2.009 Product Engineering Processes

Observation Exercise

This exercise will help you practice your customer observation skills and also help you to develop a broader range of ideas for the project. Simply watching potential customer behaviors (unobtrusively) and talking to people is an excellent way to identify product opportunities. Any time that you are out and about is an opportunity to observe!

This exercise is scheduled to help your 2.009 project idea generation in the second week of lab.

There is also an optional, special tutorial on Friday, September 16 at 5 PM in 3-370 to help you develop skills for observing and learning from potential users.

One member of your lab section should complete the web form below and submit it for your entire section. After picking your section in the combination box, assign each section member to one venue to go and observe. Since there are more options than section members, all places will not be assigned. After all section members have been assigned, submit the form. Your section and the course instructor will receive an email with the venue assignments.

Details of how to complete your observation task are with the observation submission instructions.

Venue list with suggestions

an airport
an art museumCouncil for Arts at MIT provides free general admission for MIT students to the Harvard Art Museums, Institute of Contemporary Art, and Museum of Fine Arts (details)
an art studioMIT Student Art Association, MIT Glass Lab, Mucky Kids Art Studio in Cambridge
a children's museumBoston Children's Museum has $1 admission on Friday nights 5-9pm
MIT Museum has Paper Circuits Idea Hub program noon-4pm on Sunday, 9/18 (free admission with MIT ID)
a composting or recycling centerCambridge has 4 drop-off food scrap locations
Cambridge recycling center is open Saturdays 9am-4pm
Earthworm Recyclers
a construction site
a dog parkBoston and Cambridge dog parks
a fair or festivalthings to do in Cambridge on Saturday, including Curious George Birthday Bash, Danehy Park Family Day, Revels RiverSing
Eastern Massachusetts list, including The Big E
a farmBelmont Acres Farm in Belmont (farmstand open Saturdays 1-5pm), Drumlin Farm in Lincoln
a fire station
a garagesearch for "auto repair shops" to get a list of ones nearby
a gym
Harvard Square
a homeless shelterDirectory of shelters in the Cambridge & Boston area
Food pantries and/or soup kitchens
a hospital
a makerspaceArtisan's Asylum, a community fabrication center in Somerville (tours at 2 & 4pm on Sat/Sun)
Parts and Crafts, a kid's makerspace in Somerville has open shop on Saturday, noon-2pm.
an orchardMassachusetts Pick Your Own Farm listings
otherHave an idea for a great place to do your observation exercise? Let us know where your'd like to go!
a park
Quincy Market
a raceSurvival Beach race on Saturday, 9/17 in Revere, MA (North of Boston, Revere Beach MBTA Station)
Your First Mud Run on Sunday, 9/18 in Holyoke, MA (Western MA - need car)
a restaurant
a shipping and receiving location
a zooFranklin Park Zoo, Stone Zoo, Museum of Science


Lab section:


Section member
select section first

I have completed the form and I am ready to

(Note: You will be redirected to the course home page after submission is complete.)