AUSTRALIAN DESIGN AWARDS
|INDEX NO. 98601|
|ISSUE DATE: 5TH DECEMBER, 1997|
|The DesignMark Program|
|Section 1: The Design Process|
|Section 2: The Product|
|Section 3: Production|
|Section 4: Product Life Cycle|
|Summary of the DesignMark Panel|
|Decision of the Assessment Panel|
|The National Manager of the Australian Design Awards has considered the recommendation of the Assessment Panel held on 1st December, 1997 and has agreed to confer the Australian DesignMark on Magic Salon Systems presented by GreyPower Technologies Pty Ltd. The report on which this decision is based, including the conditions which apply to this decision, is attached.|
|THE DESIGNMARK PROGRAM|
|The Australian DesignMark product endorsement program encourages
good design and offers a comprehensive and rigorous assessment of
products by a selection of industry and design experts. This assessment
report includes valuable feedback from the panel. This feedback may
assist future product development.|
Where the Australian DesignMark is granted, the product will be considered for the annual Australian Design Award which recognizes excellence in design. Australian Design Award-winning products represent a benchmark of design excellence for all Australian enterprises. The one Design Award-winning product which surpasses all others in achieving design excellence will receive the Australian Design Award of the Year.
Products which achieve DesignMark certification represent examples of good design and offer additional benefits to the end user.
The DesignMark assessment of the Magic Salon Systems examined four key factors:
|SECTION 1: THE DESIGN PROCESS|
|The object of this section is to confirm that GreyPower Technologies has put in place an organisational structure which delivers products which will fulfil their corporate aims. The framework for this assessment is taken from the general principles of ISO 9000 in relation to product design. It is not necessary for the company to have achieved external accreditation to pass this section.|
1.1 Involvement of Key Personnel
Many people in a commercial organisation are required to contribute
their skills to the successful creation of a new product It is not
necessary that they are involved all of the time, but where their
area of expertise or responsibility is involved they must be formally
recognised and included in the terms of reference of the development team.
The panel considered that GreyPower Technologies had involved all key staff both internal and external in the product development process.
1.2 Team Empowerment
Having selected the team that will develop the product, it is
necessary to ensure that the team members understand their role and
responsibilities in relation to the task at hand. A formal meeting
to empower this team would be expected.
The panel was satisfied that such a meeting did take place and the team formed to develop Magic Salon Systems was given the necessary authority to carry out the task.
1.3 The Brief
1.3 a) Company Objectives
The key to a successful product is a brief which includes all of
the commercial and technical factors as they relate to that company,
its available resources and the market requirements of the product
under development. A good brief is essential for developing a
On this occasion, the panel considered that the brief developed by GreyPower Technologies was appropriate to the aims and resources of the company.
1.3b) Software development in accordance with AS 3925
Software products specifically developed for a single client should
be developed and manage in accordance with AS 3925.
The panel recognise that Magic Salon Systems has not been designed for a single client and therefore AS 3925 is not applicable.
1.4 Market Research
Even where companies have a long standing association with a
particular market or market segment the use of independent market
research can lead to valuable feedback. This research is essential
to developing a successful brief
Based on the information provided, the panel is satisfied that GreyPower Technologies sourced market research which showed a need for the product.
1.5 Concept Generation and Evaluation
The generation of concepts is essential to the exploration of
possible design solutions. Thorough evaluation of these concepts/solutions
is an important part of the design process.|
After considering the information provided in parts a), b) and c).
The panel were satisfied with the process of concept/solution generation and evaluation.
1.6 Formal Review
The process of review ensures that the original corporate goals
for the product are not lost as the project proceeds. There may be
many informal reviews carried out, but there must always be one final
formal review where the original team approve the product for final
The panel concluded that the original development team reviewed the prototype/solution against the original brief before proceeding.
|Testing is a vital step in confirming whether the specifications of the brief have been met or exceeded.|
1.7 a) Alpha Testing
|The panel found that suitable alpha tests were conducted.|
1.7 b) Beta Testing
|The panel found that suitable beta tests were conducted.|
It is considered essential that an archive of the development
process is created and maintained as the project proceeds to assist
in the recovery of important information.
The panel is satisfied that suitable archive records were created and maintained during the development process.
Most organisations recognise that it is good management practice
to document the product development process. Documentation is also a
key requirement of ISO 9000 which stipulates that every stage of the
design and product development process is documented at the time each
decision is made. It is expected that the level of documentation will
vary with the size of the company and the type of product involved.
On the evidence provided the panel found that GreyPower Technologies documentation presented shows a clear audit trail through the development process of Magic Salon Systems and conforms with the general requirements of ISO 9000 for documentation.
|SECTION 2: THE PRODUCT|
|The product is the link between the company and its customers. It is the reason for the company's existence and it is the quality of the product which will determine the company's success. This section defines the attributes of the product which set it apart from its competitors.|
2.1 Product Presentation
The panel were asked to form a general opinion of the product as
displayed, written application and the verbal presentation and on
the day of assessment.
The panel concluded that Magic Salon Systems as displayed was well finished and presented.
The panel concluded that the written application was well presented.
