IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Design is a state of mind



Mobilizing Sydney’s Entertainment industry

Beat4594 – SKuta1119 – IDEATHINKING ASS 3 Presentation

Interogating Affordances – Beat4594

"Beercooler" for when you need your hands.
“Beercooler” for when you need your hands.
  • Choose one of the objects you selected and describe how your initial understanding of its affordances changed over the course of the exercise?
  • First time I looked at the beer cooler and an object i thought it didn’t really have any affordances other than being able to keep things cool and hold objects within it. As I learnt more about affordances by looking at and interacting with the beer cooler, I realized that it was malleable, able to hold things, able to be thrown or placed on almost any object, and had branding on it which provided information about where it came from. through this exercise I became aware that most objects have more affordances than first thought, affordances can be changed by adding or subtracting more and they are not always what you think.
the little affordances
The little affordances
  • 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 discovered some affordances are ingrained into certain objects which mean we are have preconceived ideas about how they work and how we can use them. As well as objects having physical attributes that allow for their uses in different situations, affordances can be added to and manipulated. In this way can understand that design problems may be able to be overcome by looking at an objects affordances and adding to it to create something new. During the class I was able to attach chopsticks to a beer cooler to add to it a new affordance, in this way the beer cooler can now be used to leave the cooler anywhere by balancing it in between two objects, it now has a completely different cool and it affects the way we use interact and use the object.

Research Summary Poster – Beat 4594 – Mobilizing Sydney’s Entertainment Industry

Mobilizing Sydney’s Entertainment industry

Mobilizing Sydney's Entertainment Industry
Mobilizing Sydney’s Entertainment Industry

Feedback and Responses

I didn’t know…

  • Why these laws were implemented.
  • That the lock-out laws superseded long term industry strategy.
    • That is interesting because a lot of my users didn’t either.

Tell me more about…

  • how other countries have addressed this issue.
    • I have only looked into these problems in other countries and cities a little bit. It seems that this problem of venue closures is happening in England, but the problems in Sydney seem rooted in local laws and government regulation where as in places like London and Melbourne these issues are more to do with economic factors.
  • Your methodology.
    • I used background research in conjunction with five interviews with working musicians and the use of a questionnaire taken by 20 people within the industry in order to correlate my information to identify user needs. Sorry if this wasn’t clear enough in the presentation.

Have you thought about…

  • Who else besides artists suffered from these laws.
    • Yes, the hotel and hospitality industries have been largely affected. However for the purposes of this study and current activist action being taken by these industries I chose to exclude them from the study to focus more specifically on the industries that I feel are not as well represented.
  • The device in which your applications will exist on?
    • At this stage I believe that applications will exist via computer accessible websites and IOS phone applications. However from this presentation I have been open to many more possibilities that could be considered.
  • Have you thought about the uses of hologram?
    • No I haven’t, but i don’t think the use of this technology is suitable in this situation.

Self Reflection

I think the research has provided some very interesting findings. From speaking to people about my research, there are obviously some more areas that need to explored, whether it be further research into the same issues in other cities / countries, the role that musicians have played historically in social movements and some of the more interesting uses of technology as an activist tool.

From the research I feel like within the user group the problem is not necessarily that musicians do not want to participate in activism but that it is perceived to be too hard, they are unaware of the problems associated with their industry and they overall don’t like the stereotype of activists. I think the idea of a social awareness or social marketing campaign may be a way that better suits the uses of technology in mobilizing activism Sydney’s entertainment industry.

Beat4594: Ideating


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 ,as apposed to the user profiles we worked with last week, was a completely different experience. Last week we focused on a collective group of users needs and wants in a user profile, this led to quite practical and logical design concepts for a majority of people. This week differed with the concept of Extreme users. Having strict limitations involved with the specific and outlandish needs and wants of a user lent itself to creating bizarre and creative solutions to a design. I felt that having these limitations in place, meant that I was able to experiment with the possibilities of anything and everything that came to mind that would suit this particular user.

My specific extreme user was a “trekkie”, he was a 23 year old from Zyblon who loved playing keyboard synthesizers and preaching about the medicinal powers of his interplanetary jazz genre.

Re-appropriating the Telstra phone booth for the needs of this “trekkie” made me really think about what could be possible in the design process and how the phone booth could actually be appropriated to suit his specific needs. This was actually a really fun and creative experience. My final design was a booth fitted with an electronic synthesizer. The synthesizer within the booth (under the right users finger tips) had the ability to cure the ailments of any sick or cripple person who stepped inside its doors to witness the medicinal powers of interplanetary jazz.

