Dissecting an Interaction; Sharpening a Pencil

By; Mhairi Robertson, Sam Stadden, Olivia Shin, Jacky Tse

Pencil sharpening is a common interaction that many people perform everyday. While wooden pencils may be loosing popularity due to mechanical pencils, drawing pencils are usually still made of wood. As OCAD students, we use drawing pencils on a regular basis and we felt that this interaction was especially relevant to our audience.

The pencil sharpening process is very simple, as you can see from our flow chart. It was relatively easy to map out user patterns. We found three main patterns; users turn the pencil but not the sharpener, users turn the sharpener but not the pencil, and users turn both. The most common method was users turning both and the lease common method was users turning the pencil sharpener only.

For the most part we think the pencil sharpener does it’s job adequately. There are still room for improvements that would make it easier on the user. Our solution include making the sharpener transparent so users can see what is going on, keeping a round base and including two holes. We found that all our solutions existed already in pencil sharpeners, they just needed to be fused together to create the most efficient pencil sharpener.

Feel free to look up our video footage here; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-FOZIurouQ