Complicated Decision Matrices, and Complicated Decisions in General- Anjali Mani

Today was the day! For weeks my team, and the whole class really, have been itching to start designing. It’s surprisingly difficult to work on a design project like this without being able to start drafting concepts, and slightly frustrating when you forgot that one brilliant idea you had when you were supposed to be doing Calculus. But that’s not important, because now we have a design!

But before any good design comes brainstorming. In an attempt to create a judgment free zone, we made a mind map of our customer needs and possible solutions with www.mindomo.com, which is a pretty cool tool. Unfortunately we are all aware of each other’s writing styles and could hear comments of “Wait, ignore that.” And “Did I spell that right?”, so we all knew who was writing what, but it was a good way to get our creative juices flowing.

Last class we each developed three ideas (each armed with a brightly colored marker) to create a device to prevent DVT and increase blood flow and comfort in general individually. Below is a picture that captures all of our creative brilliance, but also the peer edits that were made when we silently passed around our designs for additions/subtractions/mildly sarcastic comments. It seemed silly at the time, but by not communicating, we were able to give our automatic feedback without listening to explanations, and sometimes coming up with our own original ideas off of a simple comment.

A personal photo of the sketches from the combined genius of JetSet
A personal photo of the sketches from the combined genius of JetSet

Next, we split up and each developed our own concept sketch of how to increase blood flow when seated on long airplane flights. We all came back, with different levels of sketching talent (I was not at the top) to compare our ideas with the grand decision matrix. Yes, fancy words. It was a bit intimidating. But it isn’t really that hard. Essentially, you rank your customer needs and how well each proposal fits those needs, do some basic calculations, and the lowest number is the best design. After a terrifying moment when it looked like the rickety little charter bus footrests were going to outrank all of our creative designs, my design won. And I say won because it met most criteria of our customer needs, but we will be tweaking the design to incorporate the ideas of other designs and fixing it along the way.

The not so scary JetSet Decision Matrix.
The not so scary JetSet Decision Matrix.

The current design looks something like this.

JetSet Current Design
JetSet Current Design

We are envisioning it as a laptop sized device that can go at your feet and pop up with springs to act as foot pumps or something of the sort. It’s a work in progress. This design was the most unique, it doesn’t attach to the airplane, which in turn makes it more portable and less likely to break. I think that everyone on JetSet is fairly pleased with the current design, and now we are able to move on further into the design process, which is always exciting!

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