Assignment 7!

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Pugh Chart:

Time to narrow it down to one idea! For this assignment, I started out with my Pugh chart! Here it is! My benchmark is the second one in, I didn't mean to do that, but I had already redone the chart to make it legible and I forgot to put that one first.

My Top 5:
1. Heated Ice Fishing Rod
2. Musical Sled (BENCHMARK)
3. Peppermint-Scented Facial Tissue
4. Chocolate Icicle Stir Stick
5. Collapsible Cookie Cutters

Criteria:
1. Is it novel?
2. Is it feasible?
3. Is it marketable?
4. Does it have good timing?
5. Is there a competitive advantage?

Screen Shot 2013-12-08 at 8.43.20 PM.png

From my Pugh Chart, I selected the Heated Ice Fishing Rod for my final product.

Naming:

For this part of the assignment, I struggled a lot. I tried to find synonyms for different words but nothing really seemed to fit. I kept ending up with random lists of words and I was getting nowhere. In fact, I kept finding myself back at "Hot Rod" which is a film, a type of car, and a magazine.

Eventually, I decided to do some more research and learned a bit more about fishing in general. I ended up naming my product, "The Hot Hand" and here's why. Considering my target demographic for the product is a male that is an avid fisherman and over the age of 30; I'm assuming that he would know a fair amount about the fishing world. In fishing, the person who has the "hot hand" is a great fisherman, they catch a lot of fish, really know what they're doing, and know a lot about the equipment. I felt that this name really suited this product idea considering it is implying that by using this rod, the consumer can become the "hot hand" or if they are the "hot hand," that this product is worthy of their use. Plus, it literally makes your hand hot.

Screen Shot 2013-12-08 at 11.51.26 PM.png

Just to be clear, the fishing rod does not come apart, I drew some of the parts seperately to show how it works!

Pitch:

Heated Ice Fishing Rod.mov

*Note: Even though I do not have my visual in this pitch video, I will have one on Tuesday. I also won't be sitting down on Tuesday, I don't have anything that is level to my height where I live. :)

Assignment 6!

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For this assignment, I began by taking my original "top ten" and I searched for them to see if they already existed on Google and Amazon. For the majority of my ideas, nothing came up but I did hit a rough spot for a couple, causing me to go back and pick some different ideas.

The top ten ideas that I ended up with were:

1. Heated Ice Fishing Pole
2. Draw-Skis
3. Musical Sled
4. Holiday Scented Facial Tissue
5. Collapsible Cookie-Cutters
6. Chocolate Icicle Stir Stick
7. Helpful "Carrying" Ribbon
8. Gift-Getter App
9. Money Watch
10. Musical Ribbon

I then used Facebook and sent out a survey about these products. I asked three questions because I wanted to know if the participants thought that the product was marketable, even if it wasn't something that they would personally want.

Some of the general statistics of age and gender can be beneficial because it informs me of the people taking the survey.

Screen Shot 2013-12-03 at 11.25.34 PM.png

I asked the same three questions for each product:
1. Could you see yourself buying this for yourself? Someone else? Both? Neither?
2. Could you see someone else buying this?
3. How much would you pay for this?

I received 32 responses from my survey and ended up with my new top 5:

1. Heated Ice Fishing Pole
2. Musical Sled
3. Holiday Scented Facial Tissue
4. Chocolate Icicle Stir Stick
5. Collapsible Cookie Cutters

Product 1: Heated Ice Fishing Pole

For this product, the survey results were as follows.

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 1.24.24 AM.png

The results for the pricing had costs ranging from $10-$150. It is obvious from some of the responses that many people don't fish, as it is impossible to buy any quality rod for $10. Even though there was a large range in pricing, the prices of ice fishing rods that are on the market fell into this range.

NOVEL

For my "state of the art" 2x2, I compared brand name (expensive) and generic (cheaper prices) with short and long length rods.

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 1.08.14 AM.png

From this, I found a place of possible market potential for a rod that was reasonably priced while having a medium length.

I then found a patent that related to my idea, which incorporated heat into the eyelet of the fishing pole for de-icing.

https://www.google.com/patents/US5175953?dq=heated+ice+fishing+rod&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ntOeUpj_Le-yygGujIEQ&ved=0CDcQ6AEwAA

FEASIBLE

Biggest concern: My biggest concern while thinking about this product would be the cost. I would want to try to find all of the individual parts for as cheap as I could in order to keep the pricing a bit lower.

