The Graphrite is designed specifically for use by engineering students, the aim being to combine different graphing tools into a single compact device. Invented by Keith Meikrantz, an engineering student here at Grove City College, it’s meant for the same. The reviews from engineering students here have all been positive, with many of Keith’s peers asking him for Graphrites of their own to use. As a design minor, I recognize how important clean sketching can be and had an inkling it could be useful for my fellow students. In pursuit of developing that idea and creating a bond between the STEM and Liberal Arts majors, I scheduled a meeting with one of Professor Nate Mucha’s upper level design classes.
The meeting, which took place in the studio in Pew Fine Arts Center, was a successful demonstration both of the product itself and of how it interacted with a diverse group of majors and students outside STEM programs. Discussing the Graphrite, the students discussed how it would affect their work, the different effects they could see it having on their work, and more. Some notable distinctions they made were about color, shape, and line. While the Graphrite comes in a variety of transparent colors, the darker the color the more difficult it is to see the page through the colored plastic. This informed us that future production runs will most likely include only lighter colored plastics. Secondly, the shape of the Graphrite was something all the students found appealing. While different modifications were suggested, the shape automatically suggests purpose and pre-meditated design. Professor Mucha mentioned that the bright colors and interesting shape were very interesting and stimulating, and went on to suggest the different applications for the Graphrite. From a design perspective however, he praised its quality and function, along with aesthetic appeal.
Ultimately, this meeting, both with Professor Mucha and his class, helped the Graphrite Team widen our vision of what our product can do and who our product can be used by. Professor Mucha gave us great real-world business leads, and our peers gave us excellent reviews of what a potential target market thinks of the product. Hopefully future interactions with customers and users will only lend more insights into how we can improve our product for future iterations.