1) How did physically acting out help to explore ideas? 2) Did you refine your ideas and solutions to the problem through bodystorming? In what way? 3) What was difficult or challenging about bodystorming? 4) Does bodystorming lend itself to certain types of problems?
(1) By getting up and moving around, by “getting physical”, our body being in motion somehow also enabled our mind to jog along. At the very least, physically acting things out helped us FEEL the constraints/difficulties of our situation (a waiting room in a clinic).
Physically acting out was also very helpful in letting us experience spatial limitations: for example, if I didn’t have to physically sit on our makeshift bench, I wouldn’t have realized how uncomfortable it can be to sit perpendicular to another ‘patient’, when the chairs are arranged so closely together that our knees touch!
(2) We actually had a very productive conversation prior to bodystorming, but once we started bodystorming, we kept on adding to our list of desired/ideal improvements. We also managed to affirm our earlier idea, of using the space underneath the chairs/benches as a storage space for handbags and the like.
(3) It was difficult to set the space up. Sometimes, we found that we added features to our imagininary waiting room ad hoc: i.e. we’d be in the middle of acting out an interaction, and then we’d have to stop to reconfirm where exactly the receptionist’s counter was. Sometimes our imaginations would all be at a standstill, and then suddenly everyone would want to act something out — coordination was something that we could’ve worked out further: it didn’t hinder the brainstorming process, but it did make it a little bumpy.
(4) Bodystorming, as a very active and involved process of brainstorming, could result in designers getting carried away by one particular scenario. I think that’s where the external observer would be very useful: to guide the bodystorming without restricting it.
Bodystorming also needs to be combined with empathy for the user group: if the target group is a population that is less abled, a bunch of very fit and able-bodied designers bodystorm would not be able to fully maximize this strategy of bodystorming to get a better insight into their user group.