I found it a little intimidating being the user in this scenario – I felt that there was a real pressure to get through the flow of the product quickly and smoothly. It was frustrating having someone takes notes even when you felt they weren’t warranted. In the case of the evaluator testing their own work, you had to remember that the notes were to help them improve the prototype, not judge your capabilities with their prototype. It was easier being the user when you were being tested on the site that no one had any affinity to (officeworks)
This was fairly straightforward, it was difficult to assess the level of detail to go into with this though e.g. does a small frown warrant as much weight on the score card than a bigger frown. I liked how assessing the facial expressions revealed very quantitative data, however, it was still fairly subjective data.
This was a little tricky because when the evaluator was testing their own prototype, you had to be sensitive to the fact that they had designed it so you didn’t want to be too harsh or too rude. It was a lot easier to think aloud on the generic site (officeworks). I found that once I got absorbed into the task, however, I needed to be reminded to think aloud because it is quite an unnatural thing to do
This was tricky when testing multiple participants because everyone approached “thinking aloud” differently and so the qualitative data between different participants varied greatly. It would have helped to provide the participants with more of a clear framework of the things to let me know as an evaluator perhaps – this comes as a trade off perhaps though, because you want data which is really accurate to what the user is thinking and not misconstrued by adapting the data for the kind of data I wanted to collect.
1) How did physically acting out help to explore ideas?
Our group chose the sleeping on aeroplane problem. Physically acting this out, helped us contextualise the problem spatially and gain a better insight into the proximity of other passengers and the seats in front and behind us. This helped us recognise the physical constraints we were working within.
2) Did you refine your ideas and solutions to the problem through body storming? In what way?
When we considered an idea, we then were able to contextualise it to consider if it was actually feasilble. Body storming was particularly useful in this regard because there is such limited space on an aeroplane. Often we were able to adapt our ideas to suit the physical constraints of an aeroplane.
3) What was difficult or challenging about body storming?
It was difficult to activate our imaginations to not only consider the plane row we were enacting but also think about our space in the broader context of a plane and then consider that we had theoretically already been flying for a few hours. I also found it hard to imagine my group as complete strangers on an aeroplane and how I would interact with them differently if I did not know them.
4) Does body storming lend itself to certain types of problems?
Body storming can feel childish and play-like. It that sense, sometimes it could be difficult to try and recreate a scene which is a serious representation of reality. If it distorts reality, sometimes solutions could not be feasible or practical in reality. Body storming really needs to be carried out in the actual context of the problem later in the ideation phase to test again and try and envisage new solutions again. It is a useful tool but must be considered as only a part of the ideation phase.
Blog reflection 5
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?
It was different to how I usually approach a problem. Usually, I envisage a solution to fit a broader range of people which meets their needs on some sort of mediatory level. In this extreme user case, I set out to solve the problem with the mindset that I wanted to create the best possible solution catered directly for the explicit needs and frustrations of my user. I was able to target the product so specifically. However, it may have not been a suitable product for anyone apart from my user because it was so explicitly tailored. Overall, it was an interesting exercise in considering alternate ways to approach a design solution.
2) Did any of the other design thinking techniques help you work through ideas and collaborate with your group members?
Storyboarding was a very helpful technique because it easily allows you to see how your solution would be used in the context of a problem. Providing a context helps to solidify how a product could work in reality. It was also a very helpful tool when communicating ideas amongst our group.