Inspirational Design Brief

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Assignment 1 – A design brief
Work environment: Individual
Submission: MS Word file uploaded to Minerva
Weighting: 60%
Deadline: 28th May 2021 – 12 pm
Length: 2500 words (+/-10%)
This is an individual assignment, and you are required to complete the task and submit it via Turnitin by the set deadline. The task is simple, you are required to identify and describe a project that aims to provide a mix of real and virtual solutions for a specified problem faced by the society. The solution will be designed to meet one of the United Nations sustainable development goals (SDG). Hence, you are tasked to write an Inspirational Design Brief (IDB) as a first iteration of your concept that will inspire action within your organisation to meet one of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The IDB needs to be based on an original concept that explains the aims, objectives and requirements of your embryonic ideas. The document must relay issues of “who, what, when, how and why” to the design team.
Assignment Guide:
Key elements
Identify a project that attempts to meet the UN’s SDG.
Empathise, Define and generate ideas that will inspire the design team to do something fresh and exciting.
Focus on communication, education, engagement and sustainability.
Be responsible, be brave, reduce carbon, be kind.
The aim of your IDB is to relay your ideas and needs (based on requests from a range of stakeholders to external design service providers. In order to be successful, your IDB should inspire creativity and challenge the ‘status quo’, rather than describe existing solutions.
Starting Point –
Read Chapter 2 of the ‘Design Thinking’ book edited by Luchs (2016, p15-25), which outlines a 9-criteria model to produce an IDB. Your brief needs to be an individual effort and may focus on one of the United Nations’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). You should think about this in terms of the project you select. Your initial concept may be socially or commercially focused and based around an event, new product, service or application. However, your IDB should guide the design team rather than instruct them. This is in order to allow new ideas to emerge through iteration at a later stage.
What should you write about?
First, you need to frame and plan your concept, which will outline your proposed project. Simply put, state the “problem definition” you are working on, and how you plan to learn about it through validated research (called your method). Initially you will read broadly to underpin your thinking and use this as evidence to support your rationale for change. How Might We… do things differently?
Within each theme there may be a variety of sub-problems. First, your primary research will help you to unpack the problem. In-depth knowledge of and empathy with the potential users of your solutions is critical and defining the problem is key to success.
You are expected to organise and run a focus group (workshops) and, if relevant, do some field observation (both techniques will be discussed in class and in the module materials). You will also be asked to produce and collect data in the workshop sessions.
It is important that you document all of your research properly, and you may be required to provide evidence later in the course.
What do I need to submit?
You will need to produce and submit a 2500-word IDB document that outlines your selected theme and rationale. This will be based around the 9-criteria model. Although it will be a largely fictional work, it should be rational and fully cross-referenced. Any appendices may be stored in your BSU Google Drive folder and cross referenced within the document but must not be included with your submission to Turnitin.
Please, include a word count (e.g., WC = 2,000) at the end of each section.
Indicative Contents :
Front Cover – Include (a) an original image taken by yourself, (b) the Executive Summary from section 5, (c) Your Student Number
Introduction: (circa. 500 words) Say why you chose this organisation and present your research question as a How Might We challenge (HMW?): Describe the problem, main dimensions, stakeholders, and context. Make sure the reader understands the background and what kind of solutions you are presenting.
Strategy: (circa.500 words) First outline any underlying assumptions of the business. Then describe what the project attempt to achieve and define the purpose of the project. You may wish to use the following headings to organise these sections.
Philosophy –What is the history of the company as well as its values, police, mission and strategic intent? How is the brand communicated? (Conventional metrics – Achievement of strategic goal)
Structure – Which business category does the firm operate? What is the firm’s business model and how is it vertically and horizontally integrated? What are its competitive advantages?
Innovation – What is the innovation area of the business (technology, finance, process, offering or delivery)? Is the innovation type breakthrough or incremental? What is the organisation’s level of ambition? What are the core competences of the organisation are they sufficient at this time? (Conventional metrics –Research and Development Budget, number of patents/copyrights, % of revenues of new products)

