Launch - A Product is Born | Discovery Channel

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Anyone see this last night? Do you think it lived up to the tag line?

Launch - A Product is Born
“Creativity, dedication and risk are behind even the simplest everyday object. Follow the painstaking process of a product’s development, from conception and brainstorming, through design and prototypes, to its ultimate completion.”

Personally, I thought it was pretty cool to really see another firm in action. I was impressed with how Pentagram came accross, considering the show’s producers probably have different priorities for what should be shown. I thought the final design of the grill was pretty cool; though, it did look more like it’s intended for designers than mass market. Does that mean they know somthing about DWR customers, or that they made it for themselves? They built Forbes up as this critical guy, but all they really showed was his approval. I want to see some drama! :wink:

I thought it was very realistic… Reminded me of what we went through at Insight when developing the backyard line for Coleman (debating the type of sear-marks etc…)

However, I was disappointed that Brunner & Pentagram didn’t appear to be using a UCD process… Not once did they even mention a target user, and they only got feedback from actual people after the prototype.

I would have appreciated a little less ego and a little more problem-solving.

And technology for technologies sake? C’mon guys, we’re supposed to be AGAINST that!

Good point on the lack of user-centered design.

I thought the episode was overall good PR for the product design/development industry and of course was a lot of fun to watch… but the client choice was a bit odd-- Design Within Reach? Only DWR has the ability to sell a $7000 grill. This lack of constraints made for an interesting grill (but what was up with those little shelves all over the front? and the cheesey swiveling screen interface?) but I’m not sure how realistic the constraints were.

Wish we drank beer during our critiques…

What’s up with the last minute technology?

Why is that a “simplest everyday object”?

It’s so sad that a big firm like Pentagram didn’t have the concern about users….at least I didn’t see from this show.
Design consultancies really need to start hire design researchers… :wink:

The sketches looke dreally amateurish and lousy. I expected better from a big name firm. It also seemed very contrived as if it was all staged and not reality. It seems like a majority of the design and the solutions were done by the ME vendors at Function and no the ID folks. Just didn’t seem real to me but it was still somewhat entertaining and good for the ID field to get more exposure.

The June '04 issue of ID mentions how the show wanted to build on the vision of the 1999 ABC Nightline/IDEO show, by improving how the development process is explained.

I think there are still opportunities to improve how this is conveyed through television. From what I recall, the only visual indications of chronology were in the dates splashed at the bottom of the screen. I think it might be cool to use a recurring shot of a project board or something similar, to differentiate the various stages of the process, as well as explain how far the design has come and what still has to happen. Kind of instill the sense of urgency?

Yeah but who cares? There was just as much process used/shown as in any other makeover show (my fav is “Pimp My Ride.”)

If the producers of that show were looking to show design process, there’s a lot more out there that’s more interesting to watch. They could have shown a more involved design project involving ethnographic videography, iterative prototyping, user-testing etc.

Actually the two most interesting shows I’ve seen on design process were: (sorry I don’t remember the names/channels…Probably TLC or Discovery)

  1. a documentary on the JPL mars-rover project (tailed the PM of the project and gave great insight into the trial-and-errors involved in the process.)

  2. a documentary of the Harley-Davidson V-Rod development, which focused on Willie-G’s Industrial Design studio, but showed every part of the process, including torture-testing and noise-analysis. It did a great job of showing how they solved incredible design problems from start-to-finish.