So the Product Team and I spent our workday on the front lawn throwing flying discs back and forth and playing fetch with resident canine fetch machine, Nellie.  Yep, that was our day, and we were getting paid, benefits, everything for playing fetch.  Sound like a dream job?  It is for me, but really it is all part of our ongoing design process.  Design, test, design, test, design, test, hug your test dog, design, test, design, test, product release.

Hovercraft

With all the playtime and attention, Nellie thought she was still at home dreaming from her Urban Sprawl™ bed.  She was ensconced in flying discs – fabric, rubber, plastic, foam.  A fetch machine’s dream come true!

The real fun for us product geeks was testing the aeronautical engineering of different kinds of discs.  We were testing how surface area, foam thickness (which increases drag), and flexibility affect aerodynamics.

Unstable flight patterns were how we started our day.  Not to get too geeky, but high amounts of airfoil drag found in thicker, softer discs increase the need to center the lift to improve the stability.  Analyzing the airflow over and under the flying disc can lead to better flight.

By the end of the day, we were able to figure out which discs would fly straight and true, leaving Nellie with nothing but smiles.