IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Design is a state of mind



blog reflection 8 / ggon8453

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

Doing a task in a website while observing carefully gives you a hint on where are the usability problems, since every person is different it is important to see by testing others too. If it’s just one person perspective or a key observation. It is difficult to start looking for the problems in a platform when you have no idea where are they. They can be everywhere. Setting a task is a really good way to find out about where to start. Then, begin to dig deeper, also, to have a general idea if you are going the right way or consider a redesign earlier without losing too many resources.

2. What aspect of the technique worked well or were frustrating?

I believe the frustrating part is understanding what is this technique for and what are you trying to achieve. Once your mind process the method you find it very useful, you start understanding which tasks are better to understand your user and wich ones are not worth of testing. Unfortunately, you can only learn this with practice. I personally like this technique very much. Couldn’t think about any better because it gives a structure to the learning process, but it is open enough to realize about things you may be overlooking.

blog reflection 7 / ggon8354

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

I selected a tube of hand cream; it was pretty easy to understand how to use it. It had a rolling lid similar to a tube of Toothpaste that I’m sure almost everyone knows how to use. There were nor differences between observing and then manipulating the object. When I tried to sketch from different angles I realized some of them are not easy to understand and indeed I did on sketch just trying to make the object clear but not real and that one was the most understandable. I noticed that my object could be mistaken as another product such as a painting tube because people is used to find particular products in particular packaging.
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.

I learned that affordances are very related to our target users, the things they are used to and their understanding of the environment. Affordances are relative to users. It is important to find the correct ones for the people that is using our product.

I felt inspired by a paper clip I explored during the exercise, It offered too many possibilities; it had a strong relation to keeping things and objects together, it had this metal holders that were very obvious they could roll around to the other side. I also explored a battery charger, It had two interesting affordances, one that you needed to pop out and the other one to hold it, so I knew it must be plugged somewhere, I understood how this aspects leading to the same way helped the users into successfully use the object.


Blog reflection 6 – ggon8453

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

Physically acting takes the visualization into the material world, It makes the experience sort of tangible, I mean that it places it in the material world. It’s hard to describe how this works but it actually creates a time and space frame for it. Once I understood the place of my idea in the real world I was able to see details, I wouldn’t otherwise. I was very interested in how the experience developed because of how my teammates were reacting towards my expressions, most of the time I was not expecting it as they were not expecting mine. We realized how important is to be aware that everyone is very different and would do the same things in a different way.

2) Did you refine your ideas and solutions to the problem through body storming? In what way?

Yes, we did, as I explained before, going further into making it tangible by framing it in time and space brought up issues and details we were not aware. It also made us develop our idea into something we didn’t think at the beginning.
3) What was difficult or challenging about body storming?

Just the beginning. Jumping out of feeling ridiculous, I mean stop being too aware that it would look nonsense and setting everybody imaginations on the same page.
4) Does body storming lend itself to certain types of problems?

Yes, since you have this detailed visualization you can see further complications, most of it physical but also communication ones.

Blog reflection 5 / ggon8453

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 a good exercise to step out of my personal thoughts and understand new possibilities coming from what may be other person needs. Since it is an extreme example it also leads to extreme insights about the idea you are analyzing; it may also let you go through a different path while solving a problem.
My extreme user was the money spinner, at the beginning it was hard to understand and ideate this character, but once I developed the person in my head it was easy to dress it up with personal and background characteristics.

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?

Yes it helped me to work through the ideas, every time I modeled better the idea and my thoughts got better structure, with the story for example; I visualized how my device would be used and how it would make my user’s life easier.
With the storyboard I understood every step I had to cover in my design and was better at pointing the characteristics my idea must have.

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Summary poster / ggon8453


The review I received was mostly about the proposals, my peers wanted to know more about them, since they were not very detailed, I believe I should have done a better organized  poster and I should have described the main idea at the beginning. My peers liked my personas and they were interested on the insights found, but again I failed in pointing them clearly.

Blog reflection 4 – Creating personas

Describe your experience in 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?