I then found general costs to find a rough manufacturing cost.
Cork grip: $9.00
Fiberglass rod: $2.00
Disposable hand-warmers: $1.00
Plastic: $1.00

Approximate manufacturing cost: $26.00

Product 2: Musical Sled

For this product, the survey results were as follows.

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 1.42.34 AM.png

The pricing results were anywhere from $7.00 to $65.00.

NOVEL

For my 2x2 for sleds, I used plastic and other materials with cheap prices and expensive prices.

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 2.08.54 AM.png

From this 2x2, I found potential market potential in creating a very strong plastic sled at a reasonable price along with the addition of music.

I then found a patent that was related to sleds.

https://www.google.com/patents/CA2754798A1?cl=en&dq=snow+sled&hl=en&sa=X&ei=LN2eUumZGMamygHywoDYCw&sqi=2&pjf=1&ved=0CD4Q6AEwAQ

FEASIBLE

My biggest concern with this product is the cost. The amount of materials needed is bigger than the other products and the incorporation of electronics also makes the pricing more complicated.

General costs:
Rope: $2.00
Plastic: $2.00
Speakers: $10.00
Cable: $6.00
System: $20.00

Rough manufacturing cost: $80.00

Product 3: Peppermint Scented Facial Tissue

The results from the survey:

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 2.20.37 AM.png

The price points that my respondents said were anywhere from $1.00-$8.00.

NOVEL

For my 2x2 for this product, I used plain tissue and "add-on" tissue (lotion, strong, soft, etc) as well as branded tissue and generic tissue.

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 3.37.58 AM.png

From this 2x2, I found a possible market potential in cheap facial tissue that has an "add-on" of peppermint.

I also found a patent that is related to facial tissue. I felt that this patent related to my product because it is a way that facial tissue can be individualized which is part of the point of the facial tissue idea that I came up with.

https://www.google.com/patents/EP2102800A2?cl=en&dq=facial+tissue&hl=en&sa=X&ei=zOieUuiHO6ThyQHQ4YDwDg&ved=0CGgQ6AEwBw

FEASIBLE

My biggest concern with this product is making the peppermint integrated into the tissue. I am unsure of how I would do that at the moment.

General costs:
Wood pulp: $0.10
Peppermint: $0.50
Cardboard: $0.20

Rough manufacturing cost: $1.60

Product 4: Chocolate Stir Stick

Survey results:

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 3.45.35 AM.png

The pricing varied from $1.00 per stick to about $6.00 for a pack of sticks.

NOVEL

For my 2x2 I explored expensive chocolate and cheaper priced chocolate as well as individual sales and packages.

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 4.07.39 AM.png

From this, I found that a possible market potential is individual, middle priced sale of these products or ones similar.

I then found a patent that is similar.

https://www.google.com/patents/WO2008103157A2?cl=en&dq=chocolate+stir+sticks&hl=en&sa=X&ei=mfyeUvXUHuSTyQGNs4HgCg&sqi=2&pjf=1&ved=0CDcQ6AEwAA

FEASIBLE

My biggest concern with this product is somehow figuring out a way to keep the top of the stir stick from melting along with the rest of the stick, or a way to make the stick last a fair amount of time.

General costs:
Chocolate: $1.40

Rough manufacturing cost: $2.80

Product #5: Collapsible Cookie Cutters

The survey results for this product are as follows:

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 4.53.38 AM.png

The pricing that they said they would pay for this product was anywhere in the range of $1.00 for an individual cutter to $10.00 for a pack.

NOVEL

For my 2x2 about cookie cutters, I explored expensive cookie cutters and cheaper prices as well as metal cookie cutters and plastic ones.

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 2.54.32 PM.png

From this 2x2, I found the possible market potential of a cheaper metal cookie cutter that collapses.

I then found a patent that is similar. This patent is similar in the sense that both products are designed to assist the user with their cookie-cutters.

https://www.google.com/patents/US8458814?dq=cookie+cutter&hl=en&sa=X&ei=o5SfUuWDC8mwyQGpwoH4Cg&ved=0CFMQ6AEwBA

FEASIBLE

My biggest concern with this product would be to make it actually able to collapse.

General costs:
Metal: $0.20

Rough manufacturing cost: $0.40

For this assignment, I really focused on the aspect of cost because from my survey I gathered the fact that people don't really like to spend that much money if it can be avoided. In order for a product to be popular it needs to be a fair price and function properly.

