The Reflective Report…with the story of the MACE

MA Creative Economy

Reflective Report

 Module Leader: Corrine Beaumont

 Christine Cheng (Yu-Chia Cheng)

 MA Fashion & Creative Economy

K0903889

TEAM2- PIKA
 

————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Introduction

The module- Creative Economy is not really like its name. It has provided us a challenging chance to run our business within eight months term time. It is also a learning process from looking for people until forming the business team, I still remember the pressure at the first time after hearing everyone presenting their background and business view, since most of classmates have very good working or practical experience, also, knowing most people are multi-tasks. However, it was a good chance to present ourselves thoroughly with our own “best selling point” with a proper way and it is also excited to find someone that share the similar vision.

Therefore, PIKAFashion Confidence has born by five women who all share similar passion and with different talents. Starting from all enthusiastic about women sports and fun life, we have come up with our mission- using fashion as a tool to encourage sports habits of young female. Targeting young female cyclists as the first phase, we have started the market research, designing products after several prototypes testing, conducting the financial plan and business plan, and have came out with all the visual creation of PIKA.

PIKA has finished many first stage tasks of a new, small and just starting business. There are still many things to do regarding our product, public relation and more people that share the similar passion with us to enlarge the business. PIKA has been through some standstills due to problems in the development of design, the lack of time and the lost of one original member. However, PIKA has united again to achieve our ambition. No matter what will be the future of PIKA, it definitely has been an unforgettable experience for all of us both when starting own business in the future and work in any kind of organizations.

The following of this report is based on the GROW model to analyze our business-PIKA, from Goal, Reality, Obstacles and Options and Way forward along with the whole MACE story.


Goal 

PIKA is formed by five women who all share the same interests and passion in fashion and sports. We love different sports activities and all aiming to improve sport environment nowadays especially for women. Therefore, PIKA is focusing on integrate fashion into sports outfits to enhance women confidence for most outdoor activities, meanwhile, playing a vital role in these new initiatives by encouraging greater numbers of women to make sports become their lifestyle choice. Starting from UK and targeting young female cyclists both cycling for transportation and leisure, PIKA realized that new policies have been applied to promote the use of cycle to commute by the UK government, however, the current situation of danger occur in women cycling has rise, according to BBC news (2009),”…seven of the eight people killed by lorries in London have been women…Considering that women make only 28% of the UK’s cycling journeys, this seems extremely high.” Therefore, the very first strategy of PIKA is to raise the safety concern for cyclists and the public.

Initially, PIKA has targeted young women cyclists in the UK, having investigated the cycle specialists’ shops and observed many women cyclists on the street and have realized that there is no suitable product designed only for women. It is crucial to be seen when cycling on the street; therefore, the safety concern of the cyclists has to be raised and emphasized through the products. PIKA is aiming to design the stylish, fashionable and trendy cape, which makes women confident and expressing uniqueness and individuality. In other words, “sneak” the safety conscious design (reflective material) into the product. It is also PIKA marketing strategy to educate and build up the initial customers. According to Chimala(2008, 71), “Customers may not understand what you’re offering, much less why they need it. While it’s easy to build loyal base initial customers for a niche product or service, expanding it to a larger base is always a challenge. This requires smart marketing and educating customers.” Besides, due to there is no affordable products exists in the market from competitors, the unique selling point of PIKA is also to provide affordable products which priced between £29.99 and £49.00. (The cheapest product among competitors is from £80.00). Moreover, PIKA loves the environment; that is why PIKA is aiming to use eco-friendly material to contribute to the world, considering this is importantly related to the product design.

PIKA is focusing on making the journey of young female cyclists confident, dashing and enjoyable. Cycling should be a positive leisure without too much worries of safety and should be no burden to obstruct in finding a nice and suitable outfit which is trendy and practical for cycling. Moreover, PIKA capes are also designed to be used in many occasions. The final goal of PIKA is to enhance women confidence and encouraging safety leisure activities in daily life, stimulating a healthy life style starting from UK and to the rest of the world.

