Thursday, December 4, 2008

Principles of Marketing

1. According to the authors, design heavily influences marketing. It shows marketing ideas and influences how the marketing is interpreted by consumers. Design must be aesthetically and viscerally appealing to the customers, because it is what catches the buyers' attention and leads to impulse purchases. In addition to being appealing, the packaging of a product also lends to the marketing strategy. It must be functional for the product.

2. Marketing, although surely an experience, is usually handled and taken in without thought. Marketing incorporates delivery, installation, warranty, and after sale services, which together form the augmented product level, including experiences that Kelly discusses in the "Experience Architect" article. Experience, however, is usually a conscious event, whereas marketing is subconsciously picked up by the consumer.

3. Kalamazoo College has a strong brand following within the campus community and surrounding city of Kalamazoo. However, beyond the city and college, there is not a large following. Apparel and products are branded with three things: the K, the hornet mascot, and Zoo. These appear on different products, and can be accessed online through the online store worldwide. The K appears on campus above the entrance to Hick's Student Center, and the other brandings can be seen campuswide on items and products carried by the various types of students at K.

The Experience Architect

1. Some important parts of this article are about experiences, and how they don't need to be huge or expensive to make a customer happy. Trigger points were talked about, as well as setting a product apart by making it a unique event or experience. Packaging is discussed as a way to set it apart. Purchasing and using a product is a journey for the customer, complete with steps on how to make it an enjoyable and worthwhile experience.

2. The design of experiences is similar to the design of consumer products because they both require good marketing schemes to draw in the consumer. They also must be easy to use, and must be innovative in their respective fields. They differ because consumers can generally go without an experience, whereas consumers need certain products in life. Also, products sell better if a company has built up respect over the years, where experiences generally rely and survive on word of mouth and tradition.

3. I would plan a community bowling trip with $100. Bowling is an easy activity to play, something someone who has never participated in would be able to pick up. It is a fun social gathering, and incorporates a fun journey for those playing. Lunch could be served, catering to the customers' needs.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Wrap-Up Reflection

1. After this class is over, I think design will play a large role in my life.. To some degree I think that the concepts learned over the course of the quarter will impact every student. The course incorporated techniques used in advertising and marketing, something that I run into on a daily basis. Design is also a potential career path of mine, and this class solidified my interest in the topic, and gave me the groundwork necessary to continue down this road if I choose.

2. I would tell a new First Year student at K to join a lot of different clubs and activities. By taking advantage of what the school has to offer, you will meet a lot of cool and new people. During orientation week, introduce yourself to as many people as you can to put yourself out there and solidify yourself in the K community. The first few weeks might be difficult, but as long as you pace yourself, manage your time well, and open yourself up to new experiences, you will have a blas. K is what you make it.

3. For a student enrolled in this seminar class I would stress the value of speaking out during discussions and making your opinions/ideas heard. Thoroughly read the information packets that are handed out during class or online, and be ready to participate in the free-form discussions that take place concerning each topic. Don't be afraid to connect ideas from previous discussions, because the topics tend to overlap and run together, making connections necessary.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Redesign K

1. The game room of the Hicks Student Center acts as a haven for students where they can socialize free from responsibilities, and visually adds to the already advanced campus.

2. Constraints involving the game room in the Hicks Center are money, allowable space, and the structures and items already in place. For example, the staircase that the game room overlooks causes trouble when playing ping pong, but it cannot be removed. Other constraints I plan to address are location, practicality, and what would be desired by the students. Since the center is newly renovated, problems in taking out/rebuilding preexisting structures will present themselves. The game room's trigger points are of course the games, comfort and relaxation for the students, and ease of use/mobility.

3. The Third Place, The Design of Everyday Things, Emotional Design, The Ten Faces of Innovation, and Product Services and Branding.

4. "The third place refers to informal public gathering places where the main activity is conversation."

Monday, November 17, 2008

Campus Analysis

1. I observed the game room in the Hicks Center on campus. The purpose of the game room is to provide a place where students can hang out, watch tv, play games such as pool, air hockey, shuffleboard, foosball, and ping pong, and listen to music. I made my observations at 1 pm on a saturday afternoon.