The panel concluded that the verbal presentation was of a high quality.
Product innovation may reduce competitive pressures and allow for
larger margins than competition between generic products. New
features can be linked with brand recognition to build customer loyalty.|
The panel concluded that Magic Salon Systems displays the following innovative feature:
The barcoding system.
2.3 Consumer Benefits
|The panel was satisfied that the benefits claimed were realistic and advantageous to the user.|
2.4 Product Aesthetics
All products must conform to user expectations and aesthetics play a
vital role in the success of a product.|
Based on the information provided, the panel felt that Magic Salon Systems meets the market expectation for visual appearance and is clearly differentiated from its competitors by the use of colours and tailoring the system to the audience is an excellent concept.
2.5 a) Market Expectations (Packaging and Promotional Material)
In addition to the primary function of protecting the product in
transit and in storage, the packaging can also assist in the promotion
of the product. In considering the packaging and other promotional material-|
The panel concluded that the packaging and promotional material was equal to its principal competitors.
The panel recommends that GreyPower Technologies hire the services of a professional graphic designer to redesign the barcode sheets.
2.5 b) Critical Components
Many products/services rely on components sourced from third
parties. Product liability could be incurred as could loss of
reputation when third party equipment supplied as part of the solution fails.|
The panel is satisfied that no critical third party components are included on the GreyPower Technologies product.
2.6 System Platform
The choice of system platform is critical to the efficient operation
of the product and must also be chosen with future needs in mind.
The system platform has been investigated by the panel and found to be suitable.
2.7 User Skill Level
The skill level of the intended user must be considered at the
design stage of the product. Making the product accessible to a wider
group of user skill level can extend the scope and potential of the
The panel is satisfied that Magic Salon Systems has been well designed with the skill level of the user in mind.
2.8 User Interface
There is now a user expectation for uniformity of interface
which aids quick acceptance of the product and promotes rapid
The panel is satisfied that the interface is intuitive.
2.9 Training & Support
Training and support of the product can be archived in many ways.|
The panel consider the training and support to be suitable for Magic Salon Systems.
Product safety is paramount in product design.|
Based on the information provided to the panel, and in their opinion, there are no areas of safety which need to be brought to the attention of GreyPower Technologies.
All product must consider user ergonomics especially in the
workplace where there is a safety consideration. Keyboard based
products must still consider user ergonomics and provide guidance
The panel is satisfied that the designers have considered the user ergonomics. The product uses standard off the shelf equipment.
2.12 Environmental Impact
All products have an impact on the environment, whether by
virtue of the resources needed for manufacture or the further
consumption of resources during its useful life. Reducing these
inputs by way of good design is good for the manufacturer and the
In this context, the panel considers that Magic Salon Systems has not altered the existing environmental impact for products of this type.
2.13 Standards and Codes Compliance
It is a requirement of the DesignMark program that the product and
company areas under assessment comply with all current relevant
standards and industry codes.|
The panel note that GreyPower Technologies complied with all programming standards and codes.
2.14 Patents and Design Registrations
It is recognised that Patent Protection and/or Design Registration
is not a guarantee of commercial success, but may be a sensible
commercial tool to protect a company's market position and
The panel commends the efforts that GreyPower Technologies is employing to protect its commercial interests by way of using an internal or external card which secures the software preventing the system to be operated on any other machine.
2.15 a) Export Potential
|The panel acknowledge the export potential of Magic Salon Systems and commends GreyPower Technologies.|
2.15 b) Import Replacement
|The panel consider that Magic Salon Systems has import replacement potential.|
|SECTION 3: PRODUCTION|
|Production is a key component in the overall delivery of the product. For this reason the Designmark assessment considers only the final product as the user would receive it and not a pre-production sample or a prototype. The principal issues are the realisation of the designers final concept and the conformance with the highest standards of quality for manufactured goods. An important consideration is the environmental impact of the production process.|
3.1 Production Process (Hardware)
Development of a new product offers the opportunity to consider
the introduction of innovative manufacturing techniques and/or technology.|
The panel found that Magic Salon Systems is produced using innovative technology and commends GreyPower Technologies on the following:
3.2 Quality System(s)
Quality systems are recognised as essential tools in improving
product quality and developing sound business practice. The system
in place must be appropriate to the scale and needs of the company.|
The panel note that GreyPower Technologies manufactures to an informal quality system similar to AS/NZS ISO 9001.
3.3 Sub-contractor Quality System(s)
It is common for manufacturers to use sub-contractors in one form
or another. A sub-contractor that uses a recognised quality system
is generally to be preferred to one who does not. In either case the
manufacturer is still under an obligation to inquire into a
sub-contractor's quality system and also have in place its own
system for confirming the quality of the product received from a
GreyPower Technologies does not employ sub-contractors.
|SECTION 4: PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE|
|The product life cycle is becoming an increasingly important consideration in product design. There is a growing consumer awareness of whole of life issues and a growing demand for products that have an extended life or can be recycled. The competitive business environment now demands fuller consideration of warranty and after sales support not only as legal obligations, but also as business tools to secure and maintain customer loyalty.|
4.1 Product Promotion
No product sells itself. Promotion can take many forms and is
dictated by the product, company resources and the intended market.|
The panel commend GreyPower Technologies on its promotion of Magic Salon Systems and consider it an example to others. Advertising, seminars and the use of the internet were highly commended by the panel.