*All photos are from Amazon.com

Assignment 5!

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For this assignment, I started out thinking about my two how might we statements:

1. How might we find the ideal Christmas Gifts?
2. How might we stay within a budget during the Christmas season?

Now, my theme is Christmas gifts/gift giving. As seen above, my past assignments have been leaning more to the gift giving side of things so for this assignment, I decided to mix it up (It's also very difficult to pinpoint an object that fits into one of my statements and also gives the impression of Christmas gifts). I was hoping that by switching it up a little, I could possibly find some inspiration from both sides for some more ideas in the future. I chose an object that everyone associates with Christmas gifts, ribbons/bows.

I think that ribbons and bows are an important part of gift giving and we know that if not you, people in your family wear them after they open a gift. To start, I went through SCAMPER.

S - Substitute: Can I change color, roughness, or smell?
For this first letter I focused on changing the aspect of scent on my product. I created ribbon and/or bows that are scented. Whether it's a classic Christmas scent or a "hint" of the gift that's inside, this will be a fun product for everyone!

Hint-O-Ribbon.png

C - Combine: What ideas can I combine?
For this letter, I wanted to incorporate something fun into the ribbon, perhaps something geared more towards children. I went off of the idea of a musical card and created musical ribbon so that when the person unwraps their gift, a Christmas song plays.

Musical Ribbon.png

A - Adapt: What ideas could I incorporate?
For this letter, I created ribbon that could connect to each other, so the ribbon can serve as wrapping paper. I incorporated sticky edges, like the backside of tape, so that they connect to each other.

Connecting Ribbon.png

M - Magnify/Modify: What can be made higher, bigger, stronger?
I really liked my idea for this letter. I decided to create a "heavy duty" ribbon that is durable enough to double as a handle for Christmas presents no matter how heavy they are.

Helpful Ribbon.png

P - Put to other use: How would a child use it? An older person?
For this letter I was thinking about how it's very common for young girls to wear ribbons in their hair. I designed these ribbons to be different patterns in order for girls to wear them after they receive their gift and the ribbons don't look like ribbons specific to Christmas.

Wear-A-Ribbon.png

E - Eliminate: Can the rules be eliminated?
For this letter, I eliminated the idea that the ribbon needs to be the decoration on the gift. Instead, this is a gift in itself that the receiver gets to decorate themselves. It's a wooden bow that is put on the top of a gift and the person can do anything that they want with it.

Create Your Own.png

R - Reverse/Rearrange: What if I consider it backwards? Inside out?
For the last letter of SCAMPER, I created a reversible ribbon. I also made them a bit different from the usual ribbon in the sense that they are very furry on one side and very smooth on the other. This means that they can be reused multiple times and even kept to use for other things.

Reversable Ribbon.png

For the second part of this assignment, I chose the TIGMAG Matrix to brainstorm some ideas.

Matrix.png

The ideas that I came up with after this process are as follows:

1. Belt Ribbon: This product is based off of a belt, this product makes it easier to wrap ribbon around a Christmas gift. The holes on the ribbon make the ends easy to connect to each other.

Easy to Use.png

2. Shoe Lace Ribbon: This product was created with shoe laces in mind. The ribbon follows the same shape as the laces, creating a more circular ribbon which leads to a more modern looking ribbon.

Modern Ribbon.png

Brainstorming Ideas:

1. Money Watch: This idea is a watch that has a money tracker as part of it so you always have the ability to keep track of your money.

Money Watch.png

2. Hand/Cart/Car Notebook: I evolved this idea into a device that can hook onto the handle of a cart that you can attach your phone or a notebook onto in the store so you can take notes while you're shopping.

Cart Notebook.png


My top 10:

1. Musical Sled: This product is a sled that plays music while it is in use. An iPod can also be plugged into it and put into a waterproof compartment if needed.

Musical Sled.jpg

2. Scented Kleenex: This product has medicine build into the kleenex and is scented with peppermint to help with stuffy noses.

Holiday Scented Kleenex.jpg

3. Collapsible Cookie-cutters: These cookie cutters collapse for easy storage in a drawer.

Collapsible Cookie-Cutter.jpg

4. Chocolate Stir Stick: This product is a stir stick that is used in hot chocolate or coffee, and while it melts, it adds chocolate to the drink.