 

Reality

Cycling is not only a healthy physical activity for human beings, but it also benefits to the economy by reducing a big amount of carbon saving thanks to more people have started to commute by cycle in UK. According to the report that has been presented from Sustrans, the UK leading charity of transportation in 2009, “The potential carbon saving if all 386 million journeys[1] had replaced a car journey is 493,000 tonnes. At today’s Shadow Price of Carbon[2] this is worth £12.8 million (£26 per tonne CO2 equivalent). The potential carbon saving since we began monitoring usage of the National Cycle Network in 2000 is 2.3 million tonnes of CO2; saving almost £60 million“This is really a big amount to all the human beings. Furthermore, the ratio of women who doing sports are far more less compare to male. According to BBC news, “More than 80% of women are not doing enough exercise to benefit their health, and young women are only half as active as male counterparts. “(2007) the lack of exercise will cause serious mental problems especially for teenagers.

Therefore, PIKA is working on spreading the benefits of cycling and walking as a “cool habit” to young people by attracting them from the fashionable outfits. Obviously, there is still a long way to do. Firstly, from the three personas that created by PIKA, we are aiming to cover three kinds of customers, which are the fashion-addicted, the sport-lover and the green-supporter. So far PIKA has highlighted more on the safety concern and the health life style. The global benefits awareness is still on the future plan of PIKA that we have not raised enough.

Furthermore, PIKA still needs to build up more contacts in the sports charity, cycling charity or local women cycling groups since now we have more young fashion-related contacts than sports-related one. We are aiming for and looking forward to more opportunities to cooperate with cycling events with local charity. This is the next step of PIKA after production.

Moreover, the sales of PIKA capes are far away according the schedule due to delay of the development of design. Therefore, PIKA is still finishing the pre-order and should increase the exposure of the public, such as sale in the market stall as we have planned in the business plan shortly.

Thanks to the trade fair and the award from the Bright Ideas Event, now more and more people already heard and getting know about PIKA. Especially the award of Bright Idea, it made a difference for PIKA that we grasped some ‘business feeling’ and passion back after the motivation and positive feedback. It has been a journey with many obstacles and frustrations. Anyhow, PIKA is still trying hard to fulfill our dream.


Obstacles

After the past eight months of all the process of setting up PIKA, there are many obstacles in different stages of our business. It was indeed a valuable experience that we all learned a lot from the experience and truly gained some understanding about setting up an own business.

Firstly, the development of product has stopped PIKA for a long time. We have tried very hard to meet the deadline in the previous stage of the design process. Everything seems work smoothly after the market research and we received some positive feedback from the first prototype as well. Many amazed praises from classmates, friends, tutors and customers in trade fair. In fact, we did consider about the size issue in the early stage, which was the reason of why we designed the PIKA cape, look freely and can fit on most body shape. However, we realized that we only use one size model to try the prototype and overlook the size issue does happen even if it is a not fit-shaped product. The biggest issue of this was due to the safety principle that we have to emphasize, different body shapes will affect the length of the cape that covered the arms, which is important regarding our original design concept. After some modification, we have tried to make a bigger size prototype using two different materials to test the effect. We started to test the product when cycling, and also test about the waterproof effect. Unfortunately, more problems have been raised up which made all of us shocked and panic about the deadline since we were far behind the schedule at the moment.

Fabric has caused PIKA the second problem. Apparently, different fabric works completely different with the same design. We realized the weight issue is seriously influence safety when cycling. It is lethal if the fabric can be blown easily when cycling, which will cover the eyes or simply be rolled into the gear. Luckily we had found a fabric sponsor of my fabric contact from China, so we did not lose too much money on the fabric testing process; however, we have stuck in the same point for about one month until figure out the solution patiently.

