In the early hours of Monday, November 6th, 2017, the Industrial Design students at CSULB lined up outside of Nectar Product Development, waiting to experience a day in the life of a professional Industrial Designer. They began the day with a tour of the facility and saw how different disciplines work closely together on projects. They also explored the workshop and saw how project stations were laid out.
The students settled in the main conference room where they learned about Nectar’s process and the importance of designing for the user. Students were instructed beforehand to synthesize information from various user types through research, surveys, and interviews. The class was prepared for the workshop, where they conceptualized a wearable heath activity tracking device that could not be worn on the wrist.
The workshop began by separating the class into 4 groups and brainstorming the ideal device. With the clock counting down, groups had to formulate a presentation on their workflow for considering the assigned user types. Once the time was up, student groups gathered to present their findings on sticky notes to the Nectar team. The four teams explained their concepts for the wearable device and how key moments of the users’ needs led to a design. Like Nectar, they laid out their storyboard with sticky notes. This process created team interaction. Nectar’s panel then provided feedback and asked questions to stimulate the students creative thinking.
After the student presentations were done, Nectar’s team huddled up to make a hard decision, who the winner was. The panel judged the storyboards based on workflow display, organization of key moments, and addressing all the needs of user types. Nectar looked at how the students research applied to design principles and affected the product features. After analyzing the four workflows and concepts, a winner was declared. The team of winning students received extra credit and a memorable experience. The class later got time to speak with the team and ask for industry advice.
In conclusion, the CSULB Industrial Design class experienced a professional product development firm where they could possibly work one day. The class activity exercised their creativity and empathy when designing for user types. The class left with excitement for their education and career path. Nectar enjoyed interacting with students and helping them understand what a creative field they are entering.