Chocolate Icicle Stir Stick.jpg

5. Heated fishing Pole: This product is perfect for fishermen, they don't even need gloves while they're ice fishing.

Heated Fishing Pole.jpg

6. "Gift" card: This card is similar to a credit card, the owner can put a certain amount of money on the card that is designated for buying Christmas gifts.

Gift Card.png

7. Budget Scanner: This is a scanner that you can use while you shop and put in a designated amount of spending money and while you are shopping, it keeps track of your spending.

Budget Scanner.png

8. Gift-Getter app: This is an app that you can type in characteristics of the person you are shopping for and it will help you think of ideas.

Gift Getter App.png

9. Shopping Cart Scanner: This is a scanner that is attached or can be part of the cart or basket that keeps track of the amount of money that you are spending at a certain time.

Cart Scanner.png

10. Helping Ribbon: This product is a heavy duty ribbon that can be used as a handle for carrying gifts, no matter how heavy they are.

Helpful Ribbon.png

Assignment 4: Brainstorming!

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I kind of couldn't contain my happiness about this assignment when I was thinking about it last week. I had a lot of fun brainstorming in class and at Logic Product Design so I was very excited!

First off, I rounded five of my friends together to brainstorm! I really wanted to have a variety of people with different majors and different ages to see how each of them came up with ideas. Here's our lovely group! (P.S. They wanted me to use this picture because they thought it was funny...hehe.)

Brainstorming!.jpg

From left to right:
Lucas (Junior - Aerospace Engineering)
Myself (Junior - Communication Studies)
Alli (Junior - Architecture)
Dan (Senior - Biology)
Lizzie (Sophomore - Political Science and Communication Studies)

Here's our lovely fifth member! She had to leave early, so she wasn't there when we took the picture, but her and I went to the hockey game on Saturday night and took a picture so I've included that!

Hockey Game.jpg

Alyssa (Junior - Biology)

After some introductions, we moved onto the games! I started the group out with the game "Tigers and Bears" that we played in class. I thought this would be a great way to "wake up" their minds and get the creativity flowing! None of them had played it before and they had a really great time!

Next, we played a game that we were taught at HUGE Improv Theater. We played the "Box Game" where a person has a "box" with any item in it. They give this item to the person next to them and they decide what they want to do with it. They enjoyed this game as well because it was a group activity and we came up with some crazy ideas!

Lastly, we played a game that I made up. I generically call it "The Sentence Game." For this game, I wrote "I like __________ because _________" on the board. They each took two pieces of paper and filled in the blanks, making a logical sentence. For example, my sentence was "I like chickens because they are fat and feathery." We then created two piles, and everyone picked one from each pile. We then went around the circle and read the new sentences that we had made. This was a fun game to play because it was a bit calmer than "Tigers and Bears" but it was still fun and left everyone in a good mood. Some of the sentences that we ended up with were "I like sharks because they are fat and feathery" and "I like teeth because Christmas is awesome."


Now we jumped into the brainstorming!

Topic #1: How might we find the ideal Christmas gifts?
Group IPM: .66

I split the brainstorming up into two sections that were 10 minutes each. For the first part, they just took the prompt however they liked. For the second 10 minutes, I used the idea of "PROPS" from class. I gave them random objects (an umbrella, a ring, a coaster, a remote, etc) and from these items they created more ideas.

B. Session 1.jpg

The ideas!

B. Session 1 - Ideas.jpg

After the 20 minutes of brainstorming, they split their various ideas up into categories. The three categories they created were:

1. Things that assist in the process of coming up with an idea
2. Things that go get the gift
3. Things that sort gift ideas

B. Session 1 - Sorting - 3.jpg

After the sorting was complete they got to vote. They voted in a similar way that we did in class. They took their markers and marked the ideas with a smiley face (most desired by a customer), a dot (their personal favorite), and a star (most creative).

B. Session 1 - Voting.jpg

From this, we found the top 5 ideas:

1. Present Shoes: Dan
When this product is worn by the shopper, the shoes automatically take them to the desired gift for whomever they are shopping for.

Present Shoes.jpg

2. Hand-Notebook: Alli
This product is a notebook that is permanently attached to the gift giver's hand. This product builds off the idea that we generally are able to think of the "perfect" gift for someone but later we don't remember. With this product, the gift giver can write all of their ideas down!

Hand-Notebook.jpg

3. Present Ex-change: Lizzie
This product is more for the receiver of the gift. If anyone receives a gif that they dislike, they simply put it in the Gift Ex-change and receive a gift they they desired originally.