Regarding the problem about the development of product design, PIKA went almost without a hitch in the very first stage. Originally, PIKA was formed by five members, however, our team manager, Marzenna, decided to quit for personal reason. This “post- Christmas” shock has caused another big standstill for PIKA. More importantly, I realized so clear that a successful business must have a successful leader. Without our leader, we suddenly lost the power that always spurs everyone to move on to the right direction. The role of a leader is so important, in our example; Marzenna did a good job to be very responsible for all tasks with good communication skill, moreover, keep motivating all the members and encouraging new ideas. We not only meet frequently and effectively, every new idea is precious under the previous “PIKA culture.” Every member is equal to share and boost our creativity together as a team. I cannot agree with Sousa (2003, 35) more that,” Motivation is one of the main factors to form creativity”, since I appreciate so much and also have learned a lot from the appropriate motivations between not only the leader but also from the team members. After the period of Marzenna left, some conflicts and misunderstanding happened. It was similar as the feeling of lost a core point to communicate with people that have completely different personality, and we suddenly all realised that we have some problems in communication. As Huxtable stated, “…one of the most commonly occurring problems besetting all business is the effectiveness of its communications. This is no less so in the case of the small business…Frequently the small business manager finds that more and more demands are placed on his or her time in terms of resolving day-to-day crises.” (1995, 93) Luckily, we have spent more time to communicate under a stressed situation that helps us back to work as a group again. Personally, I also re-evaluate the importance of “trust” within the team. It is vital to trust your colleagues to ensure the work move smoothly and on the right track. Sometimes it is easier than what I imaged before to be “too relax“and become passive to contribute. However, conflictions and communications are indeed made us learn each other more and start to trust each other again to make PIKA moving on to our target.

 

 


Options

Having defined the obstacles of PIKA, we all realized that to be united as a group is very important to think and to make any action. Firstly, we worked effectively to test the fabric and get the feedback from all the potential customers. After a series of research and discussion, we decided to make five different capes as sample to make pre-order. Having learned from the previous experience, we produced two sizes capes in different fabric to fulfill more customers. This is a good way not only to test the market but also to get more feedback before make a mass production in the future. Everything works quite nice so far, after seeing many smiling faces in front of us from all the customers or supporters, more smiling faces in PIKA now.

Regarding the leadership issue, as Corrine has suggested, we decided to take turn as leader temporarily. However, in order to forward the business, PIKA still needs an effective and trustful leader in the future. 

Way Forward

PIKA is more like an adventure than a course project. It has been the very first time in my life to start “from nothing to something.” Honestly, there are parts make me realized that setting up an own business is not that difficult as what I imaged before; yet parts of it make me realized that there are too many things that I have to learn and concern during a small business which starting from nothing. I have more confidence to believe in any possibilities to make dreams come true, furthermore, become more fearless to share any bold, innovative ideas, which is very important to not only in the creative industry. Besides, believing in what we have done is also positive; for example, I was amazed and impressed the first time to get some nice compliments of our creativity from the public. It was such a pleasing moment.

Furthermore, it is a good opportunity to cooperate with Young Enterprise and just as many speakers have suggested in the beginning of the course that it is much easier to accomplish tasks when we are still titled as “student”. People become more secure to answer and help us no matter when setting the bank account or doing market research. Besides, even we work independently as groups in the module; we are still belonging to the course, with much resource we can use and much help we can ask for.

In the short term, PIKA will produce the first order of capes and collect more market information and feedback. We still need to define and find the best for our customers before the mass production. The final modification of design after feedback collection takes time, PIKA needs to understand the customers and other possibilities thoroughly, as Waldeck and Callahan (2009) state, “Understanding your customers is required for successful innovation. Small business owner, with their intimate knowledge of their customers, actually are incredibly well- positioned to innovate.” It is important to fulfill our creativity practically. Anyhow, it is a precious experience that we also built a big network within the MACE family with lots of different specialists. The first few pre-order of capes are made within the class and friends of classmates as well. Building network is very important for starting the business, especially we all need experts and customers, which is exactly how MACE formed.

