Does it make sense economically? – When looking at the available market for technology in education, and the potential to capture previously lost market share back from competitors, this venture makes sense.

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Craig Summary Post

My chosen project is to create a new iPad, with an operating system that allows for the device to develop and grow alongside the student. Beginning with simple, intuitive, touchscreen applications at first, and growing to be more ‘laptop-like’ as the student gets old – allowing for the use of a keyboard and other peripherals.

As Apple currently has iPad and Mac products on the market, along with operating systems for both product lines, this would be more of a redesign of existing products. This aligns with what the textbook notes, that a redesign is initiated due to market opportunities and are based around competitive, cost, and economic factors (Stevenson, 2017).

The process of product design looks to guide an idea through from just a thought in someone’s mind, to the final product that can be shipped and sold. There are several key questions that companies look to answer before they move forward with an idea;

  1. Is there demand? – in our case, the answer would be yes. With more and more schools turning to technology to aid teaching, with 41 percent of teachers and 68 percent of students using technology to write papers (Gallup, Inc, 2019).
  2. Can it be done? – When working with Apple, nothing is impossible. Apple has consistently been at the forefront of innovation and development over the past two decades.
  3. What level of quality is appropriate? – One of Apple’s main reasons for success is the quality of its products (Kerr, 2012). Only the highest quality would be accepted by Apple, and this would be no different.
  4. Does it make sense economically? – When looking at the available market for technology in education, and the potential to capture previously lost market share back from competitors, this venture makes sense.

When coming up with a new product, the project goes through phases on its journey to fruition. Initially, a feasibility analysis is conducted to understand whether the market truly needs the product, and if the product fits within its mission (Stevenson, 2018).

In terms of feasibility and need for our product, an analysis of the education sector has found that schools are receiving less funding. In 2017 there were 1.4 million more students than a decade earlier, but schools received 10 percent less funding (Leachmann, Masterson & Figueroa, 2017). This puts constraints on schools and producing a device that can be retained by a student for a longer period of time will help to ease these, even if just a little.

Within the product specifications portion of product design, Apple will look towards collecting data surrounding what is needed to meet their customer’s needs. Apple works with educational institutes throughout the United States to deploy iPad into classrooms, with many schools citing the need to provide students access to digital courses, and self-paced learning styles to achieve the best results (Apple Inc, 2017).

In developing our product, Apple should take a more proactive approach towards data gathering for requirements. The iPad in Education whitepaper, whilst produced by Apple, was not collated or performed by Apple – but rather by third party researchers. These reports tend to be either focused on one product (as the case with the report cited earlier) or focused more on the use of technology within schools, but not on the type of device used.

After product specifications, process specifications, are developed. This encompasses the researching of alternative, availability of materials, and quality planning (Stevenson, 2017). In terms of alternative products for our sector, Apple can look to the current iPad and Mac products on the market – as well as competitor devices currently being deployed to schools.

We can take data that we have previously discussed to identify that alternative products such as the iPad and Mac products currently available from Apple are not feasible due to price and/or application reasons. Knowing that there is a key turning point in a student’s journey when they begin to prefer a laptop device, likely around middle-to-high school age (Cavanagh, 2017).

From here, where Apple could be seen to be at this current time, there are a further 5 phases to designing and introducing a new product. Prototype developmenttesting, and review must all happen before our product is launched, with continuous evaluation and improvements afterwards.

The development, testing, and review would all be done through Apple’s product design team. A group of employees designated for a project, that are then separated from the rest of the company and provided with greater capabilities to design and implement ideas.

Within the prototype, testing, and review phases, Apple moves through cycles lasting 4-6 weeks where product is built, reviewed, and improved upon (Interaction Design Foundation, n.d.); emphasizing Apple’s dedication to quality products and design.


