IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Design is a state of mind



Master of interaction Design and digital art Students-2016 semester 2

Blog reflection 7-bodystorming

1) How did physically acting out help to explore ideas?

Actually, when doing the physcal acting out, we really found some point that we never think about before. Our topic is searching a way to make the sleeping experience on airplane better, at the beginning, we started with barinstorming, came up some idea on changing seat type. But when we practicing our idea in behaviour we found it may not easy to achieve. For instance, we have an idea to set a wall between two passenger, but when we practice our idea, founding that when setting a wall the passenger sitting inside cannot go out through a little space between the wall and the front seat.


2)Did you refine your ideas and solutions to the problems through bodystorming? In what way?

I think the body storming can help us putting our idea in the real life early before the products, which can help us verify weather our ideas are doable.Furthermore, during the practice, we actually can find some detail we never think about. We found the passenger will feel offensive when neigbour’s head leaning to them during sleep, basing on this information, we came up an idea to make an arch back cuision to support passenger’s head. Which either can provide an camfort experience of sleeping and comfort space between two passenger.



3)What was difficult or challenging about bodystorming?

When behave in similier circumstance,  participants may bring their own habits in practicing and affect the generation of idea. Take an example of a group member, she perfer to put her two legs on the seat when taking airplane, so during the exploration she unintentioanlly consider this habit as an major starting point and ignore one thing that only few people will have this kind of habit.

Another challenge I think should the balance between fidelity and cost. It is undeniable that building the higher fidelity environment will cost more. Not only about the money but also about the labour. From the construcion of space and the building of the atmosphere, all of this stuff will cost a lot. By contrast, the lower fidelity can restrict the expense, but the experience of body storming will not reach the real environment.



4)Does bodystorming lend itself to certain types of problems?

The bodystorming can actually prevent us from missing some detail design, and also can double-check the doable of initial idea. But as I mentioned, the bodystorming are eaily affected by personal behaviour, which can lead our way to a deflected place. The increaseing of the partcipants may help researcher to get an more correct result, but it cannot say that the bevaiour effect are disappeared.


Blog reflection-tutorial 5

In this tutorial I had worked with three guys on the creating of a virtual reality business phone booth, based on a extreme user.

How did taking the position of an Extreme User influence your thinking in relation to the design challenge?

At the beginning, we choose the money spinner as our target user, but we have no experience as a money-spinner, even a little knowledge about how to make a big money. Thus we started from their possible everyday behaviors. Fortunately, due to their unique behavior pattern, the money spinner become the frequenter in TV and film. We can easily imagine their daily life based on the movie and drama we have seen before.

By myself, I think taking the position of an extreme user are comparatively easier, because their are a small group and their behaviors are polarized. However, I think it’s not enough just take a position. The reality is always different, the culture work we see on the TV or cinema are always extremalized and one-sided. Such as the priest in TV drama and film,we can only see their character as a priest, but no chance to touch their role as father or husband or friend. I think one person’s personality are comprehensively affected by his characters. Taking the position of an extreme user maybe can help us get in touch with the superficial of empathy to the users, but is we want to dig deeper, the user research is inevitable.

Was it different to how you usually generate ideas and empathy?

Firstly, I usually generate idea through the guess of what they need and what they want except starting from their daily life, discovering their behaviors pattern. Taking position of the target user can help me getting in touch with the detail of their life. It provides me a thinking to create a common and concrete profile of target users. Furthermore, it also change my way of generating a prototype, in the past, I prefer to imitating competitors’ prototype, which cannot perfectly meet my target user’s need. the tutorial conveys a method to me which broaden the horizon of thinking.
Secondly, when comparing with empathy, I think it expands the area of what empathy can think about. For instance , when we see poor guys we will generate an empathy about how poor they are from what we see. Which are severely affected by subjective reason? By contrast, in this tutorials, we started from an objective position in order to dig out the objective need of the users. from the standpoint, we can more correctly find out the real need behind the surface. Take a beggar as an example, many people will give a coin to the beggar, but after research standing from an objective standpoint, we may find their real need is a chance of a job interview.

I think, by taking the position of an extreme user, we can learn more than just the empathy.

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 think the storyboard and storytelling help us a lot in this tutorial. Due to the extreme user we choose are pretty common character in the drama and movie. So based on the TV or film we seen, its very easy to get a initial story of the extreme user. After that, the only thing we need to do is to use detail and fragment truth to enrich our story.