Thumbnail image for Gift Ex-change.jpg

4. Present 'Poo: Dan
This product is shampoo that gives you gift ideas while you wash your hair in the shower.

Present 'Poo.jpg

5. Present Hat: Dan
This product is based off of the sorting hat from Harry Potter. When the gift giver wears the hat, he or she is told what to buy as gifts.

Present Hat.jpg


Topic #2: How might we stay within a budget during the Christmas season?
Group IPM: .61

The group went back to the table and began brainstorming again. I again split up the session into two, 10 minute sections. The first was again their original ideas, the second time I used the method of "rolestorming." I created a list on the board of some typical people (child, grandparent, parent, chef, soldier, worker, etc.) and also some fun people (Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes, Ironman, Batman, Spiderman, etc). From these personas, they were able to create some more ideas.

B. Session 2 - 2.jpg

B. Session 2 - Dan.jpg

The ideas!

B. Session 2 - Ideas 2.jpg

From the ideation, they once again put their ideas into categories. The categories were:
1. Disciplining items
2. Things that give money
3. Things that help you budget

B. Session 2 - Sorting.jpg

They once again voted the same way they did previously. They took their markers and marked the ideas with a smiley face (most desired by a customer), a dot (their personal favorite), and a star (most creative).

B. Session 2 - Voting.jpg

From this we found the top 5 ideas:

1. Savings -> Spending: Alli
This product takes part of your paycheck and puts part of it toward a Christmas Gift Giving bank account.

Savings -> Spending.jpg

2. Budget Elder Wand: Dan
This product is based off of the Elder Wand from Harry Potter. This product controls your spending and keeps you from buying products that you can't afford.

Budget Elder Wand.jpg

3. Budget Detectors: Alli
This product stays on the person at all times and serves as an "alarm" if they overspend.

Budget Detector.jpg

4. Money Watch: Lucas
This product enables the user to keep track of their spending and bank accounts on their watch. They can always have their accounts on hand!

Money Watch.jpg

5. Invisible Wallet: Alli
This product is also based off of Harry Potter. The wallet disappears if the user spends too much money. They can't spend more if they can't find it!

Invisible Wallet.jpg

Assignment 3!

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Yes, more Christmas! My theme for this assignment was Christmas gifts. I put more focus onto the giving and receiving aspect of Christmas gifts, than the literal gifts themselves although it all blurs together.

For this week's assignment, I went a little crazy for information. I interviewed four people and sent out a survey, from which I received 48 responses.

Let's start with the interviews! Out of the four people that I interviewed, three of them are college students. I felt that interviewing college students is important because at this stage in their lives, their whole outlook on gift giving at Christmas is changing. They are transitioning from giving gifts with their parents to having to do it by themselves. This change leads to having to create a budget, coming up with their own ideas, and planning in advance; things they may not have had to think about before. I'm only listing some of the highlights from each interview, they were pretty similar and all of them were long.

Interview 1: Spencer
Spencer.jpgRight off the bat Spencer said that he loves Christmas gifts! He was a very straight-forward person explaining that he doesn't usually spend money unless he likes the person (seems pretty obvious, but that's not always the case). He explained that he likes to go "all out" for his family and close friends but when a random friend gives him a gift, it's hard to know how much to spend because now, he has to give him or her a gift back. Money - another issue in a college student's life. Spencer said that he saves up his money throughout the year in order to buy nice gifts for his friends and family but it's hard because his parents don't buy him gifts to give to other people anymore. This has also had an effect on the gifts that he gives others because he needs to stay within a budget. He said that he enjoyed the sentimental value of presents. He said that his favorite gift was a trip to visit his Grandma out in Oregon.

Interview 2: Courtney
Thumbnail image for Courtney.jpgCourtney also said that she loves Christmas gifts! She loves Christmas, enjoys shopping for gifts for people, and she loves getting them. She did touch on the fact that she enjoys shopping for people when she has an idea of what she wants to get them as a gift. She mentioned that it's harder when she is forced to go and find something and has no good ideas because she really tries to be original with her gift giving. Courtney said that her spending depends a lot on how her life is at that moment. Whether she has a job or not, who the person is, or if she knows them more than other people affect her gifts. She is also in independent shopper (doesn't share with her parents) and creates a budget for herself and plans on who she wants to spend more on. She said that one of the harder parts of shopping is that she feels the need to "top" what she did last year. She says that one of the hardest parts of receiving gifts is getting something that she doesn't like. It's a difficult situation because she doesn't want the person to feel bad. Her favorite Christmas gift that she ever received was her iPhone, which she got last year.

