At DriveWorks, innovation is something we all share a passion for.
As a team of people with such a diverse range of backgrounds, from engineering, product design and software development to events management and sales, we decided to bring together all of our talents for DriveWorks Design Club.
Design Club allows us to use what we already know and pick up new skills whilst working on some really exciting projects together.
The first brief for DriveWorks Design Club was to produce a kiosk for the DriveWorks team to take to the events that we attend regularly.
The kiosk had to be:
– lightweight and easy to transport,
– built with no tools required,
– easy to manufacture with the resources available to us,
– visually appealing,
– user friendly,
– inviting to encourage people to want to try out the software on the screen.
Above all, the kiosk needed to match DriveWorks branding and fit with the rest of our booth.
The biggest challenge was that the kiosk needed to be ready and shipped to America in time for SOLIDWORKS World 2015.
On every booth we have always had tablets on stands and encouraged people to try out DriveWorks software for themselves. The challenge has always been making the tablets look inviting enough for people to want to try out. We needed to make it clear that the tablets were open for anyone to use and not just for the DriveWorks team.
Another issue we faced is that the tablets weren’t restricted to just using DriveWorks. At the events, this is never a problem but if for example, the screen was in the middle of a busy store, it would need to have restrictions in place so that only the DriveWorks forms could be accessed.
A specially designed, user friendly kiosk that invites passers-by to stop and use it themselves, as well as an application with access restrictions would solve both of these problems.
The first couple of weeks focused on fully understanding the brief and gaining a solid understanding of existing designs.
Understanding the importance of user experience, we focused on user centered design research to ensure we fully understood their needs.
We used a technique called Bodystorming to find the best height and screen tilt for the kiosk.
After analyzing all of the research done, each member of Design Club came up with a kiosk concept based on the findings.
Conceptualization took a couple of weeks, each week we discussed and reviewed every design. This collaboration helped us to share ideas and develop innovative, creative designs.
Together we then decided on a final concept.
The next step was to take the final design into SolidWorks. The modelling was split between the Design Club team. This helped those with little experience in SolidWorks to learn more and develop their skills with the help of our Certified SOLIDWORKS Professionals and Experts.
We then focused on taking the individual components into a final assembly. The rendered images were produced from the final assembly.
Details were then finalized and prepared ready for manufacture.
The most challenging aspect of the kiosk was the manufacture stage.
DriveWorks CEO, Glen Smith, took some members of Design Club to Manchester’s Fab Lab to bring the design to life.
The Design Club team used the CNC router machines at the Fab Lab to cut out each component of the kiosk.
With little experience of such machines, we all learnt so much during manufacture and assembly.
We took our GoPro camera along to the FabLab and captured the manufacturing process.
The pieces of the kiosk were then brought back to DriveWorks HQ in Thelwall which became our workshop for the week. We all worked together to assemble it and complete the finishing touches.
We spent our lunch times sanding the edges and even 3D printed some USB adapters.
The only thing left to do was to make the kiosk look inviting to meet the most important aspect of the brief.
Our graphics designer worked on some concepts for the artwork, based on the brief and the research findings.
Design Club had a vote and the final graphic was chosen. We sent it off to the printers and eagerly awaited it’s arrival.
The day it arrived was a very exciting day…
Adding the graphic to the kiosk and watching it take shape really was so rewarding.
It was great to stand back and look at something we had all worked hard to create together.
Our tech team and graphics designer worked together to update the DriveWorks demos on ConfigureMyProduct.com ready to reveal on the kiosk at SOLIDWORKS World 2014.
The kiosk was then packed up and sent off to Phoenix.
We were so proud to have the kiosk on our booth at SolidWorks World 2015.
So many people came over to our booth and were intrigued and impressed by the kiosk – mission accomplished!