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IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Design is a state of mind

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amol0125

Blog Reflection 9: Visual Storytelling– (amol0125)

Tutorial 9

  • 1)  How did thinking in terms of shots and scenes influence your approach to communicating your design concept?

Before thinking about shots and scenes, I was wondering how we could show main concepts of our design. To be honest, I did not have any idea at that moment and I was thinking of recording a totally wide-shot scene, although I had read about visual storytelling at the end of the Tutorial 5 (Ideating).

After I thought how we could use shots to communicate much stronger through the video, I discovered that using appropriate techniques in terms of shots and scenes could help the designer to be able to show all aspect of the design concepts by a very short video even in only one-minute video-clip, otherwise it would be hard to show them in less than three minutes.

  • 2)  What motivated your choice of storyline structure? Can you think of an exemplar from a film that uses the same structure?

Users’ needs and what they expect from a video to thoroughly understand the concepts of design made us think of the most easy-to-understand structure, in other words, the structure should have talked more about main aspects of design than non-important aspects. As an exemplar I have really liked a cut video of “The Sixth Sense Technology” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tq22KBGwMxc).

The structure we chose might be a bit different of what this film’s maker has used, however the way we selected for our storyline structure is very similar to their way.

  • 3)  What choices did you make about audience and style? Were they related?

Since our design was about fitness, we chose fitness communities as well as people who regularly do exercises, but our main audience were people who do not do regular exercises and consequently are at the risk of losing their health. We chose an encouraging style for those people to show them that our design is not similar to traditional boring fitness tools, but it is a full of fun game tool which gets muscles and brain of gamer involved more effectively and more efficiently.

Blog Reflection 8: Evaluation – (amol0125)

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  1. What kinds of information and insights did it give you about the usability of the prototype?

 

As a user:

My task was to find a paper at the library site (website #3). Since I had been frequently using this website in order to have my background research of my assignments, it was very easy and fast to find the website of Library of the University of Sydney, its databases and “Google scholar” page. It took me a short time to accomplish my task, however, the very first time I attempted to use library page, near two months before doing this task, it was not as easy as I explained above. To be honest, if were not Claudia and Nik, I would not figure it out that easy at all, due to its complicated user interface design, I suppose.

As an evaluator:

I used two different ways while observing and evaluating my user’s behaviour, first I listened to his thinking aloud and simultaneously wrote down keywords as an observer, then I watched the video, recorded by the other observer, and finally evaluated user’s physical reactions to the task as an evaluator. By carefully watching the video, evaluators are able to understand weaknesses and strengths of any user interface considering the states/expressions of user’s face and body language (gesture).

 

  1. What aspects of the technique worked well or were frustrating?

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As a user:

Personally, I have always liked thinking aloud, but it is not possible to do so at any time, sometimes people next to me look at me wide-eyed ( 😀 ).

In this manner, I explain aloud whatever looks rather important to me as well as my emotions when encountering an issue. During the task, my evaluator tried to jot down my words/quotes and my verbal reactions to the task of using a website. If you ask me, the observer was happy with my thinking aloud and he found it very helpful to realise in what level the website was usable, where as taking video in reality is not as easy as thinking aloud technique, because during the usability test, users are going to feel very uncomfortable if someone records their videos. People get frustrated when they are taken photos or videos.

As an evaluator:

Definitely, recording video while observing a user is a very useful technique, however, it requires the evaluator to have a portable easy to use digital video recorder/player with a huge memory and long lasting battery power. Also it makes the observers put their efforts into watching it very carefully. It is going to be very time consuming as well. Besides, in this technique presumably two observers are needed; one for writing down the user’s thinking aloud things and the other one for recording videos.

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Blog Reflection 7: Interrogating Affordances – (amol0125)

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  • Choose one of the objects you selected and describe how your initial understanding of its affordances changed over the course of the exercise?

The three everyday household objects, which I brought to class, were a razor (from bathroom), a peeler (from kitchen) and a table clock (from living room). A razor seems to be used only for shaving human face and body, I never thought that a person would be able to use its handle for levering things or using the razor for fixing carpets or sometimes soft rough surfaces, however, after I had observed it closely, I found even blades could be used separately after being taken off the razor.

Also, I discovered a false affordance in the handle of razor, which had made it hard to hold and difficult to move on skin, in another language it was not user friendly. The producer could design the handle more appropriate for being easier held by fingers, in which each finger could go on its own place. The arrangement of blades and angle of razor’s head looked like reletively hidden and perceptible affordance that would automatically guide the user to hold it in a correct way. These affordances were not supposed to be realised if were not any observations.

  • Given that affordances is a relational property between a person and an object, how did the manipulation of the object and the person’s abilities inform your understanding of the concept? Did it give you inspiration or insight for how to work with affordances as a designer? Discuss this through the specific objects you explored in the exercise.

I attached the tips of two chopsticks together and one end to the end of the razor’s handle to make the handle longer in order to be able to use the razor for shaving back or unreachable areas of body, then I asked my friend to use it while he was blindfolded. He was not able to figure out how to hold the handle to have the blades correctly on his skin. There was not any hidden affordance to lead him to hold it in a correct way. Being challenged through it, gave me a very good inspiration to consider an edge or even a finger alignment guide on the handle or chopsticks to make the user find out the correct holding direction.

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And my friend’s design:

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Blog Reflection 6: Experience Prototyping – (amol0125)

  • How did physically acting out help to explore ideas?

When individuals imagine solutions for their problems, they will not usually be able to understand all aspects of the problems unless they try to put themselves in a real situation or at least in a semi-real scenario which requires them to act physically and mentally simultaneously.  Not only can physically acting out show off the real issues with relevant details, but also discloses the practical restrictions one encounters through the resolving of the issues.

  • Did you refine your ideas and solutions to the problem through bodystorming? In what way?

Yes of curse, bodystorming made the group members interact with each other practically as well as mentally and it caused them to see the behaviour of other members in semi-real circumstances which was very helpful in improving and refining final resolutions step by step.

In fact, bodystorming can help better brainstorming when designers are trying to acheive their best findings and insights by examining the physical situations.

  • What was difficult or challenging about bodystorming?

First, assigning the roles and their related duties to group members was a bit challenging. Second, time management of consequential events of scenario was another issue while members were acting out. Third, creating a relevant scenario was not as easy as it looked in the beginning, and it found its way so that group was acting different from the first raw scenario.

  • Does bodystorming lend itself to certain types of problems?

Not necessarily, but it depends on the people who are going to act out a role. Shy people usually hesitate to play in front of others. Besides, many people do not know how to play naturally or at least how to play. In bodystorming, actors need to be trained a bit to be able to fulfil the minimum requirements of their roles.

Group Brainstorming:

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Group Bodystorming: (Doctor waiting room)

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Final findings and solutions:

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Blog Reflection 5: Ideating – (amol0125)

  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 always walk in other people’s shoes when I try to ideate a design using my brain storming experience. In this case, I used Design Provocation cards which helped me to deal with my designing much easier. However, thinking about the extreme user whom my group had chosen, was not that easy because I had never been a money-spinner in my life. When I took the position, my first challenge was thinking of what the people of those kind do and what makes them happy, then by my imaginary, I tried to create an empathy with the position and eventually I found that my role was going well.
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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?

Of course they did help, especially design provocation cards and storyboards, but they mostly helped me to work individually, although I used them in collaborating with my group members as well.

I got many ideas from design provocation cards when I felt that I was stuck in ideating an extreme character. Also, brain storming during the sketching on storyboards made me feel more comfortable about my idea, so that I changed some parts of my first story while I was sketching on the storyboard.

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