2. Briefly describe the following:
a) The room is a decent size, and manages to fit a lot of different things into one room. Although it may appear small, this gives a comfortable atmosphere. There was just enough room for all of the things inside, and enough room to move around comfortably.

b) In the front of the room are couches and chairs set up around a table, all centered around a large flat screen tv hanging on the wall. The chairs and couches are pretty comfortable and big, accomodating a good number of people. Along the wall is a small counter with tall chairs lining them, and there are two tables by the pool table on the left wall, each with the same type of seating. These chairs are not meant to be comfortable, but are a place to rest while playing pool/they give observers a place to sit and watch the games. When I was observing, the room was busy, and there seemed to be no shortage of seating. However, there is not so much seating available that it takes away from the overall feel of the room. There are also large ledges in front of the windows along the back wall, providing window seats.

c) Although I observed the room in what would be imagined as a peak time, it did not seem too crowded. The set up of the room allows the students to mingle and converse with each other, but also allows them to have private games with the people they were originally with.

d) The floors are a standard linoleum/tile it seemed, but were kept very clean and shiny. In the couch/television area, there was carpet, which made that part of the room seem more homey than the rest.

e) Recently added to the game room is a juke box that allows the students to pick and choose different types of music. That, combined with the sound of the students, games, etc, makes the room rather noisy. However, it is a game room, and nothing less is expected. The only problem I see with that is if someone is trying to use the tv, because they probably won't be able to hear it unless they turn up the volume, which ends up creating a struggle of what section is louder.

f) Clean, durable, and trendy looking materials were used to construct the game room. The game tables are all brand new and viscerally appealing, the counters and window seats are a marble or granite (albeit probably not real), and the tall chairs are wooden. Although the materials probably aren't the highest quality (due to budget constraints and the fact that they will probably get beat up over the course of the year), they do the trick, and make the objects easier to replace.

3. This area projects a fun, carefree, comfortable image. The couches, rug, and tv recreate a living room feel, and the game tables, old fashioned juke box, and randomly placed tables with chairs give off a casual atmosphere. It seems like a place where students can go to relax and forget about the work and stress they have, and just hang out with friends and socialize. This is the image the school wants to project in a recreation room, because the elements incorporated are objects of fun that don't involve schoolwork or responsibilities.

4. Everyone in the room seemed very relaxed and like they were enjoying themselves. They were having fun playing the games, talking with each other, picking songs out on the jukebox, watching football on the tv, and just sitting around talking and joking around with each other.

5. What I found interesting about the design of this room was how concentrated everything was. I don't necessarily agree with the setup, such as how the ping pong table is so close to a support beam and it is fairly easy to hit the ball over the stairwell. Also, the counter is in the way of the pool table closest to it. Jazzman's Cafe should also be connected I think, because it would allow students to purchase food and still be able to play, instead of having to leave the room and wait, interrupting whatever activity they were involved in.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Wikipedia Article

Attribution Theory

The Third Place

1. According to Ray Oldenburg, a "Third Place" is somewhere aside from home of work, where a person can go to relax and socialize. The whole purpose of a third place is to build a sense of community. it is an intimate, comforable place where regulats can go to decompress, relax, and forget about problems that may carry over from the home or workplace. The main activity of a third place is conversation and to enjoy the company of one another.

2. Design elements contributing to third places rely on a special type of visceral design. The place must be homey and intimate, not filled with bright, stark colors. Most third places, such as pubs, are painted and colored with browns and other neutral colors and shades. It must incorporate comfortable seating in order to keep customers coming back. The most important aspect of a third place is comfort, and the designer must strive to make the space inviting and welcoming in order to gain more customers to build up the community. Exclusivity cannot be allowed in any aspect of a third place, including seating, location, and accessability.

3. I think that Trowbridge's lounges could be made more useful. The lounge on the first floor usually has a steady amount of traffic in it, and sometimes the basement lounge has people, but for the most part I only see a few students, if any, at a given time. The second and third floor lounges hardly ever have people in them, from what I notice. In order to make them more successful third places, different events should be held in them, and the seating should be made more comfortable. The couches and chairs aren't comfortable at all, and the drab colors make them less inviting. Appearance is where the first floor lounge excels, since it has large windows that allow natural light to shine in.