Smart Packaging Challenge

October 4, 2012
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Student Reflection - October 3, 2012

Most people judge a product by its packaging and that’s why I thought that the Smart Packaging challenge was fun and creative.  It forced us take a step back from just designing the product and think about it as a whole.  At first glance, the challenge seemed simple enough; we just had to design the packaging for an iPhone app for senior citizens.  As my group discussed the possible ideas for different apps, we realized that it would be a lot easier to come up with an idea if we talked to our customers and tried to cater to their needs.  After talking with the judges, we were able to come up with an idea fairly quickly, but then our biggest challenge was to convey our idea through the packaging.  It was difficult to come up with a marketing strategy and then develop that into a presentable prototype in such short amount of time.  We wanted to make the package simple and easy to understand so that the objective of the app was conveyed clearly at first glance.  One of the things that I found helpful was that we had “customers” to talk to so that we could understand what they wanted as well as get some feedback on our product.  What I got out of this challenge was that as engineers we need to train ourselves to not only think about the product we are creating but also how we can market it to the general public.  For the most part, a product is only as good as its packaging and how well the desired customers are able to connect with it.  This challenge made me realize that communication and understanding the consumer is key; so, as engineers, when we are designing our products we should always keep that in the back of our mind.  I enjoyed this week’s challenge and am looking forward to next week’s because it not only gives me chance to challenge myself and be creative but it also gives me an opportunity to work with a diverse group of people and see ideas that I wouldn’t have thought of myself.

Winning Reflection - Gauri Nijsure

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