IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Design is a state of mind



Blog Reflection 6_Experience Prototyping

How did physically acting out help to explore ideas?

We will never know until we experience it. When we sit down and think about the problem we need to solve, we would never achieve all the details. However, if we act out the scenery physically, we can feel all. For example, if the urban designers want to design the passageway for disables, it is better for them to experience the passageway with wheelchairs. It is quite difficult for them to imagine the potential problems if they don’t act out as a ‘disable’.

Furthermore, physical acting is more interesting and enjoyable than just thinking. When we think about something, we may stop after we got some ideas. However, when we are acting out something, we will try to finish the acting and eventually we would generate more good ideas.

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

 Yes, we did refine our solutions after the bodystorming. Our group did the ‘sleepness on the airplane’ topic and we believe sometimes the smell around may also affect the sleepness on the airplane. So at first, we wanted to invent an independently sealed foot closet under the seat. However, during the bodystorming, we found it really not convenient and not easy for clean-up and maintenance. Then a better idea came up—why don’t we make an independently sealed seat, which can block the smell outside and adjust its own temperature as well? So we changed our ideas at last.



What was difficult or challenging about bodystorming?

 I would say the difficulty of bodystorming is the scenery setting up. Sometime it’s hard for us to 100% represent the scenery with limited materials and in the certain environment. For example, in the classroom, we can’t really perfectly imitate the situation on the airplane, so that we may miss out many details.

 Does bodystorming lend itself to certain types of problems?

 Yes. I think through bodystorming, people could only generate practical ideas, which are related to the real world. During the bodystorming, we are more focusing on the body experience that is kind of narrow and specific. If we are doing brainstorming, the imagination can travel to everywhere without limit.

Li Li, lili7039

Blog Reflection 5_Ideating

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?

When I was taking the position of an Extreme User, I have to think from his/her perspectives. I found it actually a bit difficult since we don’t really have these extremely thoughts. All of the information was from our imagination, and we made up the characters and the stories. It would be better if we could talk with these extreme users to understand what they are really thinking about.

No, there was not much difference from how I usually generate ideas and empathy. Normally I just follow my feelings to check what is the problem and how to fix it. This time, I just changed the character to think as an extreme user, but still to think about what would the problem be and how the extreme users would fix it.

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, the stories and storyboards did help me to work through ideas. We worked on the Romantic Extreme User at class and we didn’t know how to start to generate the ideas. However, after the stories came out, we all have some ideas related to the stories. The design thinking techniques are really useful for us to find out the breakthrough point.

Li Li, lili7039


Week 4_Empathy and Defamiliarisation

Briefly reflect on the lessons learnt from each exercise:

  • Reflective listening

I found it was really interesting to be an interviewer. I could hear the real voice of others and know more about them. Some of the questions are actually a bit difficult to answer and the answers of my partner were quite interesting, from which I have learnt a lot.

In the meanwhile, it was quite challenging as well. I had to hide my interest in some of the questions to make my partner go ahead as her own thoughts. I tried to reduce my words to the questions to avoid misleading my partners as well.

  • Defamiliarisation of everyday reality

“You do see, but you do not observe.”—Sherlock Holmes

When we did this exercise at class, this sentence came to me immediately. I take train and bus quite often, but never observe during the journeys. When we were watching the videos, firstly we saw many details of the train doors and the bus, which we may never notice before. After that, the videos reminded me some memories and feelings when I took trains or buses, which actually I never realised before.

  • Experience modelling

This exercise allowed me to realise how important the visual capabilities are. I can’t imagine if I would live a life like this. It made me start to think about something for special groups. Moreover, it was kind of interesting to feel the world just by sound or colours. It looked like a new different world to me.


Week 3_Creating Personas

> Describe your experience of 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 really an interesting experience. However, it had become a bit difficult when we were trying to decide on the variables and map the interviewees on each variable. Our group spent quite some time on identifying the variables, especially when our answers were not in a ranked order, but just some ideas about the product activity.

Within our group, there are two students living in the city and two professionals staying in suburbs. The experience within each group actually was quite similar, but differs from the other group’s. However, we did generate some commonality between all of us, which were the ‘location’, ‘merchadise’ and ‘freshness’. I would say it was enough commonality between us to form a simple persona, but it would be more detailed and make sense if we could create a second different persona.

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

As we generated the final persona based on both students and professionals’ experience, I would say our persona basically generated empathy with most users. If we are only allowed to make one persona, I will try to make the interviews longer and covering more users to make a more comprehensive persona. If we are allowed to make several personas, I thing I will try to make personas for groups first, then compare and generate the commonalities to get my final persona.



Hello IDEA9106, I’m here!

Hello, everyone! This is my first blog here. This course is so different from others and it is opening a new gate of thinking method for me. I hope after this course I could still continue to work on this page to explore and think more about this visual approach.

This technique is so different from the traditional note taking. First of all, it visualizes the ideas, which makes them live and interesting. Secondly, it’s full of fun, which encourages us to utilise this technique more.

By using this visual approach, we don’t need to translate the image of our thinking to language. Especially for me, as a Chinese native speaker, sometimes I need to translate my thinking to my native language then to English. However, by utilising this visual approach, I don’t need to bother the translation and make the troublesome process now. Moreover, it is able to cross the language barrier, which could be understood by people who speak different languages. It is probably the most universal language in the world.

However, if we are thinking by words, it may cost some time to translate our words to images. More importantly, language systems have been completely developed in the modern society, which makes it ambitious to present every word by sketching.

Furthermore, it is also limited by personal drawing skill. People may misunderstand the meanings of our drawing, that eventually prevent the communication of our ideas.

I would say the drawing skill is the biggest challenge for me as a sketchnoter. Anyway, here are my sketch-notes in the first lesson. I hope you will like it! 🙂

Taking a pencil for a walk
Developing sketching vocabulary
Sketch different people performing the tasks
Sketchnoting a conference talk
Sketchnoting a process

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