Moreover, I have learned a lot from the team working experience. I was touched in the last presentation, maybe it seems a bit late to really “feel the group”, feel the power and all the outcomes that belong to us. It may be tough and we all suffer a lot during the whole process but at least we have conquered all the difficulties and have received some positive feedback, which really gave us confidence and energy to move on. Every detail that we might care a lot before seems not that important when we work as a group to meet our target. Tracing back to the beginning, we all came from different countries and cultures; it was indeed a challenging and fresh experience for all of us. At the meanwhile, some unexpected shocks occur during the process that providing us many chance to learn the right way to communicate. This is a priceless experience as we are all going to work with others in the future; the experience here inside MACE is just like a small version of the real world.

Besides, from the teamwork I also realized how to be more objective to the business without too much personal emotion. I will describe business is relentless; the biggest different from university world to the real business world is people become as ‘individual’, everyone should be completely responsible with the efforts and there will be no one to play the “clean up“ role for you. Although I still appreciate more on the cooperation relationship but it is also hard to deny the endless competitions in the real world, it is something to make improvement happens as well.

To sum up, as Nordström and Ridderstråle(2008, 184) explain, “Failure is just part of the culture of innovation. Accept it and become stronger.” Learning from lots of mistakes and correct by ourselves, understanding and figuring out the other possibilities or creative solutions and moving on again are an effective way to really memorize the experience and improve our abilities practically. I am sure I will apply all these in my future business.


Conclusion 

MACE has been an adventure for me. From the beginning of the shoe’s storytelling session, the bear video, the girl effect video and using storytelling to design our personas; now I understood the power of storytelling is to make audience to remember a specific service/product in an emotionally way, it also explains why I still have vivid memories about these. Corrine’s class for me is like a long fantastic storytelling as well. It is impressive at the first time and hard to forget. After that, design thinking is the base for most of the coursework. According to Walter(2009), “design thinking provides the necessary balance between the poles of analytical and intuitive thinking that are commonly taught and nurtured in today’s professionals.” Personally, think ‘designly’ means to think everything in a different ways, there is no balance between new ideas and being always right, and it is helpful on the process of building up our own business from looking for all different people and combine different ideas to move forward to the same vision.

PIKA journey has opened up a door for the real business world. Honestly, I have never thought about to start my own business, but now I have changed my mind. Even though there will be many things to do and to learn, but now I have realized it is not that difficult to accomplish any dreams. Besides, I have found that creative ideas will easily come from a team with variety, especially in smaller business. This is another advantage and feature of a small business, as Cornwall explains (2009), “Compare to large corporations, small business have a number of innovation advantages that enable them to remain competitive. Their smaller size makes it easier and cheaper to try new approaches faster than larger business.” Moreover, the initiative to form a small business is an innovative idea already, which makes me really want to try. However, prior to start my business I will try to gain more real industrial experience and to promote my abilities through internship and working experience after graduate from Kingston. I would like to work in fashion industry in marketing or public relationship department. I am still in a mist of not completely sure about which part of specialty that I want to devote myself to, that is also the reason why I would really appreciate to find a suitable internship in the short term and develop my abilities and interests more.

Thanks to Corrine that provided me a challenging but cheerful chance to know myself better; thanks to MACE that enlarged my network and having knowing many good friends and specialists from all over the world are definitely very helpful for our future. MACE experience will last forever, no matter in which kind of the industries or which part of the world.


Reference

Anonymous (2007). Few Women Doing Enough Exercise. BBC news. (15/11/2007)

[Online]

Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7094936.stm

[Accessed 06/05/2010]

 

Bell, S. (2009). Are Women Cyclists in more danger than men? BBC news. (09/10/2009)

[Online]

Available at:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8296971.stm

[Accessed 23/03/2010]

Chimala, S. (2008) Bounties On Strange Shores.Identifying a gap is exciting, but the   road to building a successful nichebusiness is full of challenges.Outlook Business Magazine, August 9, 2008. Outlook Publishing.

