Critical Reflection

Over the past eight months I have been working tirelessly towards completing my honours year project Medicrate. It has been an incredible journey full of ups and downs and I am extremely proud of what I have accomplished.

When I first set out on this project I knew I wanted to use it as an opportunity to really challenge myself and to work more with digital technology. I also wanted to use it as a chance to demonstrate the diverse set of skills I have acquired over the past four years by putting them into practice.

 

Research

The research stage of my project started well before the beginning of fourth year. As I had a real interest in digital technology and its application, I was constantly searching for ways in which I could improve the lives others using technology. Through this I found that my brother, who takes a lot of medication, has no real solution to keeping track of his consumption, organisation and storage of medication. He does use regular pill boxes but found them to be very ineffective, ugly and lacking in many other places. So before going into fourth year I knew that I wanted to create a more effective pill box by using technology.

I spent a considerable amount of time during my first semester gathering comprehensive primary and secondary data surrounding this issue. From this I was then able to extract valuable insights which helped guide me in the creation and development of my product.

 

Design

With Medicrate I set out to design a modern, beautifully crafted device which strays away from the clinical, sterile aesthetic which is currently associated with medical products. This core idea of creating a beautiful and functional product stayed consistent throughout my project but the design has changed considerably through each iteration. Up until guru’s day I wanted to create a product which would be a larger, more permeant feature within a room. After receiving feedback on this from gurus and other individuals, I found that a more portable solution was the way forward.

The product itself is designed around the core functionalities of the storing, filling and dispensing of medication. With this in mind, the first component I designed was the products medication trays and then the remainder of the product was designed around this. A huge amount of thought was also put into the fine details of Medicrate, like in the housing of all the electronic components and in the design of the portable medication tray.

Technology

Technology has been at the forefront of this project from the very beginning as my initial goal was to create a more effective pill box by utilising technology. Achieving this goal has been monuments task and taken a significant amount of planning and problem-solving. It is also where I have experienced the most amount of setbacks in my project costing me weeks of time and complete product redesigns. But I’m glad I persisted.

Designing and creating the product’s UI has been the most challenging part of all the electronics in Medicrate as I have had little experience in this in the past. It was also because I wanted to include a large amount of variables that can be edited by the user to alter how different functionalities operate in the device (like length of timers and missed dosage options). Although this part of my project took a considerable amount of time to get right, it ended up working extremely well.

 

Project outcome

The end result of all of this work is an extremely functional, digital product called Medicrate which makes life easier for people who consume daily medication. It is not without its flaws, but it is a piece of work I am extremely proud of which I feel has great potential if pursued further.  

I set out at the beginning of this year to challenge myself and work more with digital technology and I believe I have successfully achieved that.

Future prospects

My time at DJCAD has sparked my interest in digital technology and it has taught me a huge amount of invaluable skills which have set me up for the future. After university, I hope to work in a fast pace, collaborative environment with a role involving both design and technology. I will be sad to leave university, but I am excited for what the future holds.