Week Zero

I successfully finished ‘week zero’, my first week studying Bdes Hons Animation at University of Ulster, Belfast. I Thoroughly enjoyed it and had a lot more fun than i had expected. I worked in a team of four, two second years, (Aodhan and Matthew) myself and another first year (Julie). We set out to create a toy aimed at 35-45 year olds and in doing this learnt the correct thought process to make a product.

We began by thinking through the different problems and difficulties people of this age group have and came up with many good and a little bit crazy ideas such as

  • A towel that dries your hair whilst on your head
  • Spray on trousers (the ultimate skinny jeans)
  • one tablet that contains all needed vitamins
  • a sonar fishing rod
  • a knife that contains butter, jam etc in the handle

and many more, in fact in the end we had over 140 ideas on paper. Somehow we had to get these many ideas down to just five great ideas. With some serious voting from our team we decided on these five items.

  1. A carpet alarm clock
  2. a fridge backpack.
  3. Digital wallpaper
  4. An App that organises your bills
  5. An ultimate fried breakfast maker.

We brought in two other teams to vote on the final five and our winning idea was the Ultimate fried breakfast maker.

So we set to work designing a breakfast maker and deciding on all the elements it should have. We decided on a toastie maker like idea with several heated plates to cook each item on. We then decided that the plates needed to be able to heat to different levels, so we added a switch to each plate so you can control the heat from low, medium and high. This idea meant we could make a runny egg and still have crispy bacon.

We then came across the issue of bread. Plates cant toast bread, the most that would do is burn it on one side, and so we decided to include a toaster into the bottom of the design so you can have a toasted fried sandwich or have a normal bread sandwich, the choice is yours.

We then looked at other ideas we had dismissed to see if we could include any of their elements into this product, we soon realised the butter knife was perfect. This is a knife that can contain butter, jam, nutella, peanut butter (anything!) in the handle and when a little pressure and a button is pushed the correct substance will slide onto the blade of the knife.

Our final issue with our product was the look of it. We didn’t want it to close like a conventional toastie maker as that would squash the egg etc, we didn’t want it to be boxy like a microwave either. We realised it needed to be something that people wont mind having sitting on their kitchen work top. We decided to work with smooth, rounded shapes to give a clean, chic finish. When it came to discussing colour we all had different ideas, some of us thought white was the best option, others thought chrome or black. In the end we decided that it could be produced in many colours from pink to blue to black.  In our product design drawing we decided to make the design red with some grey areas.

On Friday it was time to present our finished product, i am normally terrified at public speaking, but by the end of the week everything seemed a lot more comfortable and i was able to talk to the class calmly and clearly.

I loved this project and and i am very excited to progress with all the projects this course entails.

fry maker


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