Briefly reflect on the lessons learnt from each exercise a). reflective listening b). defamiliarisation of everyday reality c). empathic modelling

a). Reflective listening

Through experiencing the role as an interviewer and the role as an interviewee, I do not think either the two roles are easy to play.

As a listener, finding a right angle to draw the interviewee in is essential. Although the major role of a listener is to listen and to reflect what the speaker narrates, to help the speaker broaden his mind and start the conversation is also a listener’s responsibility. Attractive interview questions relevant to the conversation topic can push the speaker to naturally talk more about his experiences, needs and thoughts, which might be great helpful for the listener to gain a comprehensive understanding of the person.

For me, I feel more comfortable as a listener compared to being a speaker because I am not a talkative person. A great speaker can easily be aware of things happened in daily life, and he can present his feelings and sensations in a well-organized structure. Hopefully my partner in the reflective listening activity is such a good talker. She is mindful, and she gives more about her own experiences, which means a large amount of information for a listener to help get better understanding of the interviewee.

b). Defamiliarisation of everyday reality

Based on the observation on the videos about Sydney train and bus, it reflects some problems of the public transport that I did not pay attention to before.   For example, according to the shaky situation in the video, I have just been conscious of the high speed of the bus, which reminds me of some experiences beyond what I usually think.

Defamiliarisation provides a very direct way to help record everyday reality and adds different perspectives of the same product or service. It brings a vivid way to present the sensations and feelings of users and helps build the empathy comprehensively.

However, gaining much information according to the situation is a challenge for me. I am not a mindful person. What I grasp from the video is not that much. So, when I do the defamiliarisation of the second video, I kept writing down notes while observing the situation. Meanwhile, I tried to use all my senses on the video especially on the images and sounds. I think it does great help for me in the process of defamiliarisation.

c). Empathic modelling

Empathic modelling is the most interesting part in the tutorial. By using the cling wrap to protect the iPhone camera and glasses, it creates a different world we used to be familiar with.

Looking through the cling wrap helps us experience how some special community feel such as the amblyopia group. It puts ourselves in the shoes of these people and lets us know what they really need.

From the activity, I find that I used to ignore some important properties, for example, colour. From the photos I have taken through the cling wrap, it is hard to figure out which colour it is with the reduced sight. The method teaches me to pay more attention to the needs of some particular group and helps broaden my perspectives in the process of building empathy with users.