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Context: (circa.500 words) In this section, discuss the core aims and objectives of the project and it’s environmental sustainability and viability. The following 3 headings will be useful.
Social/human – what are your users and other stakeholders cultural connection, identity, needs, behaviour and activities? (Conventional metrics –Satisfaction with product, satisfaction with ease of use, employee satisfaction)
Environment – what are the environmental concerns (to be mitigated)?
Viability – what are the expectations regarding market share, earnings per share, and return on investment as related to the time horizon? (Some form of Market Data/Analysis would be useful here). (Conventional metrics –Revenue/sales, market share, net income, % of new customers’ sales, % of repeat customers’ sales)

Performance: (circa.500 words) In this section you should consider collaborative working practices and partnerships. Consider issues like intellectual property, community, capacity management, openness and how this will be honoured.
Process – what is the project budget (ballpark figures), schedule and deliverables? How are these aligned and coordinated with other projects your company is involved in? (Clue: Identify some similarly scaled initiatives, to understand total project costs).
Function – What are the main functions and features of the product/service
Expression – what are the brand attributes, design language and design principles that seem to be most relevant?

Reference (Harvard style, alphabetical list of sources. This is not part of word count.
Appendix (Please, do not include an appendix with the Turnitin submission) If required, you may use a hyperlink to your BSU Google Drive, but the appendix will not be graded.
Post Production: Now you have finished the report, there are a few jobs remaining. First, write an Executive Summary (circa.200 words) and second, write a Reflection (circa 300 words).
The Executive Summary, encapsulates the report by stating the objectives of the report, a brief description of the challenge, research method, main findings and ideas. You should have this placed immediately after your cover sheet as this should be your page one of the report.
Reflection – (circa.300 words) Reflect personally on your work to consider how you could improve next time. Use ‘Gibbs’ reflective cycle’ to guide this section.

