How did this exercise help you build empathy with prospective users?

Personally, I do not believe that the exercise in any way allowed me to empathize with my client. Reading already formulated questions and answers, merely enabled me to assess the data provided impartially, and gain insight to the facts of the interview, rather than the experiences. I was questioned by one of the class helpers as to why I had already finished writing my yellow post-it notes and I said because I read the interview, and I have listed all the key points that I feel are needed to create a accurate representation of my client. I also felt that the time constraints of me being able to read the document, contributed to what I deemed as important information to the exercise, and could have benefited marginally from actually conducting the interview myself in an hour time slot.

How did this clustering of information help you understand user needs?

I do not think that clustering the information on the wall was effective for my group, purely because the task explanation was not clear from the get go. When i asked the tutor to clarify the task, he said that we needed to cluster information on the wall under categories, than title them, so that is what our group did. This ultimately, did not achieved any greater understanding that what we already knew about our clients.

What was difficult or challenging with the technique? How would you do it better next time?

The technique of creating an Affinity diagram is great and would most likely be affective if done correctly. I now understand that the clustering of items on the wall should be according to user needs, not just categorizing them.

I think the time constraints were a big issue for this task. For example, we made the diagram, what next? There was no time in class for a follow up.