Part 2: Production line
This is the second and final part of the platform's operation guide.
For the general features of the platform, revert to the 1st version of the Platform's Operation Guide
Creating a new Product - Concept Phase
Using the appropriate button in the dashboard, the user will be presented with a form for creating a new product. In this form, the user will be asked to fill in a title, a description of the product (as conceptualised), select a category the toy will fall under and the suitable ages. Then he is prompted to fill information about to whom the IP belongs to (the user himself, or his organisation) and if he wants the product to be made public and visible to the homepage.
Finally, the user can upload images (schematics, drawings, concept art or even photographs) and files (budgeting, research material, etc) for the product. Keep in mind that anything uploaded under the “Files” section is only visible by the product owner (and, if the product is owned by an organisation, the members of that organisation).
The images are visible by anyone that has access to the product: everyone in case of a public product, or anyone asked to collaborate on a design/prototype of the product, even before they sign any NDA agreement. So be careful not to upload any confidential images.
After a product is created, the user is redirected to the dashboard again, where its progress is clearly visible. At first, only the Conceptphase is enabled. The product owner can edit the product (using the small blue button to the right) and pressing Continue to Market Analysis(bottom left) to unlock Researchand Designphases.
Market Research Phase - NTUA
When entering the research phase, the product owner has two choices. He can either initiate a Market Trend or a Social Feedback analysis.
The Market Trend analysis can be created at any time. However for a Social Feedback analysis the Market Settings of the product owner’s organisation must be set. The organisation must fill in the twitter accounts that wants monitored as well as create Market Sets, i.e. combinations of brands and products (that may belong to the organisation or its competitors) upon which the visualisations will be built. Configuring the Market Settings will enable the product owner to initiate a Social Feedback analysis as well.
By initiating a Market Trend analysis the product owner will see the following screen.
In this screen the user is asked to fill in some basic information about the analysis such as the name of the analysis, the sources for data retrieval (e.g. twitter, Facebook) and whether influencer mode will be active or not. The most crucial action at this stage is the selection of the keywords that will be used for data retrieval. The tool supports single word keywords and phrases that the user wants to exist in the retrieved documents as well as words and phrases that the user does not want to exist. For example by pressing toy, Barbie, ‘blonde doll, !baby the retriever will return text documents in which the words toy, Barbie and “blonde doll” exist but not the word baby. For the user’s convenience there is a help text below the keywords field to familiarise him with the procedure.
Much like in the case of a Market Trend analysis, in a Social Feedback analysis the first screen a user sees can be seen below, and is exactly the same with that of a Market Trend analysis except for the option to activate influencer mode, the reason being that in a Social Feedback analysis the user wants to know the unbiased opinion of end-users about his or his competitor’s brands and products.
The second set of settings that a user will be called to choose has to do with the time period for data retrieval from the sources that the user specified in the previous step. Starting from the current date, the user has the ability to quick select the previous week, month or year as the time period for data retrieval by clicking one of the blue buttons at the bottom of the screen. The time settings screen is identical for both analyses.
The final set of settings that a user is called to select in a Market Trend analysis has to do with providing concept’s and parameters that will formulate the final visualisations. The concepts of interest are terms/ideas that a user wants to monitor and understand crowd perception and market trends spinning around them. On the other hand, the parameters are features on which the concepts of interest will be analysed and compared. For example, a concept could be “baby dolls” and the parameter could be the material of the toy, e.g. wood, plastic etc. The format for selecting the concepts of interest follows the same logic as the keywords in the custom settings while the parameters’ values are a number of comma separated words.
On the other hand, the final set of settings in a Social Feedback analysis is handled in the organisation’s profile. The organisation must fill in the twitter accounts that wants monitored as well as create Market Sets, i.e. combinations of brands and products (that may belong to the organisation or its competitors) upon which the visualisations will be built. The keywords are set in the same way as the keywords in the custom settings of the analysis. As already mentioned, these settings must be filled by the organisation to grant access for a Social Feedback analysis. The keywords, accounts, brands and products configured in this page will be the same for every Social Feedback analysis of said organisation and can be edited at any point.
After configuring the analysis settings the product owner may proceed to the visualisations page where he can see various graphs, charts and lists. Every visualisation has an accompanying text to help the product owner understand what he is seeing at each chart.
Any time during the product creation lifecycle, after the Design Phase is unlocked, the product owner (or anyone in his organisation), can create any number of product designs.
