After a short break of buying, closing, packing and unpacking into a house, we are back on track. As I begin my sketches for the website and packaging, I must remember that it's all for my audience. It can be all textbook designed well but if it doesn't please my audience, I have not done my job.
I did some research in Universal Methods of Design by Martin and Harrington. I found some research methods that can directly improve my project.
Generative Research: exercises engage users in creative opportunities to express their feelings, dreams, needs, and desires, resulting in rich information for concept development. This research method would work well with children of all ages, who are constantly moving and need interactions to be interactive. By giving the children molding tools, I can use that time of expressiveness to get information from their daily lives. In regards to my secondary audience, I can provide them with cut out of the website design and see if they would change things around.
Usability Testing: focuses on people and their task, and seeks empirical evidence about who improve the usability of an interface. This research method is needed universally for any user approval. I would have children, foster/biological parents, and caseworkers test the website and note what difficulties/questions they had. For the packaging I would observe how manageable self-assembling was for the children. I would also note the durability and overall reaction of the children with the prototype.
Collage: allows participants to visually express their thoughts, feelings, desires, and other aspects of their life that are difficult to articulate fusing traditional means. This research method is extremely helpful for children from hard places (foster children). Many have speech impediments, PTSD and have resorted to being non-verbal, autism spectrum non-verbal, or are too young to communicate verbally. By allowing the children to use images to communicate, I am able to understand their taste and interests that is needed to design packaging.