[Online]

Available at http://business.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?101378

[Accessed 11/05/2010]

Cornwall, J. (2009) Innovation in Small Business. 16/03/2009

[Online]

Available at http://www.drjeffcornwall.com/2009/03/innovation-in-small-business.html

[Accessed 13/05/2010]

Huxtable, N. (1994). Small Business Total Quality. Springer.

Amazon Link : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Small-Business-Total-Quality-Huxtable/dp/0412602709/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1273772979&sr=1-1

Nordström, K. and Ridderstråle, J. (2008). Funky Business Forever.3rd Edition. Edinburgh Eduscation Limited.

Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Funky-Business-Forever-Capitalism-Financial/dp/0273714139/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1273773010&sr=1-1

Sustrans, (2009). The National Cycle Network- Route User Monitoring Report, to end of 2008. ISSN 1766-344X

[Online]

Available at: http://www.sustrans.org.uk/

[Accessed 07/05/2010]

 

Sousa, D., A. (2003). The Leadership brain: how to lead today’s schools more effectively. Corwin Pr.

UK Trade & Investment, 2009. UK Creative Industries. URN09/1329.

Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Leadership-Brain-Todays-Schools-Effectively/dp/0761939091/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1273773065&sr=1-2

Waldeck, A. & Callahan, R. H. (2009). Innovation Lessons From Small Business. Forbes.com. 02/03/09

[Online]

Available at: http://www.forbes.com/2009/02/03/apple-innovation-customers-leadership-clayton-christensen_0203_small_business.html

[Accessed 12/05/2010]

Walters, H. (2009). Why Design Thinking Matters. Bloomberg Business Week.

[Online]

Available at: http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/content/oct2009/id20091026_228986.htm

[Accessed 12/05/2010]


[1] 386 million walking and cycling trips from 2008 statistic

[2] The SPC captures the costs associated with the damage caused by climate change, assigning a volume to each additional tonne of greenhouse gas emitted, expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent(CO2e) for ease of comparison.

Advertisements

Long journey

This week we have done a lot “recollect” of the PIKA journey, and realised surprising that we really been through a lot! Far more than what I expected before…

For most of team member, PIKA is the first business that set up by ourselves. There are so many things that we need to do to start a business from nothing to something. Starting from the similar idea and interests for fashion and sports, especially for women, we defined the market. We all share a passion to make women’s leisure life better, and everyone wants to be pretty and trendy (as a girl..women:)), this idea is so nice that at the moment I really want to make it a business!

The stage of market research is tricky. The more information we found, the more confused we were. Too many things that covered in the news, reports, journals, government policies and observation; which made us spent some time to narrow down the core market and understood that it is no so easy to fulfill ALL the needs.

PIKA-  fahsion confidence.

This is so girly, fun and movable, which perfectly express what we want.

After Christmas break which is a big stop for whole the business since all the team members have a deep and nice vacation/rest. We had been through a period the “business feeling” of PIKA. Furthermore,  the worse thing is Marzenna, our team manager, decided to leave the course and stop the business either. This caused a big influence since we didn’t really realise how important of the manager/leader role. (Ironically, we were doing the leadership essay at that time.) PIKA stopped for a while without a clear direction and commitment. Now I really think that period of time was a disaster for PIKA and we really waste so much time to make everything “move” again.

The award of Bright Idea made a difference for PIKA. We grasped some “business feeling” and passion back after the motivation and positive feedback.

Things have started again. Even though we had a big problem regarding the design which made everything delayed according to our plan, we still manage to move forward now.