Reflective listening

My partner is Christine, we choose the topic of why we get in this area. I go first, during my speaking process I found it is hard to clearly explain the reason, but I still try my best to explained to my partner. My expression was not good enough to engage my partner into what the world, because after the tutorial, I recollect the memory I found I had told a lot about my feeling but not the real experience. I think which is much harder to the listener to engage. Thus, I think as the role of speaker, I didn’t make it good.

Speaking part is hard, but the listening part is easier to me, I found whether the listener can imagine the story partly depends on how vivid the speaker expressed. Christine did a really good job, her story especially when she describe that she participant an HCI competition, doing the research and interview. Because I was just finished an interview, I can completely feel what she said. Moreover, we all come from china, so, what the look of the host place is easy to imagine. Thus, I think what if we come from the different country and speak the different language and have a different culture, is that make more hard to imagine? Actually, this idea reminds me a conversation between me and one of my classmate who is from middle-east. He described a lot about their culture and food, which really surprised me a lot, but when I try to imagine these things, I found I can only imagine it based the film I ever watched before.

I think when doing the user research (especially the interview part) the culture barriers will also become the big problems. As I just did an interview with a friend who is from Iran, our topic is energy-saving, when he describe his story I found all the pictures in my mind are based on china, even the result of this interview is good, the little mistake of my imagination didn’t affect the outcome, but I still think its a problem.

Back to the tutorial. I think me and my partner all did the best, but I still can’t fully master the skill of speaking and listening.

Defamiliarization of everyday reality

In this section, we watch the video of train and bus. The first video records the circular quay station. because I had been circular quay station for only one time, so I’m not familiar with this place. but other factors remind me some memory.

  • The sound of voice prompt
  • The sound of rolling wheel
  • The same chair and digital screen

These three things make me feel familiar.

  • the sight of the railway
  • Long-times stay on the station

The above thing makes me feel strange. Firstly, when I get off or get on the train station, I care a little about how the railway looks like. But in the video, it spends nearly 30sec to show how the railway looks like. Secondly, I usually not stay too long on the station, during the playing, I found I was a little anxiety, due to the natural feeling of that I need to move quickly to my destination.

Regarding the bus video. I found some interesting things

  • I never recognize the sounds of the bus is as much loud as the video shows
  • I never recognize jolt o the bus

And another thing is that when I put myself into the scenery, I found I was anxiety too. I think it maybe the reason that I naturally worry the missing of the bus station.

Experience modelling

In this part, we put cling wrap on glass and camera, which make it hard to clearly see the out world. Although the sight is indistinct, I still can figure out the shape and the color of things. based on my experience, it’s easy to speculate what is in front of me. It’s didn’t affect my action.

Not only the shape and color, sound or the also play an important role when I identify the world. During the distinctive situation, I found the voice make the world familiar, I have tried to isolate the voice out of my ear by using my hand, after that, it was hard for me to feel the world.

This exercise makes me realize the important of color and shape, and of course, the sound. Visual information occupies a major position of identification, but without it, the voice and can also make a big contribution.

Week 3: setting up persona

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


Starting with the interview, I can gradually understand the daily life of my prospective user. The different group has variable living pattern, which varies their habit of doing something. By conducting an interview, the interviewer can feel the detail from interviewees’s words. This process can help me find some common point between me and interviewee, in turn, I can more effectively make an empathy to this specific person.


Organizing info seems to be the process to find out the behavior pattern of our target group. While I write their pattern down on the scale one by one, I will put myself in this kind of circumstance. Through collecting a bunch of pieces of the snippet, I can build up a whole persona in my mind, which integrate the characters of prospective users, helping me learn more about their lifestyle.


Persona, of course, after I build it in my mind, I actually need to put it on the paper. However, it doesn’t means I just did a simple transferring. Actually, during this process, I found when I write down my imagined persona on the paper, some fragments are contradictory and some fragment is incomplete, then I have to substitute my own imagination which based on the empathy into persona making.