Interview 3: Megan
Megan.jpgMegan really likes Christmas gifts and believes that it's a great way to give people things that they may not need, but want. She also likes them because it's a way to show people that she was thinking about them. She thinks that gifts should always be thought out. She believes it's important to give someone something that they can enjoy and that they actually like. She isn't a fan of people who give gag gifts or people who don't put any thought into their gifts. To her, gifts are a very important part of Christmas and she believes that your gift should reflect your feelings for someone else. She said that she always ends up spending a lot of money on Christmas without meaning to. She said that money can impact gift giving both negatively and positively. The gift that someone receives depends on how much money the "gifter" has. Megan said that being an independent college student has changed the way that she gives gifts in a positive way. Now that she purchases her own gifts, she puts more thought into what she's giving people because now the presents are coming from her alone. Megan and Courtney seem to agree in the sense that it's really hard to receive gifts when they are objects that don't seem to suit them. Megan said that even though that is sometimes the case, it's the thought that really counts. Megan's favorite Christmas gift was when her boyfriend adopted a polar bear for her through The World Wildlife Foundation.

While I was thinking about an expert gift-giver the only person I could think of (other than Santa of course) was a mother! Who is more experienced in the art of giving gifts than someone who has been making her kids happy for years? That's right, no one. Ruth is a mother of four children and therefore a perfect candidate for our expert gift-giver!

Interview 4: Ruth Daley
Ruth.jpgRuth also loves Christmas gifts (seems to be a common theme)! She loves to give them, receive them, shop for them, and she views it as a necessary tradition through the Christmas holiday. She said that is is a very hard balance to figure out how much money she should be spending every year. She said she knows how much she can spend, but she always wants to spend more. Throughout the years of her kids growing up, she has had to balance both the amount of money she spends on them and the amount of gifts they receive. She said that because they are all older now, they understand that just because one child got two gifts and another got six, she spent around the same amount on all of them. Her and her siblings have adapted their gift giving throughout the years, and now rarely buy gifts for each other but instead, by gifts for each other's children. Considering her husband is one of eight kids and she is one of five, Christmas gifts can get very expensive. She said that the commercialism of Christmas giving and the pressure of Christmas becomes very hard to deal with. She said that it can become more work when it is supposed to be fun. She said that now she appreciates the time and money that she puts into what she buys for people. Ruth's favorite Christmas gifts are the crafts that she receives from her children throughout the years.

I also conducted a survey and here are some of the statistics:

Gift Giving Survey!

Screen Shot 2013-11-10 at 6.10.18 PM.png

What is your age?:
40 and over: 31.25%
Under 40: 68.75%

Are gifts important to you during the holidays?
Yes: 22.92%
No: 77.08%

Do you prefer giving or receiving?
Giving: 62.5%
Receiving: 37.5%

I also asked if there were any problems they have experienced while either giving or receiving gifts.

These were some of the common themes:
-People don't like the gifts
-They can't find the right gift for everyone
-Using money wisely
-Focus is on the price tag instead of what the holidays are supposed to be about
-Too much pressure

After reviewing this information that I had gathered, I moved onto the other steps. It was hard to observe people giving Christmas gifts considering it isn't Christmas and it's illegal for me to randomly go into people's houses, so I decided to use my own experience and compare it to my interview and survey results.

I found that I agreed with almost everything that was mentioned, and can relate to all of it. The more I thought about it, the more it seemed ridiculous to me how much emphasis is put on Christmas gifts every year. Last year, my roommates and a few other friends exchanged gifts. This is a picture of our tree with our LARGE amount of gifts around it. Who actually needs that many gifts? Not me, that's for sure. Christmas is supposed to be about family and celebrating, not how many gifts we can get each other.
Thumbnail image for Christmas Gifts.jpg

Off of the common themes that I noticed in the interviews, the survey, and my own life, I was able to create my two opportunities for improvement:

1. One of the most common problems was finding ideal gifts. Whether shopping, for a family member, friend, or acquaintance, the perfect gift is necessary. Based off of the surveys and interviews, a perfect gift is a necessity to make both the gift-giver and the person receiving feel the holiday spirit.

