For the early part of the semester, students formed three teams to do broad-based inquiry. Research on people, products and technologies formed the underpinnings of the students' design solutions.

One team focused on users, conducting interviews, creating photo-documentations and using Internet-based surveys to understand the current experiences and needs of family communications and memory-sharing.
A second team focused on technologies that might be used to bring new product concepts to life.
A third team researched competitive products that are currently on the market.

The first few classes also focused on understanding how to work in teams. Each student made a puppet of his or her likeness with a photographic head and a body collaged from pictures out of magazines and cataloges. This served not only as an ice-breaking exercise but as a way of making team roles, interdependencies and to-do items explicit.



Analysis of user research.