Thursday, 25 October 2012


This is part of an A2 page where you will set out exactly what you are going to design and make.

What do I need to do?

A specification is a list of everything that your solution should BE and DO. It should show you have considered the consumers’ needs and the purpose of the product. You need to explain your points.

Make your statements SMART:


You can use ACCESS FM to help you to write the main points.

A – Aesthetics (appearance, style etc.)

C – Cost (to manufacture / to buy, is it expensive or cheap? Why?)

C – Customer (user group / buyer)

E – Environment (where the product 'lives' i.e. business, travel, home, school etc)

S – Size (overall, component sizes, ergonomics)

S – Safety (to the user, userinterface, to the environment, to the manufacturer)

F – Function (what does it do? how does it work i.e. are there any moving parts?)

M – Materials and Manufacture (what is made from and how do you think it is made?)

Consider these following points also:

·         Ergonomics

·         User interface

·         Manufacture and industry

·         Social/ moral issues

·         Scale of production

·         Product lifespan

·         Maintenance



Primary or secondary points

A primary specification point is a point that is necessary and vital for the product to be successful or function properly. You will need to highlight this in your specification.

A secondary point is a specification point that is a desirable aspect to your product. It is not vital to achieving a successful product but is something that you would like.

How will the specification point be evaluated?

You will then need to explain how you are going to evaluate that point and test that it has met your original intentions.

Hierarchy of importance.

It is also important that you display the points in hierarchy so that you show which one you think is the most important. It will be different for everyone in the class.

Qualitative and Quantitative

A quantitative specification point is one that can be measured numerically e.g. size.

A qualitative specification point is one that can be measured by reviewing your product e.g. aesthetics.

You can set this out in a table or in paragraphs but it needs to be easy to read and spelling and grammar is important.

Design Criteria
Why is it important?
How will I measure success?
Primary/ secondary
Quantitative and qualitative





Reseaerch Conclusion and Design Brief

This is part of an A2 page where you summarise what you have learnt throughout the research section.

What do I need to do?

You need to summarise your research pages that you have carried out at the beginning of your project and explain how they will help you to design and develop a successful project.

·         What did you do? Explain what the research task was that you did. Who did you ask, where did you get information etc.

·         What did you find out? Was there anything you did not expect?

·         What did you do with the results? Did you put them into graphs/ photographs that were annotated?

·         How are you going to use the results to help you with your design and development work?

·         Was the research helfpul? Has it given you new ideas that you hadnt thought of?



You can write this up in paragraphs or bullet points, however the conclusions must be thorough and fully explain what you have done throughout the research section of your project.


Design Brief

This is a short staement identifying and explaining exactly what you are going to be designing and making. This will be influenced by your research. A design brief is often confused with the original situation you are given at the start of your project. The whole class was given the same situation but you are all heading in different directions. The design brief will explain your own individual path.

Things to include:

·         A sentence explaining what you are going to make.

·         Who is your product for.

·         Where will it be used.

·         Is it for the floor, desk, ceilling?

·         Are you going to use certain materials or processes?

Do not be too specific that you do not allow yourself any scope for a range of creative designs. If you state that you are makign a “red cube shaped box that is 300mmx300mm” then you are limiting your design work.

An example of a design situation

A number of houses have been broken into on my street. It has been noticed that the number of strangers walking down our street has increased lately and house holders are becoming concerned about the security of their houses. The police have advised people to make their houses look as if they are occupied when they go away for a holiday or even out for the evening. This may deter a potential thief from breaking into either the house or garage.

The Neighbourhood Watch scheme has also been introduced recently and this has helped people feel more secure. However, even though neighbours will keep an eye on your property if you decide to go out and leave the house empty, they cannot watch twenty four hours a day.

Often even the police ignore house alarms when they are activated because of the high number of false alarms.


An example of a design brief

I am going to design and make a security device that will make my house look occupied when, in fact, it is empty. Police statistics clearly show that houses are much more likely to be broken into when they are empty. Consequently, if the house looks occupied it is likely to be safe.

The device will be mobile so that it can be moved from room to room, easy to set up and control and also cheap to make. It must not be powered by mains voltage and in this way it will be completely safe to be left ‘on’ for a long time and will not be affected by power cuts. It will be activated by anyone approaching the hose from the front or back.

It must deter even profession crooks from taking an interest in our house and even convince people in the street that the house is occupied.