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


Recognizing a behavior and classify it under a specifically named variable, I actually found a lot of points that I never recognized before. Sometimes the result may reveal different outcomes with what you think about. For instance, When I organizing the note about customers’ choice about what they care about in their shopping experience, the big trolley has become the annoyed things, which not only stuck the path but also hard to control. Furthermore, in this case, the proximity, merchandise, and price also considered as the factors which affect customers’ choice. Behind the factors, I can infer some connection between their life and their shopping pattern. For example, almost all of group members choose to go to supermarket twice a week and all of our members are care about the fresh of vegetable and fruit. Which indicate two of our life patterns–we are students so we don’t have much time to waste in shopping; we are students we have no income, so we choose to cook by ourselves, so we need to care about raw materials we use.


Even this consequence is a little overgeneralization, but the data shows that there are some rules we can use to find out the real need for our users.



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


Firstly, and the most difficult, I think should be naming and defining a variable where we can set a scale to measure the data. During the process, we found it is hard to set a variable to rationally combine interview result on a scale. Take an example, when we try to draw a scale, we found the reasons of shopping on our list cannot be changed into a scale, in other words, it is difficult to be defined in a single line. So we choose to draw a bunch of lines to define each reason as a single variable, but another problem is that we don’t have much time to draw so many variables as we plan. Thus, in the next time we should try not to stick on “drawing a line”, but make a list or some other way to make our process easier.


Secondly, I think should be setting up a persona. Of course, as I mentioned above, it is hard to make a complete story of an imaginary person, but the other challenge we met is that we always unintentionally leave our own subjective opinions in the persona, as we set up a refugee persona (this is what we did on interface design tutorials). Some missing snippets which are not contained in interview sheet, we like to fill it by using our own snippet. (eg.when talk about the favorite movie star of refugee, we pick Tom Cruise, but maybe they don’t even know about Tom Cruise. And the reason why we pick Tom is just because we like him). Regarding the solution of this problems, I think is trying to be subjective, and building our persona based on more detailed data. Which can reduce the missing snippets when we try to structure a complete story.

Blog reflection 2: inteprating information by note

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

During the user research process, I think establishing a synesthesia could be an effective way to understand the real need of the user. Before this exercise, users in my imagination are always a concept without any feeling which constantly demand new function. I have heard a sentence which probably means” pretend you user as an idiot who knows nothing about how to use your product “.However, after this tutorial, I think this sentence may not always right. Actually, when I read the interview sheet I can feel the interviewee, Especially when they state something assembles to what I have done.

The world and sentences structure they used, can help me to complete their persona, even guess their experience. For instance, while the reading, the interviewee say”I can’t coincide with my wife’s schedule”, I think ” maybe this guy is a manager who has to deal with a heap of things or maybe this couple are struggling for life”. Each decision they did must have reasons. By reading or doing an interview, I think, can help me to feel the user, which is very important.

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

By organising info, we can find some common point of users. Basing on this common point, we can establish a framework and determine the basic function of the product. Otherwise, this clustering message can also provide the info about what user actually don’t need. when I reading the interview sheet, I found tourist tend to ignore the guidebook introducing the local scenery given by hotel, for the reason that google can help tourist do the most of their searching work. it can to some extent prevent the designer from investing time in useless work.

Furthermore, their behaviour pattern could also become a guideline for designing work. For example, when I read the paper I found some tourist prefer to wandering in an Unknown city without navigation, because which can help them to” experience “the city. Hence, based on this info,pay more attention to understanding how to promote users’ experience is another point that producer has to focus on.

What was difficult or challenging with the technique?

This is what we did in tutorial 2


Actually, when I comparing my note with the other, I find an interesting thing –the notes we did go some way reflect the writing style of each person. Which become a barrier when we try to understanding what they want to say. Actually, in most of the time, I can’t understand what other’s opinions by barely reading their notes. One reason attributes to messy handwriting, but another key factor is that we can’t clearly explain what we think of writing.


Another problem happened when we try to organize info. The number of ambiguous notes is far more than I imagine, nearly every note can be classified to more than one category. How to set up a clear and structured system to containing all the notes in a distinctive way is a major challenge.

Finally, I think should be my reading skill. During a half hour, I can only finish 4 pages, which will severely delay the following things, affecting the process.

How would you do it better next time?

  • Firstly, I think I have to make my note more simple, trying to phrase my words in no more than 10 words.
  • Secondly, I need more practice, in order to improve my reading skill.
  • Finally, my participation is not enough, I should communicate more with the group  members.

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