The final prototype that I have created is based on the principles of how advertising works in the educational business context and that is why every piece of paper or photograph that I have put into the folder is based on market research and research into reaching an audience. I have achieved this through looking at other competitors ways of distributing their ideas as you can see in earlier blogs and this is a breakdown of how I technically achieved each element.
The actual folder
Essentially just a net folded together to look fancy but as the shell for the actual resource inside it needed to
- Look professional
- Represent its contents
- Stand out within competition
and this is where the knowledge of branding came into play. I sketched out the semiotics of what I wanted to represent, notably the use of a hand as a symbol of classroom interaction and discussed my ideas with a graphics designer. Together we put together the final design using Photoshop and illustrator and sent it off to a professional printers to be made.
Working with a professional associate was a beneficial experience, I learnt about budgeting, communication and unfortunately but beneficially the importance of checking a design before finalising it. On the front cover stands the tag line ‘Somethings cannot be taught from books.’ Taken from a real interview with a student in a discussion about my product it speaks exactly what I wanted it to, however it doesn’t speak it in a way which is grammatically correct. Within minutes of noticing my mistake I contacted the printers and unfortunately it was too late. Annoying? Enormously. Some thing (two words) to learn from? Definitely. Attention to detail, especially for selling an educational resource for the classroom is hugely important. Some things cannot be taught from books, and how frustrating it is to make such a mistake in a real life business situation is one of them.
Schon talks about a cycle of learning and in that way that experience was perfect, I developed something through research and then popular knowledge gave me an area to improve on and in the future I will be more careful with the detail.
The letter and FAQ’s
Throughout my research I have spent a lot of time talking to teachers and those within the educational sector. So to create a letter, on the size of A4 without sounding too desperate and to sell my product back to the audience who has helped me was something which required research before hand.
Surveying teachers on existing resource packs as you can read about in my previous blog showed me that a popular resource pack was ‘Stonewall’. Their straight to the point and honest approach in why their resource should be used in the classroom inspired me to write a letter to the teacher which not only breaks the ice but aims to explain the benefits of PshMe. Within the surveys I also discovered that teachers felt favourably towards the inclusion of frequently asked questions so I included these too.
If there was one thing which I would improve is stating the particular age of which the product is aimed at, to do this I would need to do even more research into the curriculum and age appropriate expectations. In the future I will be working closely with a group of teachers and those educated in this area in order to do this.
Although I’ve done research into the technology behind augmented reality I am as far of from being a software programmer as Joey Essex is in learning how to tell the time. This is why I used existing skills and archive footage to demonstrate my ideas as closely as I could to the real thing.
I would love to have put more time into this demonstration as the animation was very basic, which is for my part a sign of bad time management but I thought that the screen shots were more effective in demonstrating my ideas and these went down particularly well in the beta testing of my folder.
I enclosed prompt cards to accompany the Demo DVD to replicate the interactivity that is a key theme with my software.
In the future I look forward to working with a programmer to actually replicate this interactivity into a demo as well as the software itself.
Example lesson plan
Context has become apparent to me as very important, as I have not been able to develop the software yet. I felt that a lesson plan which actually shows a way that my product could be used would help to do this.
In my feedback, one respondent very recently stated that:
The emotional issue of confidence in using technology is something which I aim to deal with consistently throughout the future development of my product.
Thinking back to the above comment and to this feedback during beta testing:
I listened to the respondent, as schon tells us to learn from our research I enclosed a small note explaining the basic technology behind the software in a way that establishes a popular concern, child safety within the use of technology.
So I have developed an innovative product by the terms of what my research defines one as, based on the genuine needs of teachers in a genuine context and have learnt and developed from my mistakes throughout to create an idea which, evidently whilst it still has room to grow also has room to sell. And that is where the business plan comes in.