Pressure Project 1 – Julius Phu

Observe a situation in your own lifeworld involving a failed or error-laden experience between you (and possibly others) and a machine(s). Analyze and make sense of your experience. Use a known design method to come up with a proposed intervention that you believe would elevate and enrich that original experience.
Written description and illustration/diagram of the analyzed experience

There are some vending machines with a major flaw. To avoid the fall of sodas in traditional vending machines, these vending machines work by way of conveyor belt. When a drink is selected, a conveyor belt goes up to that row and the drink gently falls onto the conveyor belt and the conveyor belt pushes the drink into a slot accessible to the user through a flap. The problem comes from the flap. If I put my hand on the flap and prevent the drink from coming out, the machine doesn’t register the drink as coming out so it goes up and dispenses another drink. Which means I have just gotten two drinks for the price of one. Error-laden!

Presentation of design process


Description and concept sketches of proposed intervention

My idea could solve this problem but also extend to solving the most apparent of problems with vending machines in general. So I propose that the conveyor belt have pressure sensors to sense that the item has, in fact, been dispensed. So it doesn’t bother checking whether the flap opens or not due to human intervention. This could be more generalized to generic vending machines since they have a problem of not always dispensing an item fully, a problem that kills around 3 people a year. At the bottom of vending machines they should have pressure sensors to sense the impact.

Written reflection on the challenges of designing for yourself.

The first major challenge of this was that I didn’t actually want to solve the problem because, most of the time, it works in my favor. Designing for myself has some inherent challenges and flaws. First, its that since that I am used to my problems its really hard to pick out. Also, I don’t really know whether it is my error or the machines since I have a I’m-not-that-stupid bias. When the time to come up with solutions came, it was really hard to come up with innovative solutions since there was no one to bounce ideas off of. As for the inherent flaws, I don’t really know if people have the same problem nor will they like my solutions. This is mainly because there is no one to critique my solutions.



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