What kinds of information and insights did it give you about the usability of the prototype?
This practice gives you first hand feed back from your observation immediately. Sometimes, the verbal and non-verbal behavior would work together to give out information. But sometimes, the later one might comes out earlier as the user is looking for a conclusion before he/her can say something. And to some extent, we designer should make the process more enjoyable: make user reach their target easily.
This practice also reminded me of conversations when I talked with my urban studio tutor about my assessment. I want to get as much information as possible from my tutor, so what I did was not only hearing what he said, but also his non-verbal behaviors, like facial expression, which shows the information behind and your tutor may not choose to tell you at that moment.
What aspects of the technique worked well or were frustrating?
As an observer, you can get some feedback from the user when he/her interact with a piece of technique. But the outcome varies not only because of your observation ability, but also the quality of user. In addition, users might just keep silent and make unconscious behaviors instead of what “think-aloud” requires.
Choose one of the objects you selected and describe how your initial understanding of its affordances changed over the course of the exercise?
My object is a hanger.
At first I was trying to find out how the hanger will be used in the other situation, like in the bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, living room, study room, even in the gym. The results are a little bit exaggerate. Earring, egg whisk, bookmark. But all of these remain the shape of hanger, and use it just in other way.
Then I tried to find other alternative way by using plastic wrap which provide more possibility. It worked. At last, I used wrap to twine the body of hanger, and tied knots to improve firmness of the shape. As a result, it turned out to be a bag thing.
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 idea rests in the need of where should the clothes be put after drying. Some of them will be remain hanging until being worn, like dress. But stuffs like socks, tie need to be put at somewhere. What if making a hanger which can store them? The hanger is firm, and can provide skeleton to make space. Then here comes the wrap, can treated as skin.
So affordance rests on the basis of need. Or, every design should base on needs, and then combine different type of sources to make it come true. However, the diversity is kind of being restricted in order to achieve a purpose in this process. And affordance needs the designer to break the initial purpose and find the possibility(material, form..) remains in the object and give a new life to it.
1.How did physically acting out help to explore ideas?
We should mention the activity we did before acting: warm up. It did warm up. We tried to list all the terrible experience we had during a flight, and some of them resonated with others’. Some of them do bother everyone! Then we started to physically acting out after the warm up. Our acting was quite similar although we did not tell what to do: trying to get rid of the light and the noise( especially from a crying baby) around. So the acting out not only showed our most desperate needs, but also led us to make our mind to find a way to solve the problems.
2.Did you refine your ideas and solutions to the problem through brainstorming? In what way?
Actually, the idea had come to my mind during the physically acting out. And by coincidence, another group member got the same idea. We wanted to make a device like sunglasses to get rid of the light from other parts, meanwhile add covers over ears to get rid of the noise from outside. In this way, we solved two of the most annoying issues on the plane.
3.What was different or challenging about body storming?
We tried to make us look like sitting in the plane. However, because of the current limitation, we missed some opportunities to find out more potential problems, at the same time we tended to acting out what was in our mind , and usually they are the problem we care most.
4.Does body storming lend itself to certain types of problems?
We had two choices at the very beginning, one is in the airplane, the other is in the consulting room. Most people had been to those two places at least several times before, so we know what it likes, what happens, what the potential problems is, what people need. However, when it comes to a uncommon situation or complex one, body storming might can do little, for example, make a sandwich on the moon.
How did taking the position of an Extreme User influence your thinking in relation to the design challenge?
The role we chose is trekkie. And a Frankenstein is in our minds. Then we three tried our best to think about what kind of life would a trek people live in, how technology influence his daily life, and the differences between him and normal people. Then we listed as many kinds of advanced technologies as possible which could be put into use by a telephone booth. So our concern is that how will a trek people use a telephone booth within his technical gene deep inside.
Was it different to how you usually generate ideas and empathy?
The main difference is the group of user who are going to use your product. Generally, the thoughts in my mind and choices I made mostly depend on the “common need” of people, what is people’s regular need. However, when it comes to extreme users, the situation changes. My focus is a special group of people whose life is effected by a certain aspect. For the trek people, the technology is the main factor. And this particular characteristic is somewhat zoomed in to some extent in the design process. That is to say, the design should have some identity. People should know what kind of people will use it when saw the product.
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 am highly appreciate the design thinking techniques that were introduced during the tutorial. They helped a lot not only because they made the design process clear, but also made clear of the idea.
-Design provocation card. Design should meet the need of user. By list the needs, we can design according to the list. Especially, for people like me who always can not focus on and forgetful, this method does make a big difference.
-Stories. It helps me put back the design into daily life, and let me see a more comprehensive picture: When will the user need the design? How will the user make use of the design in certain situation? How the design help the user out? Meanwhile, this story makes me compare other experiences of people facing the same problem.
-Storyboards. Obviously, it could make how to design work quite clear to the public. But my drawing skill limited its power. For me, I need further explanation to make my idea easier to understand.