Assignment 6 (idea evaluation!)


For new readers, here is a brief summary of my previous blogs..


Problem/How might we statements:

  1. Non-wood fireplace users need a way to create a fire within their home that is as realistic as possible, because they would like to take advantage of modern technology while still maintaining the authenticity of real fireplaces. How might we make gas fireplaces (and other non wood burning fireplaces) more authentic?

  2. Wood burning fireplace users need a way to make the fire starting and cleaning routines more efficient because wood burning fireplaces require more maintenance than other types of fireplaces. How might we make the process of using real wood fireplaces more efficient?

Top 10 Ideas:

  1. Adjustable noise soundtrack for artificial fireplaces (crackling and sizzling sound of burning wood)

  2. Adjustable scent emitter for artificial fireplaces (pine, cinnamon, wood fire smell, etc.)

  3. Tool specific for marshmallow or hot dog roasting in fireplace

  4. Multi-function tool for wood burning fireplaces (lighting fire, brush or vacuum for cleaning up ash, etc.)

  5. Wood burning fireplace tools with ergonomic handles made of silicone

  6. Combined wood storage and paper shredding device for fire starting

  7. Combined air blower and water sprayer for cleaning out wood burning fireplace after use

  8. Wood burning fireplace tools made of clay to add lightness and aesthetic variation

  9. Pinching device on the end of a poker tool for wood burning fireplace sets

  10. Integration of tool and wood storage in the design of a wood burning fireplace

To receive feedback on these ideas, I created a survey on I sent it out to a few of my friends and family, and had them send it out to people they know as well. My survey consisted of 10 questions:

  1. About how often do you use a fireplace?

  2. Please rank the following ideas from best to worst by selecting a number for each choice. Remember what your top choice is, you will use it to answer the following questions.

  3. Please describe how your top choice from the last question might look as a product.

  4. How likely is it that you or someone you know would buy this product?

  5. About how much would you be willing to pay for this product? (Please enter a whole number. Enter the number of dollars you are willing to pay.)

  6. How useful is this product?

  7. How innovative is this product?

  8. What do you like most about this idea?

  9. What do you like least about this idea?

  10. What changes would most improve this product?

To establish how relevant the topic was, I wanted to include the graph from the first question. (Asking how often the respondent uses a fireplace).
Graph Data.JPG
The graph shows that there will be market potential due to how often most people use fireplaces. It also shows that there will be some variation in the answers, since at least one person does not own a fireplace at all.

The second question, in which I asked my audience to rank the 10 ideas from best to worst, was very helpful as far as seeing which ideas I should move forward with. For the point system, I looked at everyone's top 5 ideas and delegated number 1 ideas with 5 points, number 2 ideas with 4 points, and so on. (Numbers on x-axis correspond to list above). The results are as follows:
product popularity graph.JPG
As can be seen on the graph, the top 5 ideas are: Adjustable scent emitter, tool for marshmallow or hot dog roasting, multi-function tool for wood burning fireplaces, adjustable noise soundtrack, and an integration of tool and wood storage.

marketability graph.JPG

Scent Emitter

  • Existing patent: Robert E. McCarthy, Scent Emitting Systems, September 20 1984

  • Biggest concern: Deciding on a material choice, how it would be constructed

  • Cost estimate: If using wax and fragrance oils, and fireproof material: $15

Noise Effects
noise effects.JPG

  • Existing patent: Dominic H. Lastoria, Fire Sound Simulator, August 11 1997

  • Biggest concern: Where/how it would be installed

  • Cost estimate: $30

Tool and Wood Storage
tool and wood storage.JPG

  • Existing patent: Jimmy H. Erskine and Hal E. Martin, Organizer rack for storage of firewood, kindling, newspaper and fireplace tools, November 24 1981

  • Biggest concern: How it would be installed, balancing non-traditional with utilitarian

  • Cost estimate: $80

Multi-function Tool
multi function tool.JPG

  • Existing patent: Todd Russell Ingram, Friction Grip Fireplace Tool, April 22, 2004

  • Biggest concern: Combining functions in a smooth and aesthetically pleasing way

  • Cost estimate: $35

Marshmallow/Hot Dog Roasting
marshmallow roasting.JPG

  • Existing patent: Michael McGuigan, Marshmallow Roaster, June 11 2008

  • Biggest concern: Safety and ease of use

  • Cost estimate: $15


It was a really good idea to give new readers an overview on your blog. I keep forgetting to do that. The graphs you included are an excellent addition to the blog. Not only do they make the information clearer, but also make the information more interesting to read. The explanation after each graph is great too because if someone did not understand the graph the explanation made it clear.

I'm not sure if you forgot, but after picking 5 ideas, we were supposed benchmark each idea, look up existing patents for each idea, and after that do a cost estimate for each idea. I don't see any of that.

I liked the detail in your blog, it is clear and easy to read, but you are missing a lot of the blog post.

Thank you for including a quick review of your subtheme and problem statements so far. I didn't think about including that, but it was really helpful. You did a great job with your surveys and collecting people's feedback, but as mentioned above you are missing patents and estimated cost, which will make it harder for you to know the feasibility of whatever product you choose to move forward with!
Your design is very nice and I like the graphs!

Like others have said thank you for adding the section in the beginning of the quick overview of the foundation of your products. It really helps us catch up to speed with the work you've been doing this semester.

I liked how for your survey you asked multiple questions to really figure out how people felt about your products. For my survey I simply asked people to rank products by which ones they would most likely used and then asked how much they would pay for it. My favorite questions that you asked were how innovative is this product and how useful is it. Just because people say they would buy it doesn't necessarily mean that it's useful or ingenious so great that you asked these questions.

Good idea adding the surveys into your blog post as well. As other's have mentioned you're missing some portions of the assignment and I see that you plan to add them, and I'm sure they are just as great as the rest of your blog!

Like the others pointed out already, I too appreciated the quick recap of your "work to date" on your product ideation process. It really helps to see what you've done so far, since I'm a new reader to your blog this week :) Your surveys were incredibly thorough -- you asked many more questions than I saw on other people's blogs, which is definitely a good thing. The more information you can get out of people the better. Personally I had a hard time getting just two questions out of people, so more power to ya on that. Your graph analyzing the results was a nice touch. Like someone else mentioned your post is missing 2/3 of the content, however. Make sure to upload your 2x2 charts and manufacturing cost estimates and you'll be all set for this assignment. Looking forward to seeing which product you pick and hearing your pitch next week. Good luck!

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Hannah Hill published on December 1, 2013 9:45 PM.

Assignment5 (structured idea generation!) was the previous entry in this blog.

Assignment7 (idea selection and pitch!) is the next entry in this blog.

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