This business project really provided some important points for us. The first time to work with people from different background and come from different places with different specialties. It is a vital experience since we are all going to work in the real society, where people have to collaborate to boost abilities and ideas. Communication is so important and it is so surprised that we have many communication problems during the whole process. I also realised how important is the “trust” within a group. Without the trust, a team is no way to be effective and nothing can be nicely finished. We should really learn to trust your mates and help each others instead of blaming others. Sometimes we are too stressed and the “low pressure” of the meeting will only makes us sleepy and tired. The ability to “have fun” as Corrine told us and try to enjoy the process is so important since no one will appreciate a boring business/team, and nothing energetic is going to happen within that as well.

So many things that I’ve learned from PIKA, and the whole project/course.

Let’s see how it’s going to be for the PIKA presentation tomorrow, are you ready to see how lovely with the cape and how fun we are?:)

Apprentice challenges!!

I know it has been for a while that I stopped posting anything 😦

Let’s review what happening before:

26/02– The first apprentice challenge for GRM.TV, they are aiming to launch a music programme through internet channel, targeting  new customers aged between 18-25. After the brief of the company and saw the video that have been done before, we need to work out a marketing plan for launching this idea.

This is our first challenge, to be honest, it is a little bit confuse at the begining when discuss as a group. Also, I am really not familiar with music industry, unluckily, I don’t use internet programme often as well 😦

Thanks to our “idea- creater” Magda, always comes up with lots of ideas first and we eleborate more and brainstorming together. The most I learned from this challenge actually was the presentation. Just like Corrine has posted on the blog, we need to learn how to giving opinion/suggestion in a “smart” way without offend your clients. This is really important in the business world since your little mistake or emotional criticize (even though it is true) sometimes will make you lose your job and opportunity. Since it is the same company and same target, it is easy to hear the same ideas from different teams. Therefore, from listening to other teams’ presentation, I learned more from the way they presented, the communication technique and reaction of the questions that being asked.  

———————————————————————————

Thursday 04/03

Yoon and I met in Kingston and start to make our first ad!

The most amazing part of it is we created the logo (finally) as well!! This has been a big issue troubling us for so long, while playing with font through photoshop together, PIKA- fashion confidence finally born!!

and we both LOVE it!! It is young girly and fun! Hope you like it as well!

After that, we created the first draft of ad:

http://vimeo.com/9925317

There are still many things we need to revise and improve….but it’s still good to have the first try!

05/03– Stuff International Design Limited challenge

Basically they are an exsisting design consultant that want to help other business through online service. This time we work with team one, actually I think that was really nice to have some fresh discussion mode (because we need to match each other in a short time) and fresh *ideas! I really enjoy work with different people =)

We came up with an interesting idea that clients can build their OWN (customize) Avitar online and pay by needs to consult. It makes everything much fun. We used story-telling to drew out our ideas, this is clear and simple that maybe it is a way that we won’t use within our own team.

After the presentation, Cyndy has brought another finished sample cape for testing and protographing.

This fabris is amazing! But the outcome is not so good. After Cyndy’s testing, this is too light for cycling. The wind will blew up and it’s dangerous for cyclists. Also, it is too plastic and looks a bit like a bin bag 😦 and it won’t fit your body. But it is interesting, young and special.

 

We all prefer “the feeling” of this fabric than the other one, also it will fit your body (as most girls want, who wants a bin bag on her body?) Personally, I like the quality of this one more than the other one. But we are still working on to find something “feel nice” and also fun and funky that will catch attention!

So far…and what’s next

I’m still working with my friend from China, he has a fabric company that produce new technology fabric (super light, multi-functional and eco-friendly) Fabric and apply special customize “function” if we are going to have a big order. This is our next step after finish the final revise of design.

I was a little but panic before since time really flies and we are a little bit disorganized in this stage. April 30 is so close from now and really too short to have a start-up business. But to present the process is much more important than the outcome, right? This is just like a journey of learning, and a chance to lead somebody that just graduated (like me) to have a glance about the real business world. We should try to have fun and enjoy all the challenges and opportunities through the whole process.

PIKA, go! go! go!

