The Specification

Writing a Design Specification is a very important part of the making process.

A good Design Specification should include lots of information.

It is a list of all the requirements of a safe and well made engineered product.

It is the checklist that you need to use when you start to make your design ideas.

Your Design Specification should have all of the following information.

  • The Audience- Who you are designing for? Who will use the product that you make? 
  • The Objective - What will your product do?  Why will your product be useful? How will your product be used?
  • How will your product be made? What it should look like (Size/colours/etc) What it should be made from?What tools will be needed to make the product ? What time is needed to complete the product?
  • Usage - How it will be used?
This is an example of a good Design Specification for a Clock Project:
  • Must use the Quartz analogue clock movement provided.
  • The movement is 55mm x 55mm x 15mm, so it must be larger that 55mm x 55mm.
  • Should be smaller that 300mm x 300mm due to the size of the hands.
  • Cannot be thicker that 5mm due to the length of the movement shaft.
  • Should have a theme that reflects the results from my survey.
  • Must be original in its design.
  • Should be made from MDF, timber or acrylic as are the most suitable.
  • Must be able to be made in the TIS workshop.
  • Can not be too difficult to make.
  • Must be cost effective to make.
  • Should be easy to read.
  • Should be safe. (No sharps edges, non-toxic)
  • Must be able to hang on the wall securely
  • Must be able to be made in the time provided.
  • Must tell the time!
Test: I could test my clock by;
  1. Conducting a survey of my intended market
  2. Check that it can be read form various distances, angles and by various people.
  3. Ensure that it keeps accurate time by checking it against the clock on a computer.
  4. Check to see if the batteries can be replaced easily.
  5. Check that it hangs on the wall well and will not fall if bumped.
Here is another example (for a Skill Game) using headings:
- Will be 'hand' size. (120x120x20 approx)
- Will be made in the time given. (5-6 weeks)
- Will be made from the materials provided.
- (Softwood, acrylic, plywood, MDF)
Function (How it works)
- Must be either a maze or a 'ball in the hole' type of game.
- Must be an appropriate difficulty level for the age group.
- Must have at least one ball
Aesthetics: (the looks)
- Should be appealing for the target market.
- Should look 'well made'
- Must have no splinters
- Must have not sharp edges or points
- Must be made from non-toxic materials
- The ball should roll freely and not get caught.
- Needs to be well made and of good construction
- Needs to be durable, tough and hard wearing
- Should be smooth o the touch
- Should use the minimum amount of materials possible
- Waste kept to a minimum
- Use recycled materials wherever possible.

Now write your Design Specification for your Engineered Product.

Challenge yourself to write a very detailed Design Specification.