream-for-spinning-ice-cream
http://icecreamjournal.turkeyhill.com/index.php/2008/05/27/warhol-ice-cream-comes/

1 CBS News Story

Friday, February 12, 2010

Product: Apartment Christmas Decorations: Compact Tree

Seeing Christmas trees on the street in February got me thinking.  How do you deal with Christmas in an apartment and how do you keep it green?  Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

The Product:
Collapsible Christmas tree. 

How it might work:
Paper - A paper lantern with alternating rings or an origami tree.   Second one got me thinking of a metal fold away version ...
Fold Away - Metal rotational panels, slices of a tree's cross section.
Inflated - Plastic in the form of a tree.

Quick (5 min) sketch:
 
Related products:
Craft paper tree but on a bigger scale
Decorated paper Christmas tree  I like this one the most.  My version would be made from recycled metal with a hinged center.  Bring it out every year and decorate.  Just fold back a hinge when you need the extra space for a holiday party.
Inflatable

Friday, February 5, 2010

Marketing: eBusiness: Coaching/Instructing

Do you know how to do something that others don't?  How about sharing?

The Demand:
Tough times, call for learning new things.
People are trying to educate themselves to be more appealing to potential employers.

How to meet the Demand:
Online videos.  Build a website to house your skill(s), whatever it(they) may be.  Record some videos, make some manuals, post a liability clause, then go out and share.

Similar Sites:
http://www.efactor.com/p/ecoaching
http://www.instructables.com/
http://www.ehow.com/

Product: Recycling USB Flash Drives: Flash Drive + Eraser

Recycling your stuff ... crafting new stuff out of the old.

My USB flash drive's case broke this morning, and I though about what I could do to rescue it.  Tape/glue didn't work because a piece of the case was missing.  So what to do next ...

Did you ever have a USB flash drive with a case that just fell apart?  How about an extra eraser?

The Product:
Homemade USB flash drive case.

How it might work:
Take an old eraser, gut it and stick a flash drive in it. 


Thanks to DIY and Instructables, here are instructions on how to make one:
Pink-Eraser-USB-Flash-Drive






Here's my go at it:
With Exacto Knife, glue and 3 small erasers...


















Ta Da.
(was harder than it looks)

<-- Included vent holes.






And, it really works!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Product: Cadence Reader

Need something to help you focus?  Are meds really the answer?  What about something with fewer side effects?

The Product:
A cadence machine/program that can produce a prerecorded sound and repeat it to help you focus.

How it might work:
Record and upload a sound, like a click or a drum beat, into the device.
Adjust the repeat settings on the device to obtain the rhythm you desire.

Possible products:
Headset/ear piece
iPhone app
iTunes addon

Related products:
www.cadenceapp.com

Marketing: Airport Store: Rentals

Do to the new weight restrictions on all airlines, a new demand has arisen.

The Demand:
Temporary use of items that cannot be packed.

How to meet the demand:
Using a typical rent and deposit scheme, create a store that can supply items frequently used by travelers, but too heavy to include in travel.

Such items may include:
hairdryers, curling irons, umbrellas, dress shoes, rain coats, etc.

Extras:
Items should be rented out in a roller case making them easy to take along.
Items can be pre-ordered/reserved through the internet.
Discounts apply to frequent travellers.
Work in conjunction with Airlines sharing the same target market.

Potential store names:
Fly-Rent-Go
Rent stuff
Rental Essentials
Fly Rent (or FR)

Similar Stores/Sites:
www.rentoid.com
www.onthegobabyct.com(unfortunately this store is currently closed)