2. Another common problem was the idea of money. Whether it was Ruth or the college students, controlling one's money while also buying gifts is important. Budgets are needed at every stage in your life, and being able to buy the ideal gifts and staying inside that budget is necessary.

Assignment 2!

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As in my last blog, I'll just start out by saying it. I love Christmas, so this post is full of Christmas. For this assignment, I wanted to get the creative juices flowing so I watched an episode of Community because that is one of the few shows that can make me laugh consistently.

2013_0212_Community_Slide01_CA.jpg
Photo credit to NBC.

After a few good episodes of Community, I played some word association games with my friend. Considering that we were both Welcome Week Leaders so we love games similar to the improv games we played last Thursday and had a lot of fun with this. The main game that we played was a word association game, like we played in class last Tuesday.

Word Association.jpg

I then started thinking about winter. I started with winter in the middle and went a little crazy with all of the ideas that were coming. I began in my creativity journal and created this:

First Map.jpg

Considering this map was messy, I created another one that was much easier to read and understand. I ended up with about five "sub-categories" including, illness, sports, cold, snow, and Christmas. From these sub-categories, I branched out even more.

Winter Map.jpg

After this point in the assignment, I moved on to creating my ideas. From the word association game that my friend and I had played, I took some of the words to use as a variation of "Cross Products." This helped me get some perspective on how different things that I had come up with on my map could be combined with the words that my friend and I had said.

I love to ski, so the first idea that I came up with was "Draw-skis" which are snow skis (for either cross country skiing or downhill) that leave marks on the snow, enabling the skier to draw on the snow.
Theme: Snow Sports

Draw-Skis.jpg

The second idea that I came up with was a Musical Sled. This sled allows the rider to attach an iPod (that stays dry inside a compartment) to their sled and listen to music. Even though sledding generally occurs around Christmas, any other music can be played.
Theme: Snow Sports

Musical Sled.jpg

The next idea is scented Kleenex. A lot of people get sick during the winter and I thought of putting a peppermint scent on the Kleenex. Mint scents can be beneficial to colds and that is the purpose of this product idea.
Theme: Winter Illnesses

Holiday Scented Kleenex.jpg

Another idea that I came up with was simple, but very silly looking. I came up with a Silly Stocking, which is an elongated socking. It seems to fit into a cartoon world, but more presents can fit into it!
Theme: Christmas Accessories

Long Stocking.jpg

The next idea was collapsible cookie cutters. Cookie cutters take up a lot of space and the point of this product is to eliminate the amount of space used.
Theme: Christmas Accessories

Collapsible Cookie-Cutter.jpg

Another idea that I had was the Delightful Hat. This is a hat that has lights throughout it. It both provides light and Christmas spirit!
Theme: Christmas Accessories

DeLIGHTful Hat!.jpg

Hot chocolate is something that goes hand-in-hand with winter. The next idea is a Chocolate Icicle Stir-Stick. This product would be chocolate in the shape of an icicle that would be used to stir one's hot chocolate so that the chocolate would melt while it is being used; adding more flavor to the drink.
Theme: Christmas Accessories

Chocolate Icicle Stir Stick.jpg

The Santa Christmas Countdown Watch is a product that is a product that can be used year-round. This product is a Santa head on a watch that will talk to the owner and tell how many days until Christmas throughout the entire year.
Theme: Christmas Accessories

Santa Watch.jpg

The next idea was more of a practical one. It is a Heated Fishing Pole. This product would be beneficial for ice fishermen. A fishing pole can be hard to handle with gloves on and this pole would have a heated handle.
Theme: Snow Sports

Heated Fishing Pole.jpg

My last idea was my favorite. I created an Ornament Gun. This product is a fun way to decorate your tree very fast! The ornaments simply load into the gun and then they are shot at the tree.
Theme: Christmas Accessories

Ornament Gun.jpg

The three themes that I would like to explore more:
-Downhill skiing
-Christmas decorations
-Christmas Gift Giving

Assignment 1: Creating A New Cookie

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For this first assignment, I really wanted to create a cookie that I would want to eat. I didn't want to create something so out of the box, no one would ever want to make it or eat it. I love Christmas and I wanted to use that in the creation of my new cookie.

When I think of Christmas, I think of molasses cookies so I decided I wanted to use that somehow. I started out with the idea that I wanted to change around a molasses cookie recipe. I soon realized that the addition of extra ingredients to molasses cookies didn't work out the way I wanted, the molasses was too strong.

