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IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Design is a state of mind

Author

Louis Chew

Spot – Assessment 3: Project Presentation

Group Name: Spot

Team Members: 

  1. Jason Zhou (jzho5003)
  2. Louis Chew (hche4951)
  3. Arwin Purnama Jati (ajat3269)

Presentation Slides:
Design Proposal Presentation – Spot

Video:

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Blog Reflection 8 – Evaluation – Louis Chew (hche4951)

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

As a user, I was able to gain valuable insights and information based on my own experience by performing the task of booking tickets on Sydney Opera House’s website personally. The feedback gathered from this perspective was first-hand without any redundancies or need for interpretation of the responses as I felt my reactions and emotions directly. However, it should be noted that evaluation from this role can be rather restrictive as it only provides insights based on a sole individual’s perspectives and preferences about the prototype.

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On the other hand, as an observer, the information obtained and recorded was observed and interpreted from a third-party perspective. I could record the surface reactions and emotions of the user accurately but I might interpret the meaning behind the responses wrongly if I have extremely different preferences as compared to the user. Despite so, this increases the amount of feedback gathered during the evaluation and also helps to uncover any underlying needs that the user is possibly unaware of.

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2) What aspects of the technique worked well or were frustrating?

One important learning that I took away from this exercise is the videoing of users while they were performing their tasks. Not only was this beneficial to aid me in ensuring I recorded all necessary data from the evaluation, I could also playback the video to users to analyse their behavior and uncover more insights. As such, the act of videoing and playback became the bridge that connected users’ personal experiences to observers’ interpretations, which helped to facilitate greater discovery of underlying needs.

Nonetheless, it is noted that video recording needs to be dictated to someone else as a separate role from the observer or with the assistance of a well-placed videoing system. This is because it can be rather frustrating and in fact, counter-productive if one needs to multi-task between observing every reaction, taking down notes of the process, and holding the video camera, all at the same time.

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Blog Reflection 5 – Ideating – Louis Chew (hche4951)

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 up the position of “The Trekkies”, it was relatively easy to imagine the characteristics of this Extreme User. Due to how straightforward and predictable this user personality is, my perspective and thinking in relation to the design concept was easily sci-fi and highly focused to that genre. However, at the same time, the level of extremeness also resulted in one-dimensional concepts that were foreseeable in many ways. Having said that, there were no technological or realistic restrictions to what we could design, so the ideas I created were only limited by my imagination.

Using this method, it was different because what we understand about the user is based on what we imagine in our minds; there were neither user data to reference to nor any interviews to extract information from. This creates sort of an instant empathy, as I could completely connect with what I perceived in my head and how it works without much difficulties. Thus, with such a setup, the design ideas generated were highly personalized to a “Trekkie” with room for lots of sci-fi creativity.

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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? 


I personally found the story writing and storyboard highly effective in helping me work through my ideas. These techniques personified the “Trekkie” user and allowed me to communicate my concept to my group members efficiently. It also generated empathy for my user with the rest of the class, thus making everything seem real despite being completely frictional. Having a storyboard also helped translate my fantasy teleportation device into a believable idea and gave it an actual scenario to portray its usability. All in all, I had an enjoyable time using all the design thinking techniques to create a concept that was extremely fun to imagine.

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IMG_7617  “Beam me up Scotty!”

Report Summary Poster – Louis Chew (hche4951)

Here is the summary poster for my research report;

Research Summary Poster

And the feedbacks I received from my discussion group;

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1) How do you cater for people with disability?

Depending on the type of disability in question, different types of solutions can be designed to cater for various groups of people ranging from recyclables collection service using tracking systems to automated trash separation when trash is thrown into the bins. In general, disability recycling solutions will revolve around helping individuals recycle with ease despite their disabilities.

2) How you thought about social ways to encourage users to recycle?

In both initial concepts, social connection has been incorporated as one of the key features, which motivates users to recycle. Advancing beyond the typical social media functions like likes, shares, and comments, the concept seeks to link users and their friends in a cooperative recycling system to inject a sense of fun and encourage eco-friendly habits.

3) Have you thought about of some ways to motivate children to do recycling?

This is another category of individuals that require its own catered solutions and designs. For children, the solutions designed will be more playful and educational rather than being incentives-focused. Furthermore, the content and usage should be reflective of the age group and made easier to understand.

4) What about green waste? How can that be awarded?

Similar to some recyclable items that awards incentives based on volume and weight, green waste is measured and awarded as such too. This allows a greater variety of recyclable options and also caters to more individuals of different circumstances.

Blog Reflection 4 – Creating Personas – Louis Chew (hche4951)

1) 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?

Working on the topic of “Going to the Supermarket”, it was relatively easy for us to create a coherent persona due to the many commonalities we share in our interview data. Although, I attribute this mainly to the fact that our group consists of only 4 males with 3 of us in our 20s, thus making the chances of similarities naturally higher with such a convenient setup. As a direct inference of these circumstances, I would say that a crafted grouping of target audience helps to streamline a persona if the number of users interviewed is possibly limited.

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On the other hand, it was also interesting to note how age group might be a non-determining factor when trying to create personas. This was portrayed by how our 4th member, who is in his early 40s, had similar interests and behavioural patterns like the rest of us. Therefore, despite the fact that it is logical to create personas based on users with similar demographics, there lies some useful data outside of these parameters as well. Having said that, personally, I feel that this is a highly effective method to personify behaviour similarities among users. And since there was enough data to generate a solid persona for our group, it was for the purpose of contrast and comparison that we created a second different one for this topic.

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

I would say that our final persona was successful to certain extents as it effectively portrays distinctly strong characteristics based on the users’ similarities. However, it was afterall a sample size of only 4 males and might lack some depth and accuracy. If possible, as an experiment and for future references, I would increase the sample size and compare across a greater quantity of user data to determine the relationship between number of users interviewed and effectiveness of personas. And depending on the result, I would ensure the optimal number of users interviewed to improve my persona. In addition, more in-depth questions should be asked in order to better the quality of the data as well.

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Blog Reflection 3 – Interpreting Data – Louis Chew (hche4951)

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

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From the onset, the exercise allowed me to connect with the users on a more personal level when I was examining their interview questions. After we sorted out all the information, I was able to relate to them better as the users seemed more human when their interests, needs, and problems were described in categories using first person narrative, as compared to being represented by a bunch of data and unorganized information. Overall, I felt that the technique used was an effective method to build empathy with the users.

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

By grouping up the information in clusters, we could identify the various similarities and differences between users. It helped to filter out all the unnecessary details and allowed us to see beyond the superficial. As a result, key concerns were immediately brought to light when we translated them into categories. This helped me greatly to understand the users’ needs and ensured that we could pinpoint their problems accurately.

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3) What was difficult or challenging with the technique? How would you do it better next time?

As we did this exercise as a group, one of the key issues that hinder progress was how each of us extracted and described the users’ interests, needs, and problems. This caused quite a bit of confusion when we tried to put our information together. After sorting out all the details, it also took some time for us to translate each cluster into categories using first person narrative too.

In my opinion, if this method was to be employed in a group setting, all members should come to an agreement and standard of how the details should be highlighted from the interview. It will help facilitate efficiency, which will snowball positively across the entire process. I also believe that now that I have gone through the exercise once, future usage of this technique should be more effortless since I understand what kind of data and information would be more beneficial.

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