This was extremely different in creating empathy with a user as it made you think in a much more creative and personalized way. It meant that you really needed to think outside of the box in order to create a unique design that would specifically suit the user.


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?

The use of storyboards allowed me to visualise how my design could or would actually work in practice. It allowed me to piece together different potential uses / users of my design and made it easier to understand how it might actually be used in real life. Storyboards helped make sense of my design to other people and assisted in discussion as to what it could do and what it could do better.

Unfortunately we didnt have a chance to use provocation cards but I have had experience with these in the past writing music and have found them invaluable in overcoming creative blocks and experimenting with new avenues.


Beat4594: Creating Personas

Creating Personas
This is Alex Jones the
This is Alex Jones the “busy student, with a part time job”
Describe your experience of creating personas from different users’ perspectives gathered in the interview data. Was there enough commonality between the 4 people interviewed to form a coherent persona? Or did it make more sense to create a second different persona?

My group tackled interview questions involving public transport. Obviously all being of a similar demographic and having similar situations (being at university) we all had quite similar experiences with public transport in our interview answers.

Our group all shared common motivations in using public transport, e.g. Escaping the traffic of Sydney, conviencience and being able to multi-task. We also shared common frustrations e.g. waiting times, and overcrowding.
What I found interesting is that even though we all shared quite similar experiences, through analysing the interviews data we began to see two completely different personas. One of the personas involved a person who was studying, working and lived further away from university. This persona really enjoyed having the ability to multi-task on public transport and the luxury of having time. The other persona seemed to live closer to university, worked closer to university and preferred the convenience and relatively low costs of public transport.
Even though both responses formed a similar persona, through analysing the data it was clearly apparent that we had two personas, one that enjoyed having time on public transport and the other that enjoyed its convenience. Creating two unique user profiles made it clear and easy to identify the two specific user groups and formed completely different stories about who the potential users where.
I found this exercise to be very useful and interesting.

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

I think our groups final persona’s were definitely successful in generating empathy with our users. Even though my personal experience might have only fit into only one of these persona’s, the exercise made it really easy to understand the other persona’s situation, wants and needs whilst on public transport. This made it much easier to empathize and understand what this persona wanted and needed on public transport, which may have differed from my own perspective.

This is Alex Jones the

Interpreting Data: beat4594


How did this exercise help you build empathy with prospective users? 

Having a discussion through an interview process allowed me get to know the user a lot better, this made for a more in-depth understanding of his past holiday experiences, rather than what I would have had simply performing a structured survey. This exercise helped me build empathy with the user as I was really able to understand the specific situations that the user is commonly is in while on holidays, and gave me the ability to conduct follow-up questions.

The exercise allowed me to better understand the specific ‘needs, interests and motivations’ for their holiday, after analysing the data taken from the interview, which in turn made for more interesting post-it notes. This could have possibly led to a different interpretation of the data than what I would have had from a survey.

How did the clustering of information help you to understand user needs? 

Clustering the information taken from several different interviews, created an interesting platform for analysing the data. Grouping different ideas and values taken from the interviews started to manifest itself into certain groups, expressing core similarities in the data. It was interesting to see that without the post-it board some of the ideas would be seemingly irrelevant in the groups they were eventually put in, thus making conclusions from the data that were maybe unclear before the exercise.

The exercise allowed me to analyze the data in a completely different and collaborative way, opening up discussions within the group that outlined more specific and refined needs of the user, that were in some cases completely unapparent to begin with.

What was difficult or challenging with the technique? 

I found it difficult to not have preconceived ideas about the groupings of the content. This would be much harder and unreliable if it wasn’t done within the context of a collaborative group.

I found it a challenge to have agreement within a group about what the correlations of the groups were actually showing, however, this also allowed for much more interesting ideas and concepts of the users needs at the end.

I found it hard to do the activity quickly. I think it definitely needs more time and thought to be able to do effectively as the quick pace of it added confusion and clutter to the board.

How would you do it better next time?

The next time I did this activity I think I would definitely take more time to workshop the exercise and ideas that were forming on the board. I would also be more thorough and selective with some of the core information that I was taking from the interview.

The whole thing seemed to be very rushed.

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