Interview with designer Yusheng (Akira) Deng (YD), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Knotch Bluetooth Wristwatch.

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Interview with Yusheng (Akira) Deng at Sunday 20th of April 2014: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
YD : Nowadays, there are many competitors and brands that started to produce smart-watches but they all had one thing in common, which was that the smart-watches are actually another mobile device within the watch. Therefore, we wanted to create a watch that is smart, but we still want the user to think of it as a watch instead of a mobile device. Knotch has only one additional function, receiving notification, so it was affordable by the youngsters who like to follow fashion trend.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
YD : My main focus was the users because I would like the watch to be able to interact closely with the users. I want to design a watch that can be wildly accepted by the users

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
YD : I might start to make this design widely available in the market.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
YD : It took me few months to design this design from the problem to the final designed product.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
YD : I wanted to design this particular design because I thought it could be a much better design competition than other smart watches in the current market since it has a lower price, and a better concept for being a "watch".

DI: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
YD : This product is not sold yet, and I do not have a plan to sell to other company or product it myself, but it is all up to the companies and how they see our design.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
YD : It is from observation from everyday life. It leads me to the inspiration of the design as you can read it on the designed description.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
YD : Yes, my best friend Samson So Ming Cheung helped to design this work as well. He shares the same amount of design passion as me, and he has a very good design sense as well.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
YD : It can be used for any age, and any gender, but according to the trend, it might be more suitable for teenagers, any gender who want to stand out in the high technology fashion accessories.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
YD : It has a lower cost, so it can be more affordable, and also it does not feel like an another mobile device worn on the watch, so users can wear it as a usual watch when it has a similar function as a smart watch that could be very useful.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
YD : I wanted to name this design that has never been named so The name would be only for our watch. The name "Knotch" was inspired from a very good friend of mine and it means "Know the Notification From Watch".

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
YD : I used Adobe Photoshop CS6, and Solidworks with usual design tools like paper, pen and so on.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
YD : The most unique aspect of our design is the interface and the great visibility from the watch panel.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
YD : No, but soon I will develop this design with people who has technical skills.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
YD : Bluetooth connectivity of the watch with the phone to gain notification and to update the time.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
YD : My design used many data from user and market research, so I can product something that will suit the market and the user very well. Friends, Family, and other people around us were used as a sample to target our product. Since our focus was to come up with a user-friendly and ergonomically friendly watch as well as the functions, both qualitative and quantitative research was done. Up to more than 10 initial designs were created, and we figured the best way to add all the good points together to come up with our final design. We kept going back to our sampled users to find feedback in order to improve our designs.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
YD : The hardest part of this project was to put both most up-to date technology and the users' wish into our design. At first, it was very hard to come up with the aesthetic design of the watch since we were focusing heavily on balancing the human factors that will be applied on the watch and how the watch can stand out when it is in use. Furthermore, it was extremely important to bring out our main function: to be able to know the notification without having to bring out the phone. At the end, we both decided not to start the generation of ideas by thinking it as a watch, so in the end we have designed something that broke all the traditions of a normal watch yet still be able to look as a watch.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
YD : Joining competition was one my design dream because I can share my ideas with many countries and to learn from many other professional designers as well.

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
YD : I learn to focus more on the precision of the watch as well as the overall aesthetic of the watch because The real beauty of the overall aesthetic of the watch is enhanced from the small specific angles or dimension of the watch.

DI: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
YD : Not that I am aware of.