Designers and manufacturers use product analysis to help them develop ideas for new or improved products and to analyse the work of other designers. Quality assurance is a system of checks and inspections to ensure high standards throughout design and manufacture.
Analysing a textile product involves asking three questions.
- Is it fit for purpose?
- Does it meet the needs of the target market?
- How well is it designed and made?
Designers will consider these questions when analysing both their own designs and the work of other designers. Answering the three questions above will normally involve an evaluation of the following criteria:
- The product's design specification, based on the requirements of the target market and the manufacturing facilities available. Does the product measure up to it?
- The product's target market. What are their needs?
- The product's performance: ie, how suitable it is for its end use and what are its aftercare requirements?
- The quality of the fibres, fabrics and manufacture: eg, how adequate are the stitchings, fastenings and seam allowance?
- The product's aesthetic appeal or stylistic qualities.
- The product's price. Does it give value for money?
- Any safety or moral issues. Does the product conform to safety regulations? What is its impact on the environment?
Designers often start by looking at the work of other designers and analysing the choices they have made. They consider how successfully the product meets these criteria and what could be changed to improve it.
In order to analyse a textile product you will often need to sketch the front and back views, work out and sketch the pattern pieces and work out the order of assembly of the pattern pieces.
Designers and manufacturers evaluate on an ongoing basis during design development and while manufacturing. It is essential to compare your developing work against the design specification and to make and record judgements, improvements and users' views.
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Evaluating your work
An evaluation is a piece of writing where you look at your project as a whole and discuss its successes and weaknesses. This can help others understand what you were trying to achieve. You need to be honest and use appropriate art language. Evaluating your work is really important for getting marks in Assessment Objective 4.
Evaluating your preparatory work
When you're evaluating your preparatory work, you should consider:
- What was the theme for the project?
- How have you developed your ideas? How did your work change through the project?
- How much reference material did you find? Do you think you should have done more or less?
- What artists, art movements or cultures have you looked at to help and inspire you?
- What materials, tools and techniques did these artists use?
- How have your skills developed during the project?
- Are there any aspects of your studies that you wish you had explored further?
Evaluating your final piece
You also need to evaluate your final piece. You should reference relevant work from your preparatory studies.
- How have you used formal elements such as line, tone, colour and shape?
- What materials did you use, and why? Did they work successfully?
- What meaning and messages did you want to convey and were you successful?
- Are you happy with your final piece? Are there any elements you like in particular?
- Is there anything you would change? Why?
When you're evaluating your work, don't forget to say why and how you worked in a certain way.
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