IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Design is a state of mind



Blog Reflect 09 – dcui1879

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

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

It allowed for the understanding of the key features of the design product; what the user would want to see and use. It created a context in which the product will be used and how it interacts with our everyday environment. By focusing on these main points, it will benefit in communicating our design concept.

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

We had a lot of influence from immersive advertisement. It is quite difficult to convey a multi-faceting design product through a single visual story. But by involving close-ups and wide shots, I think it will communicate our design product effectively.

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

We did not create a specific audience and style when desining the storyline structure. I think we always had a general purpose audience in mind, as effective healthcare affects everyone.

Blog 08 – dcui1879

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

One of my objects was a wine stopper. It had properties of metal with a rubber mid-section to effectively block liquid. It had a screwable sphere on top to act as a handle to screw onto a wine bottle. It was cold to touch and heavy for its size. My initial understanding of it was that it could be used as a general purpose plug or a golf tee as it was narrow at the point a user would insert it. It had grooves and a handle so I thought it could also be used as a special key for a vault. As my team viewed it from different angles and interplayed it with other materials such as floss, it was apparent it could be used as a necklace as it was shiny and unique in shape.

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.

As mentioned in the above example, through manipulation with other materials, new affordances were made apparent. It broadened the scope of what an object could afford to do and added additional inspirations for concepts. By simply just adding floss with my wine stopper, an affordance of a necklace was created.

Blog Reflection 07 – dcui1879


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


User observation – A user can convey their thoughts and feelings through verbal and nonverbal behaviours. By undertaking user observation for the assigned prototypes, the majority of information and insights were obtained through nonverbal cues such as facial expression and body expressions. This is important as relying on just verbal feedback is limited. The Officeworks website when compared to the Sydney University Website yielded two different results. The verbal and nonverbal behaviours were mostly negative for the Sydney University website while for the Officeworks website, limited information was obtained as it was very usable. Having clear search filters and categories helped tremendously when using Officeworks while having convoluted and user defined search parameters for Usyd worked against it.

Think-aloud – Thinking aloud is difficult for a user as it is not a natural action to do. It might inhibit natural progression through a prototype but on the other hand there is opportunity in understanding how a user thinks critically about every action taken. By thinking aloud, it allowed me to think about all ways in which a goal is achieved. It artificially restricted me to follow a certain path. For example, searching through the Usyd website for a journal is not the first place I would begin checking; a simple search through google would be the more efficient method.


  • What aspects of the technique worked well or were frustrating?


As above

Blog Reflection 06 – dcui1879

How did physically acting out help to explore ideas?

Physically acting out ideas helped tremendously in the spatial design of the problem (sleeping in aeroplanes). By understanding the limitations of the space, new ideas generated allowed for  the creation of a  practical solution.

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

Initially, my group body stormed how a normal passenger would sit in an aeroplane seat. We then proceeded to understand how different passengers sleep on aeroplanes. This helped in designing a universal solution to the problem. We began to think of what was possible in that space provided; we had one person directing the people and chairs and another drawing up concept sketches / taking pictures to the solution provided. By bodystorming initially and then refining through sketches, we found a good solution. We then proceeded to analyse our initial brainstorm on what problems users felt on aeroplanes and whether our solution solved those issues.

What was difficult or challenging about bodystorming?

The difficulties of body storming is the directing of people to reflect the idea in your head. Sometimes it is not physically possible without other props or people. The conflict of ideas is another issue but luckily in my group everyone was on the same train of thought and new ideas generated iterated on the initial idea.

Does bodystorming lend itself to certain types of problems?

A problem I see with body storming is that ideas generated are limited to the tangible objects around you. More innovative or far-fetched ideas would be hard to generate with body storming as objects around could limit imagination and creativity.

Blog Reflection 5 – dcui1879

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 allowed me to embody a personality that would never have been apparent. It allowed for a consistent approach to all future ideas and decisions generated. It definitely is a new approach for me and allows for more innovative and far-fetched ideas to thought of which would not be otherwise possible. However, I think the use of both normal and extreme user profiles allows for a more balanced concept to be developed.

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?

Stories and storyboards did help a lot in collaborating with group members. By having both a narrative and visual way of sharing ideas, it allowed for a cohesive singular idea to be generated rather quickly.

Blog Reflection 04 – dcui1879


Reflective listening

Active listening through repeating and asking leading questions is a good way to empathise. Through reaffirming understandings of what has been said, it allowed for a deeper connection with the individual.

Defamiliarization of everyday reality
Describing the feelings, thoughts and memories about public transport scenarios allowed for a deep experience to be recorded. As more time went by jotting down thoughts, the superficial thoughts of everyday life evolved to past memories and emotions linked to my experience being on the bus and train.


Empathetic modelling
Through this practical exercise, it allowed me to understand the bigger problem of individuals with sight problems. We rely on our eyesight every day and when this sense is gone, the familiar becomes unfamiliar. This exercise forced me to rely on illumination and closeness of distance to take photos. By stepping briefly into the shoes of an individual with visual impairment, it has allowed me to appreciate the accessibility design all around us which is normally taken for granted.



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