Jonathan Duthie

Bsc(Hons) Design for Industry 2nd Class 2nd Division The Robert Gordon University

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Project Statement

The images above are of the Swimprove - a swimming aid to help develop physically disabled children. It is the result of my final year research into the area of sport for disabled children. I chose to research this area as I believed that this was an area that this was being overlooked and I believe that designers don't do enough for disabled people. I believe that the environment disables people and not their con dition.

The Swimprove is a swimming vest with ten floatation pads which are attached with velcro. There is also a head and neck support provided. These pads can be used in any number and position combination by special school swimming teachers and child physiotherapists to suit an in dividual child's requirements. This allows greater flexibility for the assistant to gain the correct buoyancy in order to encourage the child to make some positive movements. I have proven the Swimprove to be the most customisable swimming aid available.

The Swimprove has been exhibited at Creative Energies -Gray's School of Art Degree Show 2005 and at New Designers 2005 - Business Design Centre, Islington.

Personal Statement

I am looking to gain an internship/work experience position within a design consultancy/manufacturer. By gaining the award of Bsc(Hons) Design for Industry 2.2 I have developed good visual, oral and written communication. I can work well in a team and I am very creative on my own. I also have good IT skills and experience with Rhinoceros and Photoshop. By submitting a marketing plan for the Swimprove for the Irene Watt Mitchell Prize for Entrepreneurship, SPARC Competition 2005 and being chosen as a finalist I have shown my commmercial awareness and I understand what consumers want.

Good product design should be about good application of function, usability and giving people confidence in using products which enhance their lives physically, socially and/or emotionally.

A product with functionality delivers to the user the basic needs that they require. It should do what is normally expected of the product and do it well.

Dangerous products are unacceptable in this area. A good product should also be understandable and easy to figure out how to use by its intended target market. A person should not be intimidated or feel frustrated, nervous or discouraged by new products and technology.

A user-centred product shouldn’t let people make mistakes then let others know that you have made a mistake. Products designed for the user prevent you from making the mistake in the first place. Emotional products can make us feel better about ourselves and inspire us which is an ad ditional benefit on top of good appropriate function and usability.

These are the main attributes of user-centred product design. These attributes are important in product design as they are the user’s needs which have to be fulfilled accor dingly in order to create a successful new product design which enhance the way people live.

I would like the opportunity to go on and continue my work provi ding cool, functional products for disabled people that they choose to use, not forced to use. By working closely with staff and disabled children I have been able to come up with a fun and usable product. I hope to create many more fun products.

Jonathan Duthie

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