Designing a counting device

The assignment: create a prototype device to meet these qualifications:

 Design a physical object that can sit on a desk that allows a user to count up or down. The target audience is someone who wants to keep a numeric tally and have a physical reminder of their progress to display for themselves and others on their desk.

The device has to be able to do all of these things, minimally:

  • set a number to count up to
  • set a number to count down from
  • progress up/down by one
  • undo
  • display the number

My idea was to create something that gave visual feedback, and that you could have a visual reference of your progress. So my counter I wanted to have something that as it increased/decreased you could have a reference that went beyond displaying a  number.

The idea is that you have ring-shaped objects that you keep adding to a stick everytime you want to count up. If you want to count down, you start with the rings on the stick and keep taking them out.

I designed a device that has the sticks, a container to keep the rings, a visual reference of the numbers and a place for the user to write their goal. This is the sketch if it:

For my prototype, I used wood for the base, container, vertical display and for the sticks. For the rings, I ended up using Cheerios (yes, the cereal). I like the result. If I wanted to make it better, I would etch the numbers using the laser cutter.

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