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 was beneficial because it gave me a specific user in mind, and prompted me to think about their needs, goals, and desires. This led me to generate ideas that were focused on meeting these needs and desires. Because I myself had created the character, I was already acquainted with who they were and what they wanted. I found this easier than my usual method of idea generation, which usually involves brainstorming. This method proved to be a shortcut to generating empathy with the end user. I would use this method in the future because you can easily invent a less-extreme, everyday user and design from the perspective of meeting their needs.
2) 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?
Yes — writing each idea down on a post-it and sharing it with our team members allowed each of us to collaborate on one idea and develop it to a resolution together. Our final concept was one that was initially generated by one person, but which we all developed and contributed to.
Writing our stories were helpful because it prompted me to inhabit the character I had created and think about what where they were, what they were doing, and who they were with; sharing this with my group members meant that we each gained an insight into each other’s characters. This enabled us to gain empathy for each of our characters and to generate design ideas based on their needs, as well.
Storyboards were important in working through our ideas in order to work out the kinks and logistics and to see if the idea could actually work. In the end, an aspect of my idea had to be eliminated because I realised that even in the future it wouldn’t be logistically possible.