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IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Design is a state of mind

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jwak9113

Blog Reflection #7 – Affordances – jwak9113

Joseph Wakim

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

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The common wooden spoon was selected for this exercise. Typically, the wooden spoon is used to mix things or scoop food in the kitchen, however I used a variety of different materials, objects and scenarios to gain a different understanding of the objects affordances. Using cardboard, I was able to gain a new affordance angle. The spoon was able to now scoop more mass, creating a pseudo-selfie stick.

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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 used a number of methods to manipulate the object and person’s interaction with the wooden spoon. Firstly, I reduced the amount of mobility a person could master, opting to use chopsticks instead of a open hand. This reduced mass made it difficult for a user to control the wooden spoon, as its handle design is suitable for an grabbing object, and not so much a pinching object. I then instructed the user’s to wear rubber gloves. This resulted in better mobility as the friction of the rubber gloves allowed for better handling of the chopsticks and in turn resulting in better handling of the wooden spoon.

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Blog Reflection #6 – Experience Prototyping – jwak9113

Joseph Wakim

How did physically acting out help to explore ideas?

By acting out the scenarios, we were able to uncover problems, issues and opportunities that we overlooked during our initial discussion. Acting out also helped to describe situations after they occur, example we discussed someone coming into a clinic however when we acted it out, we realised after you enter a clinic and speak to the receptionist, what happens next? This process repeated itself and allowed us to look at things at a more granular level.


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

Yes, during initial discussion we made a number of assumptions that were either validated when acting out, or reputed. This helped to shape our solution and ideas and allow us to find latent needs that we did not consider.


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What was difficult or challenging about bodystorming?

Acting skills left a lot to be desired so initially it was a little difficult for the team to act out the scenario. Once the team were comfortable, our efforts were focused on identifying latent and explicit needs of the actors.


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Does bodystorming lend itself to certain types of problems?

Yes, bodystorming allows for scenarios to be played out under supervision, where behaviour, intent and result can all be analysed to identify latent and explicit needs. Assumptions and hypothesis’ can be more rapidly validated and tested against, thus refining the problem statement and ensuring that a solution does in fact solves the right problem.

Blog Reflection #5 – Ideating – jwak9113

Joseph Wakim

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

The extreme user helped to come up with some crazy and outside the box ideas. We were able to take these whacky idea’s and use certain aspects of them to include in more realistic ideas. The idea’s also helped to eliminate certain aspects that we considered no meeting the design challenge. The aim as an extreme user is to get broader ideas that can be dissected and pieces used as part of a realistic design solution.


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

Yes, human behaviour is to logically come up with answers and ideas, however the Extreme User’s forced us to disregard logic and to come up with truly creative ideas that we may have not otherwise come up with. Empathy was also easier to build as the extreme user followed ‘stereotypes’ that are far easier to pick up and relate to, opposed to complex factors in a standard persona.


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?

To be honest, no not really. Being an Extreme User, your story or storyboard won’t make much sense since it’ll be full of bizarre and un relatable situations. While using an extreme user for idea generation is great, trying to work through a story or storyboard resulting in deliverables that a designer may not necessarily use when they come to design a solution. The Extreme Users are great to identify opportunities, and features that can greatly benefit current users of the design problem.

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Blog Reflection #4 – Creating Personas – jwak9113

Joseph Wakim

Describe your experience of creating a single persona from different users’ perspectives gathered in the interview data. Was there enough commonality between the 4 people interviewed to form a coherent persona? Or would it have made more sense to create a second different persona?

We started getting similar situations which made sense to create a second persona. Due to the range of demographic in the group, the experiences of public transport varied. It was interesting to see patterns forming, which helped with the creation of the personas into the different archetypes.


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

Yes, we were able to understand the frustrations of the persona user, and this would help during our designing process. We can not solve a problem if we do not know the actual problem to begin with. By understanding their background, behaviour, motivations and frustrations, empathy can more easily be generated. I would have liked to include more pictures to aid more visually. A lot can be identified through images of a persona’s backstory and how they interact with their surroundings.

Blog Reflection #3 – Interpreting Data – jwak9113

Joseph Wakim

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

By reading through the interview transcript and pulling out latent and explicit needs, I was able to understand how the user felt, what he/she thought and what they wanted. When all the key points are written down on sticky notes and flushed out in front of you, it is easier to understand exactly what they are going through and allows me to empathise much easier.


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

By clustering like information, I was able to identify patterns and similarities with the user’s actions and needs. It allowed me to verify that any hypothesis I had of a certain latent or explicit need, was backed up with corresponding information. Also, through the review and moving of sticky notes, I was able to rethink and reevaluate decisions of clustering. This continuous evaluation, helped to identify new needs and remove seemingly unwanted needs.


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What was difficult or challenging with the technique? 

The constant moving around of post it notes made it a little difficult to find like information at first. Also, with a large group of 5, the constant moving of posts also made it hard to keep track of movements and updates. When reading a similar statement, it was hard to go back and find the like statement to match it against. Another aspect was the granularity of groupings. Whilst groups were localised, they could always go another level down to more specific groupings.

How would you do it better next time?

I think having each team member group their data first, before placing them on the white board. Once initial groupings are formed, the group could then discuss each others bunches and then start placing each others groups together. From then, we can start to revise and move posts around. In essence, to begin the exercise, I believe some form of vetting is best to reduce the amount of confusion and increase the effectiveness of the diagram.

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