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14 Part 2: 5 Self-assessment questions

SAQ 4

What are the four main factors that motivate individuals to invent?

Answer

Individuals are motivated to invent by one or more factors:

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11.7 Characteristics of inventors

In their classic book The Sources of Invention (1969) John Jewkes, David Sawers and Richard Stillerman observe the following about inventors, whether working outside or inside an organisation.

  • Inventors tend to be absorbed with their own ideas and to feel strongly about their importance and potential.

  • Inventors can be impatient with those who don't share their optimism.

  • Inventors are often isolated because they are
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11.5.2 Transfer

Transfer is where a technology, manufacturing process or material is transferred to another field to provide the basis for an invention. Earlier we saw how laser technology, originally thought to have few practical uses, was transferred to a variety of different applications including surgery, welding and cutting metal, bar-code readers, and audio CDs.


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10.7.2 Follow the leader

Some companies have a defensive strategy and aim to follow the leader. Such companies hope to profit from the mistakes of the first-to-market company by devising incremental design and performance improvements and cost reductions compared with the original product. In addition they hope to exploit the new market that has started to grow, so timing is important. In the area of consumer electronics, for example, most of the inventions (radio, television, audio and video tape recording) w
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10.6 What drives invention in organisations?

Much invention and nearly all innovation nowadays take place inside organisations – from small start-up companies to well-established multinationals. This is mainly because increasingly invention and innovation require access to technology and resources beyond the scope of most individuals. But it is also because competitiveness and survival depend on the continual improvement of a company's products and processes. This provides a strong incentive for companies to invest in both the increme
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10.5 Desire to help others

This is a less common motivation but it shows not everyone is driven by money.

In 1991 the inventor Trevor Baylis saw a BBC documentary about the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa. What was needed was a way of broadcasting the safe-sex message to people in areas without electricity and where batteries for a radio could cost a month's wages. Solar power wouldn't necessarily help as most people who could get to a radio listened in the evening after work. While absorbing this information he ima
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Learning outcomes

After reading this unit you should be able to:

  • appreciate diagrams as a powerful aid to thinking and acting;

  • distinguish between systems diagrams and diagrams helpful in systems work;

  • demonstrate sufficient skills to ‘read’ and ‘draw’ a wide range of diagrams, following given conventions, that help improve your understanding of a situation;

  • select diagrams suited to the needs of the situation you are investigating and the purp
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References

Bailey, R.W. (1982) Human Performance Engineering:A guide for systems designers, New Jersey, Prentice Hall.
Blackler, A., Popovic, V. and Mahar, D. (2003) ‘Intuitive use of products’, Design Studies.
Jordan, P. (2000) Designing Pleasurable Products, London, Taylor and Francis.
Norman, D. A. (1998) The Design
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13 Products for markets

Japanese car companies came to dominate in many countries in the 1980s, and this was in part attributable to their marketing research and emphasis on designing products for particular market segments. An example is the car firm Nissan, which researches national preferences for various car attributes in different countries. For instance, it is reputed to have provided its cars with softer suspensions in Germany, firmer steering in the UK, and noisier exhausts in Italy. There are other reasons
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11.1 he four pleasures

In consumerist societies, buying, using and displaying products has come to represent a certain type of pleasure. This pleasure principle has to be acknowledged in new product development and design. The designer Kenneth Grange has said that a guiding design principle for him is that a product should be ‘a pleasure to use’.

The pleasures of using a product are derived from the perceived benefits it offers to the user. Can we be more explicit in planning product benefits that are ple
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10 User research techniques: observing users

This section introduces an alternative to basing user research on yourself. This is observation of experienced and inexperienced users either in experimental or natural situations.

One way around the difficulties of basing research on oneself is to observe other people acting as users and to choose naive or different kinds of experienced users, depending on what information you want to gather.

Begin by identifying those experienced users who will be able to provide you with releva
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9.1.5 Immersion

Click on the 'View document' link below to read Jordan on 'Immersion'.

View document16.1KB PDF document<
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9.1.4 Take a trip to the payphone

Click on the 'View document' link below to read 'Take a trip to the payphone'.

View document14.6KB PDF document
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9.1.3 Take the trip

Third, set out and take the trip and record actions, impressions, ideas and thoughts.


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8.1.1 Visibility

Recall that a key usability design feature identified by Donald Norman – from his analysis of using everyday objects such as doors – was visibility. An everyday object such as a door, or a control such as a button on a product should appear to be obvious about how it is used, and indeed it should perform that obvious function. For example, is it obvious how you insert a disc into a player? Is it obvious how you switch the machine on, adjust volume, and so on?


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5 Why not design for the ‘average’ user

This section explains why it can be misleading to design for an average user; a complete user population should be considered, and often it is more relevant to design for the smallest, tallest, weakest etc. Designing to include extreme users can also benefit the great majority of users.

Even when user needs are being considered in design, it is still relatively easy for the designer to fall into the trap of designing for the average user. On the face of it, it seems a good idea to desig
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3.3 Physical characteristics of natural waters

A river's physical characteristics include:

  • clarity/turbidity

  • colour

  • speed of flow/turbulence

  • odour

  • the presence of plants and macroscopic animal life.

The physical characteristics are determined by location, geology and climate of the catchment area. In turn they influence the chemical and biological characteristics of the watercourse.

The physical appearance m
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2.5 Air circulation

At this stage, air circulation enters and plays a dual role. Firstly, winds transmit moisture horizontally from one location to another. In this way, moisture derived from oceanic evaporation can be transported many miles to a land mass. Secondly, convective or vertical currents arising from unequal heating or cooling can transmit moisture upwards. When it cools, some of the water vapour condenses. It is from these currents that most precipitation develops.


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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should be able to:

  • describe the operation and mechanisms of the hydrological cycle;

  • list and describe the major physical, chemical and biological characteristics of clean fresh water, and explain their effects on aquatic organisms;

  • explain the mode by which potable water is produced through the processes of screening, microstraining, aeration, coagulation and flocculation, sedimentation, flotation, filtration and disinf
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Introduction

This unit is from our archive and it is an adapted extract from Environmental Control and Public Health (T210) which is no longer in presentation. If you wish to study formally at The Open University, you may wish to explore the courses we offer in this curriculum area.

With
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