Creating a design is straight forward. Note that in Designs (as with prototypes later) the “Files” section is shared with collaborators, when one is added to the design.
After a design is created, the user has 7 available options by selecting the relevant button as shown below:
It refers to proceeding in any type of edits in the initially uploaded design.
AR Models - Augment Reality Module
This is a link to a page that has everything that has to do with Augmented Reality models. Here the user can see a list of AR models (along with the numbers of downloads, comments and the user average rating) and options to create new ones and edit or delete existing ones. In addition to that, the user has access to a an analysis of user interaction for each AR model (clicking on its name), where product owner can what users believe about the AR model. Creating an AR model, requires (in addition to the AR model files) a title and a description and defining 3 feedback categories for the users. These categories default to Design, Features and Novelty, while a 5-star rating system is employed.
After selecting this option, the user can see the models related to the design and then the feedback received for each design/ AR model.
Regarding AR-based feedback, the user can either see aggregated information or examine one-by-one the users that participated and the answers they provided.
Create new version
Archives (see below) the current version of the design and redirects the user to a pre-filled (title, description) design creation form to create a new version of a design. Every collaboration that was formed in current version of the design is archived, and the new version is clear of collaborations (must use the partner matching module to search for partners again).
Opens a page with all the partners the user has activecollaborations (on current design) with. Clicking on an organisation, the feedback discussion thread between the product owner and the collaborator can be accessed.
Collaborations - Partner Matching Module
Here the user can see an Overview of his collaborations along with their statuses (negotiating, accepted, archived). Clicking on an organisation name, the negotiation thread is accessed, and (if the collaboration is in negotiation phase) messages can be exchanged. Keep in mind that messages both in feedback and collaborations pages can be accessed through the messages menu (at the top navigation bar, clicking on the envelop icon).
In addition to the list of organisations the user is collaborating with, he can search for organisations to collaborate with. This is done through the search interface in two ways:
· Quick search: typing the name of the organisation in the search field and clicking on the organisation’s name
· Advanced search: filling his requirements, and in the list of organisations presented, press the contact button
In the advanced search, the results are ranked and sorted based on user requirements. Clicking the contact button, product owner can message the desired organisation’s owner about a collaboration on a design, exchange files (NDA agreements, contracts, schematics etc) and finally add him as a collaborator to the design.
Note here that while every member of an organisation can contact other organisations to collaborate on a design, only the organisation owner can add someone as a collaborator.
Besides the list of products a user (or his organisation) is working on, two more lists of products appear in user’s dashboard (if they exist):
· Archived Collaborations
In both these tabs, the user has access to designs and prototypes made by other organisations, and where the user (or his organisation) has accepted to collaborate on. The Collaborations tab contains a list of the active ones, where the Archived Collaborations contains (obviously) the archived ones. Both tabs provide access to the product and design/prototype pages of each collaboration, along with the feedback messages exchanged between the partners. For the active collaborations, the user can continue to provide feedback, while in the archived, the message thread is locked.
Clicking on the create prototype option, the design is archived, and the prototype creation form is presented, pre-filled with design’s title and description. Creating a prototype, enables the Prototype Phase.
Archiving triggers two actions:
- puts a design in a special status, where the user can only access the AR models and the feedback options
- for each collaboration, asks both partners to rate the collaboration between them based on Quality, Co-operation and Communication. The feedback interface is found in the same page as messages and notifications.
Prototype Phase is very similar to the Design phase. In this page, the user can generate as many prototypes as needed, and for each prototype has the same options as Design Phase (see above), with the exception of “Create new version” and “Create Prototype” which are missing, and a new option “Move to Production”, that moves a prototype to Production Phase, thus concluding the product creation phase. The rest actions (Edit Prototype, AR models, Feedback, Collaborations and Archive Prototype) work in a similar way as their corresponding actions in the Design Phase.
Product Page / Organisation Page
The product page is a page containing details about the product under development, including indicative picture(s). From the product page, the user can easily get to the organisation page where the profile of the organisation who created the product is being shown.
The page of any organisation within the Toylabs platform, can also be accessed directly just by pressing on the “Members” menu item in order to get the full list of the organisations – members of the Toylabs platform. Note here that only the registered organisations list is available, something that doesn’t stand for individuals as their profile information contains sensitive data.
For any organisation with active participation in the platform, any registered user can get a list of products that the organisation has initiated, no matter in which phase the development is, as long as the related designs or products are identified as “public”.