1. How did taking the position of an Extreme User influence your thinking in relation to the design challenge? Was it different to how you usually generate ideas and empathy?

Taking the position of an extreme user gives me new perspective of seeing things. I jumped out from my own identity, a 22 years old female, into a 35 years old, romantic male artist’s body. This activity gives me an acting experience. A good actor needs to experience and understand his role deeply inside in order to play it well. For a designer, he/she also need to understand the inner world of users. Taking the position of an extreme user could generate empathy just like how an actor understand his role. During the activity, I keep adding details into my role, try to complete my character’s not only outside conditions but also his inner world. It feels like I truly understand him since I’m becoming him. It is both similar and also different from how I usually generate ideas. Without thinking about solution and purpose, creating my own extreme character gives me a fresh angle to look at this category of people. However, the disadvantage of this method, is that without much research, the extreme user image is built on stereotype. So it is not authentic enough, but might be purely an illusion.

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  1. Did any of the other design thinking techniques (design provocation cards, stories, storyboards, etc.) help you to work through ideas and collaborate with your group members?

When we shared our characters in a group, at the same time we tried to sketch them down. Sketching gives our characters visual images, which make them more real to life. We also used cards to conclude the main features of romantic users. The storyboards helps us to build a fluent story. We have to pick out the most important message and squeeze them into four or five comic boxes. It helped us to straighten out our thoughts, and more importantly, the visual image is very powerful to show to our audiences when we present our idea.

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