4.2 Physical Distribution
As with promotion many methods may be used to ensure the product
reaches the point of sale and ultimately into the customers hands.|
On this occasion the panel found the distribution method for Magic Salon Systems to be highly appropriate.
4.3 After Sales Support
In addition to the primary role of assisting the consumer to use
the product, after sales support can be used to add value to a product
or differentiate it from its competitors.|
The panel commends GreyPower Technologies for providing a comprehensive after sales service.
4.4 Upgrade Policy
Software product differ from other manufactured products in that
they are constantly subject to Revision whether planned or unplanned.
The company should have a clear understanding of these issues from a
customer perspective and should have a policy in place to cover the
most typical situations.|
The panel found that GreyPower Technologies has a clear and workable upgrade policy.
Warranty issues are normally regarded as minimum legal obligations.
Extended warranties are being increasingly used as marketing tools.
With reference to the period of the warranty and the principle exclusions.|
The panel is satisfied with the warranty offered by GreyPower Technologies on Magic Salon Systems.
4.6 Complaints Resolution
Complaints handling procedures vary from the non existent to the
highly structured. The new Australian Standard AS 4269-1995 Complaints
Handling should be considered by all enterprises before establishing
their own complaints procedures.|
The panel is satisfied that the complaints procedure used by GreyPower Technologies is suitable and beneficial to the company and customers.
4.7 Environmental Risk/Policy
An environmental policy is desirable to prevent the committing
of an offence under various environment protection legislation.
An environmental Management System offers the means for companies
to demonstrate the ways in which they monitor their performance
and lessen their impact on the environment.|
On this occasion the panel concluded that GreyPower Technologies has a sound and responsible environmental policy.
4.8 Packaging and Recycling
Growing environmental focus concerning product packaging and
recycling are leading to tighter controls and voluntary codes to
reduce waste. It is now common practice in Europe for the
supplier/manufacturer to be responsible for the retrieval and disposal
of all packaging materials. Packaging design should consider materials
and assembly/disassembly techniques that aid easy recycling.|
The panel commend GreyPower Technologies for its efforts to reduce unnecessary packaging and the efforts it goes to responsibly deal with packaging issues.
|SUMMARY OF THE DESIGNMARK ASSESSMENT|
Section 1: The Design Process
|The Design process employs all the methodology required and
more, to produce professional results that take into account the
end users needs, therefore creating a successful well designed product.|
The system has been built for the end customer satisfaction and not for the technically minded. Magic Salon Systems operates as a work flow system and walks the user through the programme providing prompts and guides through the processes.
The panel commented that the screen design semantics are not totally intuitive. For example on the invoice screen they would prefer to see the visual guide highlighted as you move through the functions to visually distinguish this area from the other menus.
Section 2: The Product
The product semantics and instructional design issues have been carefully
researched and implemented and have produced an efficient cost effective
solution to what on the surface can be an extremely complicated and
laborious task to do manually.|
The panel commended GreyPower Technologies for developing a superb management tool for hairdressers. Magic Salon Systems is a subtle way of teaching people how to run their business.
Very well thought through.
Section 3: Production of the Product
Product innovation has utilised the best programming methods by
taking into account the various platform issues effectively by
eliminating the need for complex operating systems (DOS).|
The company has and is in the process of producing the next more visually appealing GUI (graphic user interface) for the Win95 platform without compromising and having the need to re-write the software.
The main area of innovation is the fact that the operator can successfully navigate and use the potential of the software without the need of complex instruction.
Section 4: Product Lifecycle
|Product lifecycle of the Magic Salon System has potentially fully utilised all possible methods of guaranteed assurance of updating the software regularly via the use of universal access to the world wide web and full product database updates from a large majority of suppliers.|
|DECISION OF THE ASSESSMENT PANEL|
|After due consideration of the outcome of the investigation into each of the four key areas defined by the DesignMark assessment criteria, the panel recommends that the DesignMark be granted without conditions and congratulates GreyPower Technologies on its dedication to designing and producing quality products.|
|The panel put forward the following non-mandatory recommendations for the ongoing development of the product.|
The panel agreed that GreyPower Technologies may use the following
citation which surnmarises the outcome of the assessment.|
The product design is extremely well thought out for the industry that it targets -"Hairdressing" therefore making it a commercially viable and valuable tool. It is obvious that all attention has been focused upon the need for an intuitive program that takes into account the needs of the end user and not the programmer with the added bonus of subtly teaching the user the fine art of good business management with all the necessary tools required for sensitive information security.
Some of the panels comments
This report is issued by the Australian Design Awards (ADA) and is based on the recommendation of an independent panel convened to examine the product and processes of the applicant company on behalf of ADA. The assessment of the product was based on information provided by the applicant company and was not independently verified by ADA.
The granting of DesignMark and the use of the DesignMark logo are subject to a licensing agreement between GreyPower Technologies and the Australian Design Awards a division of Standards Australia.