After exploring a problem for a while, good designers will
often establish their own design criteria that their
preferred version of the product must meet. These criteria
will still meet the constraints and specifications
of the challenge, but focus attention on specific product
performances the designer has determined are most important.
For instance, most students focus on the time of descent when they start
the parachute challenge. However, by focusing on the clock, they miss observing how the parachute performs,
which can inform what needs changing more than the time it takes for a chute to hit
the floor. Here are other design criteria that be noted:
Path - Does your model parachute go straight down,
at an angle, or oscillate while descending? Minimizing
or avoiding oscillating is better.
Descent Does the canopy remain balanced
during descent, or does it lean to one side, oscillate?
Does it flip over while descending? The canopy
should be stable during descent, and not oscillate.
Inflated Canopy Does the canopy remain
fully inflated, or does it sometimes partial or fully
collapse? Once inflated, the chute should stay
inflated. Chutes that are large and do not carry much
of a load often do not fully inflate.