Briefly reflect on the lessons learnt from each exercise

a. Reflective listening

Reflective listening provides me with an useful tool to get connected with my interviewees and build up empathy with them step by step. It supports me to follow up with  speakers’ talking pace during interviews; therefore, analysing their feelings and sensations from a better perspective. With different backgrounds and personalities, interviewers and interviewees may have different focuses over the same topic or the same question. I found that listening to others without any prejudgment and telling back through my own understanding is also a good way to discover missing points. The process is more about understanding rather than memorising and noting down the information.

b. Defamilliarisation of everyday reality

I feel so surprised in the defamilliarisation of everyday reality activity when it seemed that I was back in the real situation through those videos. Unexpectedly, it also reminded me of those tiny elements of feelings and memories, especially those I thought I would definitely forget after taking those transportations. I was told by the activity that the world is always more than we know. Even in some simple situations, we get more feelings than we thought we have. Therefore, getting unfamiliar with the familiar things is a great way to find new experiences, discover new trends and create new stuff.

c Empathic modelling

I have never thought about design without visual perceptions before this activity. It felt so weird when the world suddenly all blurred and I had to do things according to other senses, such as touch and smell. Apparently, it was not so easy to locate myself through other senses, let alone take trains or cook dinners. Then I suddenly realised the importance of putting designers into users’ shoes. There are always new things if we step out of our comfort zone and find an unfamiliar situation. Good designers are expected to step in new areas, understand users experiences and come up with creative solutions.

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