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

This exercise emphasizes on the importance of building empathy with users through interviews. By reading through these interviews, collecting information about user experiences and gradually understanding users’ needs and preferences, designers are able to notice key issues and design accordingly. Instead of basing on imagination, taking users’ experiences into consideration is an effective way to “solve problem”. Moreover, there are many methods that could be used to collect information, such as interviews and questionnaires. However, the way designers use to interpreting data can be important as well.In this exercise, the affinity diagrams allow designers to analyze data step-by-step, from artifacts to key issues, gradually building up empathy with prospective users. All in all, knowing the prospective users is an indispensable step for design.

How did the clustering of information help you to understand user needs?

Normally, there is too much information in an interview and it is really hard to go directly into one key issue from all messing facts. The clustering of information help me to organize and categorize these small facts. Then, I am able to conclude the key issue of these ideas and understand users needs.

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

The most difficult thing for me is to categorize notes. I found it is quite hard to categorize notes into small groups, some of them may look similar but are not able to be put into one category. Moreover, thinking up words that could be used to conclude the similar theme is also a big challenge for me.Next time, I would probably spend more time on reading the interview and finishing the concept map first. Because of the time limitation this time, I missed a lot of key ideas. Next time, I hope to use the concept map efficiently to categorize these notes. We could definitely do better with more time.