IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Design is a state of mind



Blog Reflection 06

  • How did physically acting out help to explore ideas?

Through physically acting out the situation, we place ourselves in the shoe of the users more than just mentally with our imagination but physically realistic as well, not only does it allow the designer to generate a much more user’s comfort orientated idea of the situation but it also allow the designer to think and feel the experience of the users. I think physically acting out is definitely helpful to design thinking.

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

Yes, through bodystorming we refine our initial ideas and solutions quite drastically in some cases. As we acted out some of our ideas, we realized how inconvenient and unpractical some of the solutions were, and through bodystorming it placed us in a much more physically realistic environment and allowed us to design practical and user friendly design solutions.

  • What was difficult or challenging about bodystorming?

I think the only difficulty about bodystorming is that we must recreate the scenario and set up a physically realistic setting for bodystorming. For example, in class, we were to simulate the scenario of sitting through a flight, and with a large classroom we were able to put chairs together to imitate the sitting orders, however, it is not the same without having the same type of seats as the ones on a real aeroplane.

  • Does body storming lend itself to certain types of problems?

I think in some scenarios it may become very difficult if physical settings are very difficult to emulate, such as designing something in outer space with a different gravitational pull and air pressure etc.

Blog Reflection 05

Reflect on your experience of the Ideation exercise by answering the following questions:

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?

Taking the position of an extreme user was very interesting and it has definitely influence my design thinking. I think this technique has both positives and negatives, the positive aspect is that it allows the design to think outside the box and come up with some very extreme and interesting ideas, however, the negative is that the ideas generated may be too unrelatable to the general public. This is very different to how I usually generate ideas and empathy, because I tend to design to cater for the general public and my thinking process is usually very ‘realistic’. However, I do like the use of extreme users to generate ideas because it allows me to think of something that I did not even realized was possible before.

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?

Stories and Storyboards are definitely helpful in both working through ideas and collaboration with the group. I think utilizing stories helps with engaging the listeners and stories is essential an example case studies for ideas therefore telling a story to the listener put the designer’s concepts into real life situation and it becomes much more relatable. Storyboards is a visual presentation, and I think utilizing images/drawings definitely is helpful in trying to communicate with the group and getting ideas across.

Drawings from Class:

Blog Reflection 04

Blog Reflection 04

Briefly reflect on the lessons learnt from each exercise

  1. Reflective listening

I think reflective listening is a very useful way of getting to know your interviewee better and has most certainly made me listen harder knowing that I must reflect upon the information I have received. Due to back and forth dialog exchanging nature of reflective listening, reflective listening feel more casual and reliefs the tension of being interviewed.

  1. Defamiliarisation of everyday reality

Defamiliarisation has allowed me to see something that I am very familiar with (taking a train) and transforming that experience into something different, as if I am a different person and looking at the experience with a new perspective. I think it is a great way to simulate empathy toward other users as it allows you to see something with a new perspective.

  1. Empathetic modelling

Empathetic modelling has allowed me to put myself into the shoes of someone with reduced visual capabilities and realized some of the visual elements that they must focus on in order to recognized what they are seeing e.g. Colours, Shapes, Texture and Size. This exercise was very practical and we got to explore with a new lens which was very exciting.

Complement your relections with photographs of the process


Include a scanned copy of your defamiliarisation forms (public transport)

Blog Reflection 03 Creating a Persona


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?


Creating a single persona from different users’ perspective is a great way to study what your target audience/ users’ needs and wants are and with the data collected designers may design something that cater their users on a much more personal level. For this exercise our primary focus were on the topic ‘Going To The Supermarket’. From our interviews we have collected data with huge variations, as a results creating only one single persona would not be enough to understand the entire demographic of the ‘supermarket goers’ hence two personas was created.


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


I believe that the personas created was very successful in generating empathy with some of the users. But in order to empathize with the majority we must conduct more interviews with a wider range of interviewees, a variation of culture, lifestyle and age could greatly change results of the data.

Week 1 Tutorial – Sketching As A Thinking Tool

Week 1 Tutorial

Exercise 1. Taking a pencil for a walk
Exercise 2. Developing your sketching vocabulary
Exercise 2. Developing your sketching vocabulary
Exercise 3. Sketchnoting a conference talk
Exercise 2. Developing your sketching vocabulary

How is this technique (Sketch-Noting) different to the traditional note taking?

I think sketch noting is very different to traditional note taking method. I believe that sketch noting is not for everyone. Depending on the type of information that is being presented but most of the time note taking requires fast hands in order to make a record of all the key points from the presentation, as a result, sketches from sketch noting may become overly abstract, therefore both the note taker and the interpreter must be very imaginative and fast in order to find the technique effective.

Positives – I think sketch noting is very beneficial in a way that images are often much easier to remember than words, therefore notes taken through sketch noting should give a much stronger impression to the note taker.  

Negatives – Time consuming and the results of your sketch notes may become very abstract without the proper descriptions.

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

As an architecture student, we appreciate visual approaches to communicate our ideas as people always say ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’, and it is very true. Sketching allows the audience to visualize your ideas and place themselves in the design.

However, visual approaches might not be suitable for every situation. It very much depends on your line of profession and also the person / client that you are trying to communicate to. Some people find visual aid confusing and sketching may just acerbate that confusion. In that case, written forms of communication may be more beneficial.

Personal challenges as a sketchnoter.

Personal challenges as a sketchnoter include:

  • Unable to sketch as fast as I would like to in order to make a record of all the useful information.
  • As I am sketching I lose myself in the process and missed out on other useful information that are being presented.

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