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Design Ideas 

Electronic Products



You will notice that you have gone through a lot of work before you have got to the design ideas. The reason for this is you need to have all the relevant information on hand to make sure you will be designing the product you said you were going to design. We do take into account changes that occur due to development but is it really acceptable to produce an alarm when your research is based around a portable metronome?

This does not mean that you shouldn't consider designing, but you will obtain higher marks if you design with your user needs in mind and any other relevant knowledge you obtained through research. Remember to always record all ideas (even the ones you consider not very good) and write notes on what you were thinking when you designed it.

Pupils are expected to produce a range of designs for the circuit, including both block and schematic diagrams (such as you get on crocodile clips) showing a range of appropriate systems and solutions. You are expected to produce a range of appropriate solutions for for the casing of your project, this can be done with a range of annotated sketches and drawing. Each of the ideas should be evaluated against the design specification (s) leading towards the choice of the final designs.

Your design ideas must reflect the information gathered from the possible user (s), your research and the designs must conform to the design specification. These designs must be as a result of detailed evaluation and consideration of the need and fitness for purpose.

All of your early designs need to include notes (annotation) explaining the good and bad points of your design. They should include ways of making the design, appropriate materials and methods of production. You may consider a variety of materials, or mix the materials. Some parts of your design could be made using the CAD CAM machine, others couldn't, explore all alternatives.

Choosing the final designs:
From your design ideas you will need to choose one of each product (circuit & Casing) to be developed as your final prototype. You could produce a second questionnaire asking possible users what they think of your designs leading to the choice of the final one.
This information can also be used to help develop the final idea into the final design.  See Design development.

Presentation of your design ideas:
Presentation of your work is important, try to ensure that you use a range of appropriate techniques that may include

  • Free hand sketches (with notes)
  • 2D and/ or 3D drawings both by hand and computer (CAD).
  • 2D and/ or 3D models
  • Perspective or exploded drawings where appropriate
  • Block diagrams
  • Circuit diagrams

Note* Some teachers have different ideas on the range of techniques required, speak to your teacher at this point.

How to get Highest marks for ideas and development


Please note this project guide and the others available at www.gglover.co.uk should be used in conjunction with your own teacher advice and exam board requirements. If in doubt ask your teacher!