Integrated Product Development, 2010
Integrated Product Development (IPD) is an experiential, cross-disciplinary course that puts teams of students from Business, Engineering and Art/Architecture in a competitive product development environment. This course has been featured on CNN and written up in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Businessweek as one of the top design courses in the world.
In this course, each team acts as an independent firm in competition with other teams. The instructors announce a product class and each team must design and build a fully functional product within that class. The product class is broad enough to allow a wide variety of design solutions.
Given the product class, each team must work through the process of market research, concept generation and selection, technical development, production process design, pricing, inventory stocking and advertising. Teams must design, build and compete with a real, fully functional, customer-ready product. Teams compete with their products through two channels. The first is a web-based “trade show” where teams promote their products via student-designed web sites, and people from around the world log into the IPD trade show to vote. A team’s market share (and sales revenues) is computed from the share of total votes it gets nationally. A physical trade show will be held where members of the community are invited to view the physical products, listen to teams’ promotions, and vote for their favorites. The market shares and revenues are computed based on these votes.
The challenge was to design, manufacture and promote a pooper-scooper to hygienically collect and transport waste during a dog walk.
According to survey research, we found that customers were most concerned with: picking up all of it, stench, texture, temperature, and cleaning. Customers' primary factors in purchasing the product were: ease of use, ease of cleaning, ease of transportation, and portability.
Our solution was a disposable, cardboard, hand-operated claw that could easily pick up any volume and consistency of K-9 excrement.