IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Design is a state of mind



Masters Student at University of Sydney, Australia. Interaction Design and Electronic Arts Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning

Blog 6 – Body Storming – agra2758

For this exercise, the group I was a part of chose “Sleeping on an Airplane” as the design scenario. As a group we discussed ideas first – different problems related to air-travel – the physical environment inside an airplane, actors and elements that would cause issues, such as other passengers, noise, turbulence, light, staff activity and equipment, confined space etc.

1. How did physically acting out help to explore ideas?

We came up with a number of small scenes to act out. Such as noisy passengers in nearby seats etc. After acting out several ideas, the observing member of our group commented and as a group, we discussed how we had felt and what we had noticed while bodystorming. As well as the physical and spacial elements, I noticed bodystorming is a helpful trigger for memory and emotion of related past experience. As all of the members of my group were frequent travellers, all members had anecdotes and comments to share about the problem.

2. Did you refine your ideas and solutions to the problem through bodystorming? in what way?

As we discussed our ideas as one designer to another, sharing concepts, to actually be in the physical position of closely-stacked seating, as if we were in an airplane, was very helpful. To feel the actual confinement and restriction of movement in the small space, made it easier to describe with words and actions what we were imagining. So it helped, not only to consider the design, but also to communicate our ideas to one another. This led to a long and interesting discussion on seating arrangement design within aircraft, to which all group members actively contributed ideas.

3. What was difficult or challenging about bodystorming?

For this scenario, it wasn’t so difficult, it was helpful.

4. Does bodystorming lend itself to certain types of problem?

I think bodystorming helps illuminate and identify factors that may be unconscious or possibly thought to be insignificant – things we take for granted… This could be very useful for physical design problems that consider spacial or environmental factors, but also, so much more.  So often, ‘set in stone’ ideas cripple new design, because they are taken as unchanging or absolute, but perhaps those things are no more absolute than any new constructs could be…. food for thought.

Summary Poster – agra2758


Peer Feedback:

didn’t know that: jewelry could serve as a universal key for all digital devices.

Have you thought about: multiple users in the same environment?

Tell me more about: the jewelry interaction with the virtual metaverse

Have you thought about: Security problems when using the ring as a payment method?

didn’t know that people . like screen content to move.


Blog 5 – Ideating – agra2758

This week in tutorial we were given the design challenge of pitching ideas for Telstra’s ‘Payphone of the Future’.

I really enjoyed this exercise.

Although my group and I made the happy mistake of designing for 1000 years in the future (instead of for 10-20 years from now), I think we came up with some fantastic and interesting concepts.

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?

I think this was one of the main reasons why I felt extra inspiration for this design challenge. The idea of the ‘extreme-user’ helps make everything exaggerated and stylised, which then leads to creation of more depth of character and story. Imagining a character with a strong and deep backstory and locations really catapulted the flow of ideas for the product. Although I found, when as a group, we had to merge our ideas, this was more challenging, as we all individually had such strong visions, which I guess is a testament to the method, and which was quite fun to discuss and analyse.

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?

Definitely a strong sense of story was a key technique for me today. I also found the provocation cards a very handy tool when idea-flow would decelerate. I found discussion and sketching very handy also, but didn’t complete a storyboard in the time-frame.

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Blog 3 – Creating Personas – agra2758

Describe your experience of creating a single persona from different users’ perspectives gathered in the interview data. Was there enough commonality between the 4 people interviewed to form a coherent persona? Or would it have made more sense to create a second different persona?

The interview and discussion process was informative and free flowing. My interview partner and I came up with many interesting categories related to the cinema experience and areas for further analysis. Our group of 4 were all similar age and demographic, so comparing, analysing and discussing data we had gathered and then creating a single persona was not difficult. I suppose we could have created two different personas from the data, should it have been required – one a more regular cinema-goer and one a more occasional visitor.

Do you think your final persona was successful in generating empathy with users? What would you change to make it better?

I feel the persona our group created was perhaps a little wishy-washy and broad or general in a lot of areas, but still it fulfilled a lot of the requirements. More specific backstory and motivation would be helpful for generating empathy.




Blog 2 – Material Iterations – agra2758


First, I identified needs of the “Marathon Runner” as ‘relaxation’ and ‘physical recovery’. Then, I designed different chairs with different functions and applications, which addressed those needs in different ways.

1: “The Recovery Recliner” – providing massage and warmth to tired muscles.

2: “The Bouncer Stool” – providing extension and relaxation to leg-muscles during work hours.


1. How did working through different materials help you to explore and express potential solutions to a design problem?

I found that different materials were suited to different designs. Organically, I opted to construct a different design with each different material – certain materials lending themselves better to the different physical support needed in the construction of each design.

2. What kinds of information and inspiration did the different materials give you? Did you have a favourite material?

My favourite material was definitely cardboard. As a designer, I love working with corrugated cardboard and paper, and am a long-time believer in the application of the materials in ephemeral architecture for both humanitarian solutions and bespoke-designed structures.

The pipe cleaners were extremely fun, tactile and pleasurable to work with. The toothpicks, I found were the medium that I would need much more time to work with successfully, although I quickly saw the potential in them as a medium.

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3. What did you change along the way? What did you learn from your prototypes?

While working with the cardboard, I found that fashioning chair-legs was problematic, especially within the time-frame, and that folds of the main structure worked more effectively as support.

4. How well did you address your user needs in the various design models you created?

I feel that I successfully addressed the needs of my user in the designs I created. Both designs effectively addressed the needs of ‘relaxation’ and ‘physical recovery’ in different ways, offering a variety of positive outcomes. With more time, the prototypes would definitely become more detailed and dextrously constructed.

Blog 1 – Redesigning the gift-giving experience – agra2758

As her most recent gift-giving experience, my partner/client for this exercise had given flowers via an online delivery site. She talked about the experience as lacking a notification when her recipient received the flowers. This lead me to design a notification process, with both digital and real-world components, called “Respond and Connect”.

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Empathising with my client was not a problem, because I also often give/send flowers via online delivery, and knew well the feeling of waiting for some kind of notification of reaction from the gift-recipient. Therefore, I was able to put myself in her place with ease, and this made the design process easier.

1. How did engaging with a real person, testing with a real person, change the direction your prototype took?

I enjoyed engaging in the one-on-one, in-person environment of the exercise because it created the opportunity for immediate feedback. It made the process of problem solving and re-designing much faster than, for example, in an email exchange.

2. What was it like showing unfinished work to another person?

Showing unfinished work to my partner was a little nerve-racking at first, but I feel that both my partner and I understood that it was part of the exercise. I did find the immediate feedback made it much easier and faster to adapt my design to my client’s needs and requests, which was enjoyable.

3. As a User, how did you interact with your partner’s level of lowly-resolved prototype; how did the level of resolution impact your experience as a user?

As a user for my partner’s design, I found the experience of seeing her unfinished design a little weird – it was obvious that her work was unfinished, and I found it difficult to imagine her completed design. With her explanations of her work, I did understand more of what she was trying to get at, which again shows the value of the in-person process.

4. Design thinking is an iterative, self-directed process. Based on what you learned, what would you go back and do next? What would you do over again?

I was quickly reminded how important documenting the initial sketches, notes and visual ideas became to clearly demonstrate the evolution of my ideas — even in such a ‘crash-course’, time-limited exercise.

5. What principle, what tool would you infuse into the work tomorrow?

For this project, I found empathising easy, but I wanted more time to sketch and prototype my design, as well as ideating different versions of the same basic idea. I wanted to add many more details about the design, that I had already designed in my mind but hadn’t managed to sketch out and prototype within the allotted time-frame.

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