An introduction to design engineering
An introduction to design engineering

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

An introduction to design engineering

3.2 Design driver examples

Practise your understanding of design drivers by giving examples of each type of design driver defined in Section 3. For each one, try to consider the primary design driver from the point of view of the user.

Activity 5 Exploring design drivers

Allow 20 minutes to complete this activity

Use the table below to suggest an example of a design that responds to each of the drivers listed. Write each one as a single sentence summary point and try to explain how the design responds to the driver. (See the top line for an example.)

Table 2 Example of a design

Driver Design How?
To meet a need Mobile phone My mobile phone meets the need of communicating with other people by allowing me to contact anyone I know directly and at any time (if they’re there…)
To meet a need
You can type text here, but this facility requires a free OU account. Sign in or register.
You can type text here, but this facility requires a free OU account. Sign in or register.
To solve a problem
You can type text here, but this facility requires a free OU account. Sign in or register.
You can type text here, but this facility requires a free OU account. Sign in or register.
To fulfil a desire/demand
You can type text here, but this facility requires a free OU account. Sign in or register.
You can type text here, but this facility requires a free OU account. Sign in or register.
To improve something
You can type text here, but this facility requires a free OU account. Sign in or register.
You can type text here, but this facility requires a free OU account. Sign in or register.
To respond to change
You can type text here, but this facility requires a free OU account. Sign in or register.
You can type text here, but this facility requires a free OU account. Sign in or register.
‘Just because’
You can type text here, but this facility requires a free OU account. Sign in or register.
You can type text here, but this facility requires a free OU account. Sign in or register.
Words: 0
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Discussion

Below are some examples; you may have chosen very different ones and that is absolutely fine. Compare your own examples to these and consider how well they exemplify the stated driver.

Table 3 Example of a design - suggested answers

Driver Design How?
To meet a need Mobile phone My mobile phone meets the need of communicating with other people by allowing me to contact anyone I know directly and at any time (if they’re there…)
To solve a problem Tin opener A tin opener solves the problem of how to open a can of food. I put this as solving a problem because there are lots of different types of tin opener and also different ways of opening a tin.
To fulfil a desire/demand National Grid (the entire system!) Our desire and demand for instantly available energy is the main driver for the National Grid in the UK. The individual elements in the system might solve problems or meet needs, but these all serve the main purpose of fulfilling people’s desire for instant energy.
To improve something Double-glazed window units Modern double-glazed windows improve the thermal performance of older single-glazed windows. Some of them even look okay.
To respond to change Laptop computer My laptop makes use of a solid-state hard drive, a technology that came down in price significantly at the time of writing.
‘Just because’ Web services Web services, like Mr. doob, are sometimes developed simply because their developers can, or want to, explore a new technology, or see what is possible. Sometimes, simply playing with something leads to radically new ideas.

As mentioned at the start of this section, identifying precisely what the primary driver is can be difficult. A project may spend time in the early stages trying to set these out very carefully to get it off to a good start. These projects recognise that the primary driver has a huge impact on how the later stages of a design progress – affecting decisions, approvals and validation.

T192_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus