Internet-Based Innovation Screening and Pre-Assessment Tool - Prototype Methodology Implementation
Thesis DisciplineMechanical Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Engineering
This thesis presents the groundwork development of an Internet-based idea assessment tool to guide innovators through the design process and educate them on the ‘best practices’ of transforming creative ideas into marketable products. The system triages registered users based on their knowledge, assesses the most suitable level of technical terminology and completes a pre-assessment of ideas. The outputs of the developed system are an idea outline, a product requirements list, a basic opportunity summary and an opportunity score for the idea being assessed. An extensive literature review on popular product development methodologies was conducted to identify which methodology would be robust enough to be used as part of an online process to assess ideas. A review of 3,600 Internet websites on product innovation and product development indicated a lack of guidance offered on the many product design processes available and mixed messages regarding which to use. The Internet search identified a lack of structure for innovators as well as a lack of coordinated educational resources to guide innovators. Combining the results of the literature review and the information gathered during the Internet search, an online system was developed using several programming languages to complete the pre-assessment tasks. A series of tests were conducted using volunteers to establish the viability of the assessment process developed and test the features developed to improve user/website interaction. Suggestions for further development of the model and method will be made at the conclusion of the thesis. The work presented in this thesis provides an excellent foundation for future development of an Internet-based idea assessment tool to guide innovators through the design process.