What In The World Are We Making? – Jessica H.

The most recent challenge for our group has been finishing our design and design proposal. We have put a lot of effort into deciding what our product needs to be, but trying to come up with a design has been very difficult. We want our design to be different enough that it makes a mark an makes a difference, so we have focused on giving our product a lot of options. We came up with several very different designs before we came up with something that we would attempt to create. This was something that our group probably would have put off if we didn’t have someone encouraging us to work on it. After a considerable amount of stressing, it seems we finally have a place to begin prototyping! Yay!!



One of the biggest helps to our process was sitting down and brainstorming. We all had a good idea of what we wanted and where we intended to go with the project, but when we were finally able to see it all together it made a world of difference. We used a mind map to help sort our thoughts. This was a shared document and the general rules were:

  1. Add anything you feel is important
  2. Don’t change anything the someone else contributes

Setting up an environment free of judgement or ridicule helped ideas to really flow. Once they had all been put in the same place we were really able to understand what we needed to accomplish in our design. And our mind map is as follows…

Mind Map

(Mind Map- Image captured by Jessica Hess)

The next exciting thing that we did was create our beautiful initial design sketch. The things we chose to focus on were the light aspect. We decided that it would be best to have controlled directional light so that the user would not be inhibited by it’s brightness. We also took a lot of consideration into the shape of our product. We looked at making it more flat and round, but decided that the ability to grasp it firmly in your hand would provide comfort for the user. Clutching an object close to you provides a subconscious feeling of safety. The cone shape provides amplification for the sound aspect of our device. We also discussed having a pointed but blunt weapon aspect on the reverse side of the product. The idea would be that the user could flip the device around in case of an attack and use it as a weapon. The use of this weapon is self explanatory and easy for people to use even if they are not in their right state of mind (due to fear or intoxication). It is also not so dangerous that the user would need to worry about accidentally misusing it and harming themselves.

We will also look at using Bluetooth technology as a possible way to remind the user to take their device with them when leaving the house or car. We also want to have an immediate, passive way to contact the police of other outside help in an emergency. It is important that this aspect could not be set off accidentally. It is important that the user knows they will be able to receive the help they need.


(Neon Shields design sketch- drawn by Libertad Escobar)

Something that we have recently decided to take into consideration is the fact the many people drop their weapons when they are under physical attack, as we say in this nifty bit: http://tigerlight.net/product/dad/. We will now consider adding a component that makes it less likely for the user to lose their device.

As soon as we finish our design proposal we will be able to begin tinkering with some real prototyping (hopefully) and we’re all super excited for that. it will be interesting to see what we are able to do in the constraints of our time and budget, which I suppose is the biggest issue nearly every manufacturer or inventor faces. We really want to focus on keeping our product affordable for our consumers.

Stay tuned for more.

And until next time, stay safe,

Neon Shields

Featured Image: (http://pandani.web.id/index.php/informasi/proposal)

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