Let’s start again =)

WooHoo~

After a long break the class started again on 15/01!

It’s really nice to see all of you again after everybody “recharge” again.

Corrine asked us to think about our ambition in 5 years, what and where we want our career be and also, the reason to join MACE…

It seems like a simple question, but it can be just a direction or something in details, even we can not see it too clear now, I think it’s still better if we have some dreams….:)

Personally, I really want to work in fashion industry in London or Milan as marketing or merchandising. Since I’m used to different environment, I really hope I can work in some ways that can travel around the world to make my life a bit different. London is my start point of Europe,  the massive culture mix makes everything vivid with different kinds of challanges. But I think Milan is another bigger fashion capital in the industry and I really appreciate Italian culture as well.

The reason why I join MACE…initially I thought this is a course that will help us to combine fahsion with business part. Actually it is a new course with new thinking and also new knowledge that lots of them I haven’t hear it before. Design thinking is becoming a trend in many business and enterprises. The course so far has trigger me to read more books realted to this field and to know more real business examples using design thinking method to make it successful.

After the session to introduce ourselves to Cathrine, we started the “round thinking” again just like the one we did last term. This time, Corrine tried to interupt our thoughts with some “weird products” that not too related to the topic. In this case, some of us tried to think something differnt from what she said, and some will followed something related to the stuff she said. It’s interesting! For me, I think this time I think much independently than the previous time without getting interupting by others and by the difference.

We had a feedback session.

I am looking forward to the field trip which can let us know more and it is like one step closer to the real world. It will be benefitial if we can have some lecture within different industries, nevertheless, everything is realted and should have good cooperation with different industries in the design world. Therefore, no matter fahsion, music, film, graphic design….I’m open to all of them. 

Also, I’m still have some difficulty to find the relation between fahsion, which is my specialism and business. Sometimes it is not so easy if two courses are totally worked seperately. To be honest, I almost can not find realation between these two departments. 😦

For PIKA, we really stopped for a while.

Still lots of things to go, firstly, we need to figure out the final material and also the logo. Thanks Corrine for the helpful link and we’ll be optimistic and have fun about PIKA 🙂

Friday is coming again, a totally new module is waiting for us!

Team role! 30/10 & 06/11

YC

Last week was a really bust week, it was the week that we started to “go into the market”, to talk, to chat, to observe our market.

It was really helpful but not so easy as well, at Tuesday afternoon, Yoon and I went to the riverside of Tate modern, unfortunately, it was a rainy day and really cold! Really hard to find some female cyclists in this weather (if I’m a cyclist, I will definately don’t come up in this wearther!). We walked along riverside and to Tower Bridge, finally there were some cyclists, but only guys…

Then, the sky getting darker, the interesting part is we were working hard to “find” cyclists, it’s kind of empathy method because it’s another way to think about if they are easy to “be seen”. 

We stood at a big corner in front of London Bridge station, we saw lots of cyclists! They are commuters so everyone is really in a rush, we gave up to ask ppl answering our questionnaire at this time and start to observing ppl.

We found that the blinking light is reallt help in the night, also, the high-viz belt or vest are really not enough since they are too easy to become hind of the backpack…also, IPOD is almost a must for cyclists so this is another point we can think about for our design. It was a long, cold and really tired day but was worth it since we got many helpful new thoughts!

Wednesday, Magda, Cyndy and I met for sharing new ideas after the observation. Cyndy had came up with some new ideas about the design and we discussed further. Also, we made a bit adjustments of the online questionnaire. Finally, we have a much more clear direction. That we shouldn’t create a problem for our target market, rather, we should attract our target market and just let safety “sneak in” through the design! 🙂

 

fixed gear

This week, we got many new prototypes. This is important for keep running on of our business, so that we can provide something visible for others and to talk in details. As a marketing people in my team, I started to put our online survey to as many place as I can, I’ve put it on Facebook, Tweeter and also sent it to the class. Internet advertising is a cost-saving way for a starting business. And thanks for my dear teammates help, now I know more cycle society in UK ..(to be honest, I’m too unfamiliar with cycle group/society in UK before this…) We need sponsorship!!!

fixed gear2

Also, having a talk with one of my cyclist friend, she suggested me to think about the fixed gear group, which is very popular in UK now. Since they all like to catch attention, fun life and also care about color, fashion… they might become PIKA’s potential customers. Too many things to do in the following weeks….

