Weeks 9 and 10 @ MxM — Reflection and Advancement

The past two weeks here at Diespeker Wharf have been really heating up. With week 10 now finished, we have a fortnight left to get our design ready to present to the studio. We have spent the past two weeks experimenting more with how the design could look as a finished interface, as well as how it could benefit our users. It feels like it’s been non-stop with not much time to reflect on what has happened, yet the Friday of our tenth week offered a moment for us to think about what we’d achieved so far, and use these ideas to shape the fortnight to come.

Having spoken to Sam and Tom on Thursday, we decided to gather all the mentors and the other two interns for a discussion about road mapping and planning for the future of our design. At the time, we were preparing a pilot to send out to companies in the local area to hear more about our design and how it could be improved. Unfortunately, this course of action was perhaps a bit advanced, and we concluded that the product was maybe not at a high enough fidelity to gather the required feedback on it from users.

My opinion on this sat somewhere between disappointment and relief. The disappointment stemmed from missing out on a fantastic opportunity to put what we had made into the hands of actual users, and relief stemming from the fact that I knew deep down that we were not ready for it, and that we could divert our attentions elsewhere. It was unfortunate that we couldn’t attempt to trial our design, alas it’s not the agile way — we need to make every day matter with this project, especially in the limited remaining time we have left.

So where is our attention now being focused on? The proposition that our mentors put forward in that meeting is that we should focus upon making a pitch for our design, which I’m very excited for! This means that we all get to focus on really selling this idea to the Many, with a huge focus on looking ahead at the future of what this project could be. It feels like the core value behind our proposition is worthwhile for potential users, yet we maybe need to consider how we would develop it in future based on what we already have.

For me, this requires a lot of living in the dream land of “what if?”, suggesting possible futures and rewards that users may expect when using a more fleshed out version of our application. It allows us as a group to show the potential of this thing to be more than a “Smart Pomodoro”, which I feel is a title that we’ve been using that doesn’t really do it justice.

It also means that my ideas can get a bit more crazy beyond the limitations of Thomas’ 2 week window of coding. These two weeks will be spent incorporating learnings from our new pilot, which will be trialled within Made by Many, and expanding upon the user interface to make it more than a simple HTML interface.

It’s all systems go here for these next two weeks — I can’t believe that we’ve only got a fortnight left, but when I look back on what I’ve learned, it has sunk in that this really has been a worthwhile experience for me to grow as a designer and person. Let’s just hope we can turn this ugly duckling into a beautiful swan before we leave here.

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