Improving Polymorph Object – ILA 7 : Focus Groups


To start this activity, my group and I decided we wouldn’t mean initially, to make sure we gave each other no additional information to what was given on the instruction sheets. We then sent each other our instructions, and I worked on recreating their objects.

I started with Iana’s. The instructions and drawings were mostly really clear, and I think I managed to recreate it relatively well.

I then did Maria’s, and similarly to Iana’s the instructions and drawings were clear enough that I think the result I got is as similar as I could get it to how it’s supposed to look.

These are the versions of my phone hook/ holder that Maria and Iana made, following the instruction page I gave them (See ILA 6 blog post).

They looked very similar to mine, which was to be expected as the design is ultimately really simple. However, they did have feedback about the instructions, and about the design itself.

The main thing about the instructions was that I showed how to form the piece, but didn’t specify how to do this using your phone and hand, so if followed literally this would make the instructions complicated to use. (Note I also didn’t make the initial ones as detailed as I would have if I knew someone would actually be using them, though I still thought they were clear). Additionally, the text in the instructions should be more detailed, and potentially include some basic measures, even though it can’t be exact as it depends on the persons phone and hand.

The main thing about the object was that I made it too narrow, meaning it made the phone less stable. And this wasn’t helped by the rounded pieces the phone rested on, meaning it could easily slide off, which I hadn’t realised. The two solutions we came up with were slightly flattening the bits where the bottom of the phone rests, and/ or adding another bar perpendicular that would hold around the sides of the phone.

Using this feedback, I remade the object, and made new instructions (including new drawings) to go with it.

This focus group activity was actually super interesting, because beyond confirming certain things I was not necessarily certain of, they brought up some problems I wouldn’t have thought about, even with an object this simple. That comes to show how important a focus group can be, especially with something potentially a lot more complex than this.

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