Creating personas was a great sense making way for the interview insights we found when we analyzed the patterns in the different participants questions, we had two very clear patterns within our team, which made obvious the need of two personas, using details from the participants but also thinking about describing someone to make it natural was powerful to understand someone else’s perspective, for example; thinking about the persona made of two teammates that had similar lifestyles help me to realize details about their life schedules and time management, that otherwise even looking at the data I would have never thought about.

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

Yes, I believe our final personas were really empathetic to the users since we found clear insights and patterns, I would have done better by spending more time thinking carefully about the questions, and analyzing their answers as well, probably a sort of follow back for some more questions that I may have realized were needed while bringing out the insights.

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Reflection 3 – Interpreting data

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

This exercise makes you step into the user’s shoes, it reveals other perspectives and allows you to dig deeper into motivations or certain interests they may have, because you don’t have to stick to certain questions you can keep building them as the interview goes on, this characteristic creates the feeling of not being in an interview but in an actual conversation, and that, creates empathy.

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

Because it was easier to find patterns, It made clear what the users were trying to achieve, also it’s useful when you find out about some topic it was not clearly said but hidden between lines.

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

For me it was difficult to bring out the user statements, interests, needs and motivations, and to not try to come up with a structure to fill, instead of clustering and let it reveal by itself. I would do better by taking better notes of the statements, interests, needs and motivations, I would be slower and do it with a lot more detail, so nothing is missed.

Reflection 2 – Sketching as a thinking tool

  • How is this technique different to the traditional note taking?

Since you are also trying to represent something visually it keeps you focused on the topic so you get more information than if you were only looking at the speaker, also because you are processing all the information in order to create a visual representation the chances to keep the knowledge obtained are higher and easier to recall. So, it’s different because it’s about interacting with the information, not just receiving it.

  • How does this visual approach facilitate communication of your ideas? Conversely, how does it prevent it?

It facilitates communication because an image is easier and faster to understand, it can speak by itself so you don’t need too much words to describe it. For me it’s less complicated than to writte, I just have to draw the images that are in my mind and make them coherent with some words. However, sometimes people have different interpretations about some objects or expressions that could be understood in a totally different way and you may end communicating the opposite idea.

  • Personal challenges as a sketchnoter.

I really enjoyed this way of note taking because I was focused and had no time for distractions. I felt challenged when the speaker started introducing too much concepts and key ideas at the same time but I believe it’s just a matter of practice, as long as you keep doing it, I think it becomes natural and more effective.


Blog Reflection 1

1) How did engaging with a real person, testing with a real person, change the direction your prototype took?

It changed everything, It gave me a better understanding of the needs, since I got much more information like non verbal language, the real reaction to the idea and the feeling of connection, that was very inspiring and motivating.

 2) What was it like showing unfinished work to another person?

I believe it breaks the ice between client and designer and shows how the designer is working with the idea, the client may feel much more comfortable explaining in a deeper way and freely correct whatever the designer is not understanding, since there’s no feeling of making someone work double. It opens the exploration in both ways (client – designer) and tightens the relation between them, which I think is better for the process and evolution of the project, because it may flow better in the next stages.

 3) As a User, how did you interact with your partner’s level of lowly-resolved prototype; how did the level of resolution impact your experience as a user?

As a user I got the idea much more faster, I was able to imagine better than if it was just described by words, I got a good general view of the project and was able to go further in my reactions towards it, the level of resolution was not important at that moment, because at that point all I wanted to know was what was it about, having a draft was enough to feel a tangible idea and that the designer was really thinking about what I said.

 4) Design thinking is an iterative, self-directed process. Based on what you learned, what would you go back and do next? What would you do over again?

The next thing I would do is look again in the requirements and all the information I have, maybe I could improve the idea, What I would do over again is the interview, I would get better prepared to bring up the information I need, and think about how can I make it interesting or a enjoyable conversation.

 5) What principle, what tool would you infuse into the work tomorrow?

Definitely showing the design process, I never thought it was that important until this exercise and after reading “Abductive Thinking and Sensemaking.” (suggested reading). Showing how you are working in the project really makes the client appreciate your ability to solve problems and understand deeply what they are paying for, It gives the designer a tangible base to stand and stay strong.

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