V. Ryan 2001 - 2010

Research is a very important aspect of any project and if you want to achieve a high grade you must complete all the sections below and any others that are relevant to your individual project.

The Library - Go the the library and look up information related to your project. Collect anything that could be useful - written work, information diagrams, pictures and present all this in your folder. You may need to photocopy.

  What research do you intend to do at the library ?

Materials - Collect information about a range of materials and include this in the research section. Remember, you must always say how the materials could be used in your designs or why they are not suitable. Never copy straight from a book.


What information on materials do you need to collect ?


Photographs - Take photographs of anything that will help you in your research. For example, if you are designing a toy for a very young child you could visit a nursery and take photographs of children using toys and include this in your research section.


What could you photograph for your project ?


Personal interview - Interview someone who may be able to help you with your research. For example, if you are designing a clock, interview someone who deals with clocks or even helps to make them. Tape the interview and hand it in as part of the research.


Who could be interviewed and what information could they give you ?



Test existing examples - If possible, collect some existing examples of the type of product you are designing and test them. Do they work properly ? Can they be improved in any way ? Write an account of each test and take photographs or video.

  List some existing products.

Ergonomics and Anthropometrics - (see separate sheet) These two areas apply to all projects. At least one sheet should be devoted to this area.


What ergonomics information will you need to research ?


Environmental and Cultural aspects - What are the environmental benefits of the products you have researched? How do they benefit us ?


How could you apply the environment to your project ?


The Survey/Questionnaire - You must carry out a questionnaire and present the results as a pictogram or graph. Usually pupils present the results as a table of statistics as well.

  What type of questionnaire could you carry out ?

Examples from Catalogues / newspapers / books etc.... Photocopy / draw examples from books and catalogues and arrange them carefully on sheets of A3 paper. Write notes about the pictures and always say what you think of the examples.


Name some existing products and how much they cost.


CD-ROM / Internet - Use a CD-ROM to find information that you could include in your project. This may involve using an encyclopaedia on CD to look up information. Always state clearly that the information was printed from an encyclopaedia on CD-ROM. This type of research will gain you extra marks.


Name a website that may be useful for researching your product/design problem.


Safety - You must look at the safety of any item you are designing. Look at existing examples and make notes stating clearly what is good in terms of safety or how they could be improved.

  Why is safety important ?

Colours / Themes / Image etc... Choosing the right colours or colour scheme is very important for most projects. Investigate different colours and shades of colour and try them out on paper. Add your comments.

  Is colour important for your research ? Why ?

Mass Production - Explain how the product you have researched was made on a production line.

  What types of mass production are there ?