I changed my way of thinking about the assignment and completely started from scratch. I decided to make a list in my creativity notebook of baking ingredients that I liked most.

My List:
-Molasses
-Peanut butter
-Graham crackers
Chocolate chips
-Honey
-Brown sugar
*I also ended up writing down Diet Coke and Dr. Pepper (I really felt like Dr. Pepper fit my theme very well because of its particular taste).

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From this list, I decided to create a molasses cookie with an interesting frosting on the top of it, with chocolate designs on the top. I created a "frosting" with peanut butter, graham crackers, flour, and some Dr. Pepper. Instead of chocolate on the top, I used honey. The constancy was very good for frosting but neither my friends or myself thought the taste suited the molasses cookie.

Icing.JPG

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After my second attempt, I baked a normal molasses recipe (without some parts that I don't like) and also created a weird, brown sugar/Dr. Pepper cookie dough. These two recipes were very similar and complemented each other very nicely. I decided that I wanted to use these recipes together, I just didn't know how.

The first attempt: I used graham crackers as a base, in an attempt to create a "pie crust" on the bottom of the cookie, then created a layer of molasses cookie dough, topped with my Dr. Pepper dough. Even though all of these ingredients tasted good together, the final products looked, rather disgusting. I had found the right combinations of ingredients and now I needed to find the aesthetic appeal.

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The second attempt: Using plastic bags, I attempted to create a "swirl" out of my two doughs. This failed as well; causing my cookies to look a little bit like dog poop (gross). I was also having trouble making the pie crust bottom stay together.

Bags.jpg

Poop cookie.jpg

The third (and final) attempt: While I was attempting to come up with a way to get the cookies together, I tried to think of desserts that I really like and cake pops came into my mind and that's when it hit me! I had to create my cookie in a circular shape, creating more layers as I moved outward. I wanted to use both recipes while also keeping the graham crackers.

Step 1:
I used the molasses dough and created a ball.

Step 1.JPG

Step 2:
I covered the molasses ball in Dr. Pepper dough.

Step 2 - 1.JPG

Step 2 -2.JPG

Step 3:
I rolled the ball of dough in graham crackers.

Step 3 - 1.JPG

Step 3 - 2.JPG

Step 3 - 3.JPG

In the end, the balls of molasses and Dr. Pepper dough, baked together in the oven creating a tie-dye cookie. The graham crackers spread throughout the cookie and gave it a crunch, adding some extra texture. With the flavors together, the cookies tastes a bit like gingerbread with a random taste of molasses with a crunch (and my friends approved of this one!).

Tie Dye.JPG

Tie Dye 2.jpg

Even though I liked the cookie, I felt it still needed a little something extra, so I created a Dr. Pepper glaze and put that on the top. I created the glaze and applied it when the cookies were almost done cooking so the glaze baked into the top of the cookie instead of just seeping through it. This glaze gave the cookie a bit more flavor and created a softer texture on the top which contrasted with the sides and the crunch of the graham crackers.

Glaze 1.JPG

Glaze 2.jpg

The recipes:

Ingredients:

Ingredients.JPG

Molasses cookie cough:
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons sugar

Dr. Pepper cookie dough:
1 1/2 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup Dr. Pepper (can add more if needed)
1 egg
2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons sugar

Dr. Pepper glaze:
1/4 cup Dr. Pepper
2 tablespoons vanilla
2 tablespoons milk (or until mixture is a light brown)
*Heat Dr. Pepper on medium on the stovetop alone for 5 minutes, add vanilla, and milk. Turn heat to low. Stir consistently. Add thin layer atop cookies when lightly brown. Return to the oven to bake until cookies are the desired brown.

General Directions:
-Bake at 325 degrees for about 10-15 minutes (or until golden brown), take out, add glaze, cook for 5-10 more minutes (or until desired brown).

I do think that this was a creative idea. I did include ingredients that are commonly used in baking but I wanted to create a cookie that I would want to make in the future. I believe it was creative because the use of the ingredients wasn't typical. Instead of having one dough, I had two and used an outside layer. I also added more to the top of the cookie to make it a bit more different. I also created my own dough using an unusual ingredient, Dr. Pepper. I also created a glaze that complemented the cookie. Even though molasses cookies are common, the combination of the other dough and glaze makes it unique along with the tie-dye effect. Therefore, I give you the Dr. Molasses cookie!

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