Apple Inc. (2017). iPad in Education: Worldwide Results. Retrieved November 21, 2019, from https://images.apple.com/education/docs/ipad-in-education-results.pdf


Cavanagh, S. (2017, June 07). Students’ Tablet, Smartphone Usage Climbs, With Strong Appetite for Apps. Retrieved November 21 2019, from https://marketbrief.edweek.org/marketplace-k-12/student_tablet_smartphone_usage_climbs_with_strong_appetite_for_apps/


Gallup, Inc. (2019, November 13). Creativity in Learning. Retrieved November 21, 2019, from https://www.gallup.com/education/267449/creativity-learning-transformative-technology-gallup-report-2019.aspx.


Interaction Design Foundation. (n.d.). Apple’s Product Development Process – Inside the World’s Greatest Design Organization. Retrieved November 21, 2019, from https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/apple-s-product-development-process-inside-the-world-s-greatest-design-organization.


Kerr, D. (2012, July 31). Jonathan Ive: For Apple, it’s quality, not quantity. Retrieved November 21, 2019, from https://www.cnet.com/news/jonathan-ive-for-apple-its-quality-not-quantity/.


Leachman, M., Masterson, K., & Figueroa, E. (2017, November 29). A Punishing Decade for School Funding. Retrieved November 18, 2018, from https://www.cbpp.org/research/state-budget-and-tax/a-punishing-decade-for-school-funding


Stevenson, W. J. (2018). Operations management, 13th Ed. McGraw-Hill Education.

Matthew Summary Post

As we have read the design process for creating and developing new products and/or services can be very complex. A constructive design process should incorporate representatives from functional teams from all across the business. Some of the activities that go into the design process include: translating customer needs, refining existing products/services, developing new products/services, creating goals and forecasts, testing/prototyping, documentation, and process creation. Obviously, these are general guidelines and steps in the process and individual initiatives will all have their own unique sets of activities that need to take place.

My business opportunity involves Airbnb, which is an online company that essentially provides a service or digital product as their main offering. For this reason, the design process begins with the customer in mind. Realistically, that is something that should be top of mind for any type of company regardless of what they are creating, but Airbnb truly embraces this design philosophy and does everything to always create a superior customer experience. There are many individual roles that go into building a successful digital product on a large scale. While many individuals bring their own unique skill sets, many of these skills are crossover allowing teams to be built across functional units.

Airbnb starts out the design process by considering the customer needs. In this particular case, is there a need for an Airbnb loyalty program? Airbnb takes this concept one step further by really thinking about what impact the company is having on the customer. What emotions are invoked by their interactions? Airbnb wants to create a customer journey in which they are creating positive memories for their customers. That is in line with the mission of the organization, “to create a world where people can belong through healthy travel that is local, authentic, diverse, inclusive and sustainable” (Airbnb, 2019). Everything that Airbnb does is driving toward this mission with a high level of focus on their customers.

Airbnb has seen great success in their service process design and the company prides itself on the work they have done in creating customer journeys and experiences for their guests and hosts. The process starts with the team identifying a list of emotions that are associated with a stay with Airbnb. From there, the process is to broaden the scope of the customer interaction. Identifying customer feelings on the entire process from planning a trip to completing the trip and feeling valued as a customer. Airbnb will take their successful approach to customer journey mapping and apply it to the process of designing the loyalty program.

In addition to the customer journey and value mapping, Airbnb will also conduct market research on the existing loyalty programs in the industry. Fortunately there is a lot of data out there as the traditional hotel companies have been using loyalty programs for years and there have been many studies conducted on the programs that are successful and those that fail. This research will not only give Airbnb a benchmark for how to design their service (and/or how not to design it) but also allow the company to identify the areas in which they will want to gain customer feedback to continuously improve their operation.

The knowledge gained through research will help the Airbnb design team come up with customer journeys and storyboards for the implementation of the new loyalty program service. Once there is a viable product that can be introduced to a test market, the team will also use tools like A/B testing and user acceptance to see what elements of the program the users like the most and identify areas for improvement. While this will be critical during the beta testing stages of the process, it is not something that stops when the program goes live. Airbnb is committed to continuous improvement and wants all of their employees to “continuously be shipping” new products and features across the platform.


Airbnb. (2019). About Us. Retrieved from: https://press.airbnb.com/en-us/about-us/

Stevenson, W. (2017) Operations Management: 13th Addition. New York, New York: McGraw Hill Education


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