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Your submission should itself show attention to good design principles such as accuracy, consistency, appearance, efficiency and usability.
The Collaborative Working Environment: This assessment will be completed and submitted on an individual basis and you are responsible for your own work. However, you are expected to interact and collaborate with peers (other students). Therefore, you will need to be proactive in building a collaborative, constructive working environment. Regular attendance to the taught sessions, particularly the seminars, will help you greatly as there will be focused help available in the sessions. If you are inspired by other student’s ideas in the seminars, it is good practice to reference them in your work.
Fail (0-39%) Poor quality
D (40-49%) Satisfactory quality
C (50-59%) Sound quality
B (60-69%) Good quality
A (70-85%) Excellent quality
A+ (86-100%) Outstanding quality
Understanding of design thinking through the correct application of design thinking techniques (25%)
The submission shows little, if any, evidence of comprehension of the module aims and contents. The submission arguments are mostly based on common sense, rather than design thinking frameworks and methods.
The submission makes attempts at applying design thinking concepts and techniques to the problem. However, there are significant gaps, arguments could be clearer and/or techniques are used erroneously.
The submission draws on an overall adequate understanding of the module contents. The student thinks as a designer, and applies several techniques competently, despite some contradictions or conceptual errors.
The submission builds on a good grasp of the module contents, and there is evidence of good understanding of relevant concepts and techniques. Some minor mistakes remain, and relatively complex ideas are not fully explored.
The submission approaches the problem as a professional designer might, and shows excellent understanding of design thinking. A variety of concepts, frameworks, and methods are applied thoroughly.
As of A, but the application of design thinking is particularly insightful and skilled, beyond the concepts and techniques explicitly revised in the module.
Critical thinking and creativity in order to produce articulated arguments and original ideas (25%)
The submission lacks in originality, evidencing little or no critical thinking. It is mostly descriptive and/or paraphrases third-party materials. Any ideas presented are trivial or mere replications or existing solutions
There are some attempts at critical thinking. However, arguments are given with insufficient evidence. Ideas show limited originality
Arguments are consistent, and adequately backed by evidence. Ideas are original, and show some creativity, even if they are not particularly insightful.
Clear evidence of critical thinking. Arguments are backed up with effective evidence. The submission contemplates a range of creative design ideas
Excellent critical thinking. Arguments and analysis are very consistent, articulated, and interesting. Wide range of very creative ideas, possibly including some counterintuitive and/or radically new solutions.
As of A, but arguments and proposed solutions are both exceptionally original and insightful.
Meaningful primary research and handling of information (40%)
The submission evidences little or lousy primary research. Large and/or vital pieces of information are missing. Arguments are not supported by evidence.
There is evidence of limited primary research using adequate design thinking methods. The information obtained is incomplete, not very relevant, or interpreted confusingly.
The submission draws from mostly competent primary research. Enough empirical evidence is presented to support arguments. Research could be more insightful if approached from a proper design thinking mind-set.
The submission evidences thorough and competent primary research that builds on a design thinking mind-set.
Excellent primary research skills. The students approaches the project as a design thinker, empathises with users, and the skilful and thoughtful research helps uncover the ultimate nature of the design challenge.
As of A, but the approach to research is particularly relevant, scholarly, and insightful.
Communication Attentions to accuracy, consistency, appearance, efficiency and usability. (10%)
Writing style is not professional. Major improvements needed in more than one or all of these areas: writing style, submission structure and presentation, spelling, grammar, punctuation, and paragraphing. No referencing standard is used. The work is hard to read.
The submission conveys its intended meaning, although readability leaves room for improvement in at least one of these areas: spelling, grammar, punctuation, paragraphing, or presentation. Harvard referencing style is used inconsistently.
The document follows a consistent submission structure; sections and subsections are used to enhance readability. Writing and presentation are adequate. There are several minor mistakes in terms of grammar, punctuation, referencing, or spelling.
The submission is written in an effective and professional manner, and it is highly readable. Presentation is mostly correct, with a good use of tables and figures. A few minor mistakes remaining.
The writing style is very clear, engaging, and easy to read. Submission structure is professional. Presentation is excellent, with skilful use of visual elements. No spelling, grammar, punctuation, referencing, and paragraphing mistakes.
As of A, but presentation are structure are of an exceptionally high professional standard. Writing is also exceptionally effective and appealing, engaging the reader and greatly contributing to the appeal of the arguments.
Indicative marking criteria guidelines (detailed criteria will be released with the assessment brief)
Marking Guide 85+ marks
A (85-100)
An outstanding submission, as below but faultless and goes well beyond expectations.
A (70 -84)
An excellent submission. It evidences extensive primary research. Design thinking techniques are employed skilfully, and you show a very good understanding of concepts. There are clear, meaningful, and well-substantiated conclusions. The submission evidences a strong commitment on your part. Graphics enhance the content.
B (60 – 69)
As above, but perhaps the analysis is not fully convincing: whereas it evidences a good understanding of design thinking, some minor mistakes remain. The report shows primary research efforts, but some relevant information may be lacking, and conclusions are not fully supported by the data and the arguments.
C (50 – 59)
The work is, for the most part, adequate. The main relevant areas are addressed, and the right design thinking tools and arguments are employed. However, the report is lacking in terms of analysis and depth, or primary research is incomplete or somewhat superficial. The student evidences some command of the module contents. Ideation, even though sensible, is not sufficiently substantiated.
D (40 – 49)
There is some evidence of some primary research, and the report is relevant. The report is adequately structured around some of the design thinking tools covered in the module, but the analysis is superficial or contains substantial mistakes, evidencing a limited understanding of the module contents and satisfactory commitment. Ideation is not well developed, or the implications of primary research are not considered in great depth.
F (0 – 39)
Fail. The report shows little consideration or understanding of the design challenge. Primary research is insufficient, and the document lacks essential information. The application of design thinking to the task is limited or confusing, and there is little evidence of an adequate understanding of the module contents. Ideation is not creative or not supported by a meaningful definition of the design challenge. Overall, the student shows a poor commitment to the completion of the task.

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