Anyway, still excited about all this progressing 🙂

PIKA PIKA~

Storytelling & design thinking 23/10/09

I really like the video that shown in the begining of the class- THE GIRL EFFECT!

girleffect

http://www.girleffect.org/

It stated from a small concept but came up with a big, worldwide idea. Also, the feeling when I watched the “bear video” is still vivid in my mind, so interesting and so hollywood! And I have to say I really like “glove love” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E874YDDTZDo which expressed a warm and sweet feeling with nice music, lovely! That’s the power of storytelling, that make audience to remember a specific service/product in an emothionally way, really hard to forget as well.

Thinking about design the personas for our business this week, this might help not only to learn the target market more but also narrow down the potential customers and really try to “stand in their shoes”..not MY shoes!

We had a long video talking about the context and importance of design thinking, which can be used to tackle a whole range of issues. And there’s a model including 3 circles which are design thinking, business and technology, and in the middle overlapping part is PEOPLE. Even though we already saw this model before, but it still remined me about the balance of a group. Since we are really starting our OWN TEAM business, diversity is very important which including not only different backgrounds but also different ages, interests and personalities…etc, in this case we will be much possible to boost out some special ideas!

Inspiration

There’s an interesting point which is design thinkers would care much about how to generate idears rather than validate ideas. In this case, “thinking designly” means also to think everything in a different ways, there is no balance between new ideas and being always right!

Empathy method

baby 

This is not new for us anymore(finally…)! Also, stoytelling is one of good examples of it as well. The main point is aiming to understand our audience on multiple factors.

Analogues

This part is kind of tricky, w should think of something share the same characteristic with our service/product. For example, in our team we are going to design a cloth/accessories for female cyclist to improve their safty and also be fashionable.

Fluorescence-Color-Ball

In this case, thinking about something that is ….

high-visibility especially during the night: portable light, electric torch, fluorescent stuff, star….

cloth/material that easy to do sport: feasible material, soft and comfortable…

now let’s try to combine these ideas together!

Brainstorming!!!!

Stages of design 16/10/09

  • cycle girls

Secretly introduce PIKAPIKA here…

I really like sports fashion image which is fun, interesting, vivid, bright and colorful with a fresh YOUNG atmosphere…more importantly, it’s cool that as a group we’ve share some ideas that can improve people’s life with a healthier life style and much convenient in many aspects, espeicially for women!!

and…that’s what we gonna do!!

 

  • FUN! Be Interesting!!

Our last class started with a VW advertising video which express a concept of FUN. Fun theory can really change customer’s view of the brand, even VW is a car company and there’s no car showen in this ad, it presents an interesting concept, which is attractive enough!

  • Stages of design
  1. Empathy: problem understanding
  2. Recognising patterns/framing: problem selection
  3. Defining Goals: solution understanding
  4. Prototyping: solution selecting

We already discussed about how to “stand in other’s shoes” to view all the possibility of any simple things in order to find out how to improve people’s life.

In my list of getting success and put them in the graph, the result is below:

Tangible objects + Sensory stimuli: 2

Rules, Traditons + Constraints: 3

Tasks + Responsibility + Rules :7

Provider:0

User:1

Community Network:3

After this interesting analysis, I found I lack ability/confidence about [Tasks + Responsibility + Rules], surprisely, we really found basically everybody are in the different parts of this graph…which is the most important advantages about working as a group since we all come from different backgrounds, with different kinds of views and thoughts.

GooD NighT……