Tools and Methods

In IdemoLab we use a wide variation of tools and methods during our work.

We have a large catalogue of different tools and methods we use in the wide variety of projects that we engage in. It also gives us the opportunity to quickly change the specific method used to ensure that we get the intended outcome of a given project.

Below is a selection of the tools and methods that we use in our design process. Some of the methods can be used in different stages of the design process, and the output will vary depending on where the focus is put.

Tools

Tools

Smutti

Smutti is our mobile Lab full of equipment to help your ideas meet the real world. We use Smutti to bring our Lab and building capabilities to the context we are designing with. and invite others to join us in the construction, for example using IdemoBits, our own tool for idea exploration.

More about Smutti here.

IdemoBits

IdemoBits is our own toolkit of electronic building blocks, that can be combined in endless ways. We use them as a development and educational tool for designers, engineers and students who wants to make fast and customisable electronic circuits as well as augmenting sketches and prototypes with interactive functionality.

Read more about IdemoBits here.

Electronics

With our strong focus on using electronics as a design material we use a wide variety of electronics. Our expertises range from quick electronic sketches build using IdemoBits or Arduino, to custom build PCBs optimised for a specific concept using carefully selected sensors and actuators. Depending on the level of the concept we will very the focus to either give us more information about the problem or the solution.

Software

It often happens that the electronic sketches we build has a connection to either collect and display data, or put it online. A brief glance on some of the software tool we often use for this include Processing, Java, Android, C, Python, Objective-C, HTML, etc.

Energy Harvesting Kit

We have three kits to introduce the basics of energy harvesting.

Thermal Energy Kit: Gather thermal energy from candle light using a Peltier element.

Solar Energy Kit: Gather solar energy, indoors or out, using a solar panel.

Kinetic Energy Kit: Gather kinetic energy, from movement using a piezoelectric generator.

Construction

To create sketches and prototypes we use a variety of tools, everything from construction paper to fabrication machinem, some of which include a 100w Laser Cutter, an UP 3D Printer, and a Makerbot Replicator.

Methods

Methods

A Day In The Life Of

In this method we invite user, stakeholders and experts to participate in creating an overview of how a day in a users life could be and from there identify potential problems to address.

Read about The Pillbox project here, where we used this method.

Role Playing

Playing the role of the user is a method we use during ideation to create a better understanding and empathy with the user and highlight opportunities and challenges that can be addressed. We often do this together with experts or other stakeholders.

Read about CPH Health Hackaton here, where we used this method.

In Context Testing

With this method the Electronic Sketches are brought in to the context they have been designed for, and are tested by users, stakeholders and experts. The results are then used to inform the next design iteration.

Read about The Training Belt project here, where we used this method.

Wizard of Oz

Wizard of Oz is a method where a designer figuratively speaking is sitting behind a curtain puling strings and pushing buttons, allowing a user to try a specific solution not yet built, by simulating the function of the design.

We used this method in the The Pacer project. Read about it here.

Interviews

We usually conduct interviews with users, stakeholders, experts, and groups to get direct contact with them and collect first hand personal accounts of the context we are facing.

We used this method in the Home Pill Dispenser project. Read about it here.

Participant Observation

Participant Observation is a method where the designer is allowed to understand situations and behaviours by being part of an activity, a context or even a culture.

This method was used in Hospital + Innovation Congress. Read more here.

Electronic Sketching

With Electronic Sketching we combine ideas with electronics to rapidly explore potential solutions and generate knowledge both about the problem itself as well as solutions. Our focus on Design Research allows for commitment to exploration of various problems, potential solutions, participants, and evaluation of ideas.

Download our one-pager about Electronic Sketching here.

Designpanel

Individual stakeholders possess different kinds of knowledge within the design domain. Through a new merger of ethnographic research methods and the use of electronic sketching as a design-tool, we help our customers to get better answers to the question: “What is the problem we need to solve with our product and how do we fit it to current market – and user-needs?”

Our designpanel reviewing your concept/prototype will unveil new perceptions of your product’s design-domain which will give your product competitive advantages.You will get insights in how to further develop your product, but will also gain valuable material for your investors, marketing, etc.

Download the Designpanel folder and learn more here.

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