IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Design is a state of mind



Blog Reflection 9 – chos9417

Reflect on your experience of this Visual Storytelling exercise, by answering the following questions:

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

Thinking in terms of shot and scenes influences the approach to communicating the design concept because it can help to enhance the main features of the concept, highlighting the main functions considering the audience and consumer for the product. It is a good visual tool for you to sell the product properly and it makes you think about what are the core characteristics of the product, what are the most important features it has for the core user.

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

What motivated the choice of storyline structure was the advertisings we usually see on television. I think it is a good structuture because it is clear and straight to the point. Presenting the context, the user and then how the product is used and for what it is made for. I think the structure of the scenarios, who, why, how, what, where and when, really help us to think in a clear and objective way on how to present the product. And the clearer the message, the better.

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

We advertised a wrist band for people who likes to exercise and keep a healthy lifestyle. The choice of the audience totally influenced the style used on the storyline, as it was thought to attract this audience, so the message and the whole style had to be recognized and attractive for the specific target. It is important that you define your core target and build you story focused on it, thinking on all the details having your audience and its tastes, values, lifestyle and desires in mind. They are the most important audience of the message and all the structure have to be designed for them.

Blog Reflection 7 – chos9417

Reflect on your experience of the Affordances exercise by answering the following questions: 1) Choose one of the objects you selected and describe how your initial understanding of its affordances changed over the course of the exercise?

I chose a hanger from the objects I brought to class. In the beginning, only by visual contact, it seemed like it could be used for many things other than hanging clothes like throwing, catching things, hanging on the neck or hand, for example. In the second part, when you could manipulate the object, it broadened the uses of it, you could use it for spinning on your arm, hang on your jeans or on your ponytail, for example. On the third part, when you had your abilities compromised, it was a little more dificult to handle it, as it ca be hard to grab a thin plastic hanger from the table if you don’t have your fingers, but it was not impossible.

2) 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.

The manipulation of the object and the person’s abilities can totaly change the object’s affordance. Understanding that is crucial for a designer, as we have to predict what are the possible reactions a person might have when relating to an object. We need to make user’s life easier and think about a design that could guide the user on how to use the object properly. The object’s affordances need to be instinctively easy, simple and as clear as it could be because people are creative and will always come out with new affordances. The role of the designer is to try to lessen the possibilities in order to restrict them to the intended use. Because we know what is a hanger and for what it is made for, we don’t think about it. But in the affordances’ exercise, with a little thought I could come out with other unusual uses that I had never thought about, what made clear the importance of the affordances’ concept for a designer.

Blog Reflection 8 – chos9417

Reflect on your experience of conducting and participating in usability evaluation, by answering the following questions: Comment on how you experienced the technique as both user and evaluator … For each of the 2 techniques (user observation, thinkaloud): 1) What kinds of information and insights did it give you about the usability of the prototype? 2) What aspects of the technique worked well or were frustrating?

Experience as user:

  1. As an user and knowing you are being observed, the experience is interesting because you feel more tense than you normaly do. At the same time, it becomes clear the possible errors the sites have, as apparently easy tasks take some time to be complete. For example, in the library website, I took more time than I was expecting to complete the tasks and notice that maybe the information architecture and information highlights within the website could be improved. A detail that I don’t think I would notice if I were using it without the designer look.
  2. The aspects that worked well were the person guiding you and telling what to do, but the thinkaloud is difficult because you have to think to do it and it is a little unnatural to describe every step you take. I prefered just keeping a conversation with the observers and telling them what I was thinking about the site, not exactly describing my actions.

Experience as evaluator:

  1. As an evaluator it’s interesting to notice that some steps of the tasks are hard for the user to complete, even if, at the beggining, you thought it would be easy. Another thing it’s interesting to note is that every person has a different decision tree, so they follow different steps to complete the same action, but before the evaluator experience this is not as clear as it becomes with the exercise. As an evaluator, you internally follow the steps and it’s interesting to note when the user does it in a different way. Sometimes you want to help, but you know you can’t, so you have to resist the impulse.
  2. The aspects that worked well were the guidance for the user, but I found hard to keep stimulating the thinkaloud technique as it was a little strange and disturbing for the user, as they have to concentrate both in describe the steps while also doing them. In addition, sometimes the user doesn’t describe that much the action, nor keep a conversation with the evaluator, so you have to be aware of facial expressions and body language, which I found more truthful to the real feelings of the user because when you have to think and describe feelings, usually you are not completely accurate of them.



Blog Reflection 04 – chos9417

  1. a) Reflective listening: I felt more comfortable listening because I rather listen than talk, specially in english. As a listener I learnt the importance of being an active listener, trying to feel what the other person was saying. As a mindful speaker I learnt the importance of describing details and also to try to express feelings and sensations. It was a good exercise because I normally tend to be more concise in my speech.

b) Defamiliarisation of everyday reality: The experience of writing almost without thinking was interesting and liberating because it is easier for you to express feelings and to be more true to what you felt, as you write without trying to rationalise them. For me it was also a bonus because english is not my first language, so I felt it was easier to write without worrying with grammar.

c) Empathic modelling: colours, lights and sounds became more important when I experienced a familiar place from an unfamiliar perspective. Things we can infer about location are more restrict when we rely only on those features as I’m not used to rely only on my senses. It’s a little overwhelming not knowing exactly what to expect and what is in front of you, but it was interesting to use different perceptual capabilities beyond sight to locate myself.





Blog Reflection 03 – chos9417

  1. There was commonality between the 4 people interviewed to form a coherent persona. Although all behaviours looked similar, one person of the group had a slightly different behaviour as he still lived with his parents so the behaviour of going to the supermarket was more similar to leisure visits than the others whose visits were more like a necessity visit.
  2. I believe that the final persona was successful in generating empathy with users, but we struggled to get there. At the beginning we had superficial and repetitive descriptions, but after speaking with tutors we understood that we had to go deeply within the reasons why of the behaviours, focusing on different reasons within each question. That helped us in making a more empathetic persona at the end.

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