IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Design is a state of mind



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  1. how did thinking in terms of shots and scenes influence your approach to communicating your design concept?

Undoubtedly, using shots and scenes is a more vivid way to communicate our design concept to others. It is more engaging actually and it greatly draws audience’s attention. However, when I am considering every shots and scenes, I am detailing my concept and trying to give audiences a complete narrative story. I am required to think about 5W and How. During which, my concept is made concretely and vividly. And this step-by-step process helps me to express my design concept in a well arranged way as well.

2. What motivated your choice of storyline structure? Can you think of an examplear from a film that uses the same structure?

Well, our group’s choice of storyline structure is the most common one. We describe the story by the time sequence of events. The reason why we choose it is because we focus on our goal, informing audiences how the mental watch could be used to help people. Thus, we create a story about the Before and After to show what’s the difference when a character named Echo is using the mental watch. The film using the same structure that I could think of is Russian Ark.

3. What choices did you make about audience and style? Were they related?

Our group plans to make a mini-drama visual style and choose normal students in our university as our audience. Different from a professional and somehow dull documentary video, for the passionate students, an interesting and funny mini drama could attract their attentions better. And it would not take them too much time. They work in harmony with our story idea.

Can’t upload relevant photos.

-Linmin Liang


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

I brought my Swiss health tablets, blusher and earphones at yesterday’s tutorial. And I am going to choose blusher to answer this question. At first, I  have completely no idea how it can be used except of a blusher. But my partner uses it as a brush and says it could be used as a tool when she is drawing. I find it is intresting so I start to viewing my blusher from different angels, looking for other usage purposes. For example,  it can be used as a container to store my little stuffs like my earings, rings and etc. If dye it with different colors at the top, it could be an amazing decoration as well. Also, after I wrap it with cling, its soft bristles become a small broom.

  • 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 affordances of a product is not limited with the designer’s initial design plan. In different people’s eyes, a same product could have different ways of using. And depends on different people’s interpretation and  capacity, the affordances are not the same accordingly.  Thus, as a designer, I might try to develop as much possibilities as possible by inviting different types of users to test my products. Besides, I might combine it with other materials to create new affordances. Just as my blusher, if I keep using it as usual, then I will never get the chance to know that it actually could be used for other purposes. Also, asking other people to use my blusher helps me to explore it from a different perspective.

-Linmin Liang SID: 460250234

Linmin Liang 460250234 Tutorial 09

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

The most insightful thing this practice gives me is that, by observing,  I am able to build up a profile of the website’s usability both from my personal and other user’s experiences. Despite of thinking aloud, never do I know that recording emotional feedback could contribute to the usability of the prototype. And it turns out works well. A simple frown tells directly that there is a problem occurs when using this website. While as for ‘thinking aloud’, it is somehow like a brainstorming. Users speak out their opinions their thoughts when they are using the website. But the difference is this method based on real experiences.

  • What aspect of the technique worked well or were frustrating?

Taking record of a user’s emotional reaction gives observer an instant feedback of the product. It easily enables observer to gain an empathy with users. The frustrating thing is, such record could only be done by manually instead of automatically, which surely will take a long time and great efforts to give a general feedback of the usability of the prototype. Moreover, different people might have different interpretation of facial expressions. Thus, without a standard definition of the facial expression, it might leads to a misunderstanding if verbal expression or other research methods are not coming together.

-Linmin Liang

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Summary Poster

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Uni key: llia5138  Linmin Liang- IDEA9106-Assessment 1-Summary Poster

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

Before the role-play, our group first has a brainstorming, thinking about what kind of issues we have and might encounter when we are in the doctor’s waiting room or sleeping in an airplane. However, when we are acting, there are other issues coming up which actually expand our understanding. By scenario acting, we realize thinking in a vacuum does not help us to experience what user feel. Only by putting ourselves in one’s shoes enable us to generate empathy with users. So that in the following part-design a solution, we could know better what client’s needs.

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

Yes. When we did bodystorming, we experienced user’s feeling in their context and that helped us to rethink the effective and achievable of the solutions. For example, we first designed an eye-mask writing ‘do not disturb me’ so as to avoid any disturbance. But when we did the bodystorming, one of our group mate raised a question ‘what if I want to have my meal but the stewardess see my eye-mask and just leave me sleeping.’ So we refined our design. We write ‘wake me up for food’ in eye-mask’s back side. So clients could choose which side to show according to their requirements.460250234-tutorial 06.jpeg

  1. What was difficult or challenging about bodystorming?

Not everyone was born as an actor. It was quite embarrassing at first; especially I am acting a patient who actually is a quite important role. I did not know what to say. I wan awkward. But when my group mates started getting into character, everything became better. Moreover, acting without practice and script requires a good team corporation. Otherwise, it would result in an embarrassing situation.

  1. Does bodystorming lend itself to certain types of problems?

It could be applied when designing some physical equipment like sofa, fitness equipment and etc. It helps designer figure what can be improved and what could be get rid of.

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  1. How did taking the position of an extreme user influence your thinking relation to design challenge? Was it different to how you usually generate ideas and empathy?

Although it is a new experience and I think it is fun, it strictly constraints my thinking and force me to consider the design program only from the extreme user’s perspective. It is quite different from my usual way to generate ideas and empathy. I usually try to come up a solution that could fit a broad range of people’s needs instead of one extreme person’s. But this case enables me to consider more in details and design a more targeted technology that specifically meets user’s needs. All in all, it is another useful approach for me to think about the user needs.

  1. 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?

The stories and storyboards are quite useful in helping me to work through ideas and collaborate with my group member. Via these two techniques, our group members greatly understand the quality of the extreme character. These techniques enable us to depict a detailed and vivid picture of the character which evoke our empathy in a great extent.What’s more, storyboard provides a context for our problems and solutions. We predict how the new tech we designed might work in reality in the future. When other people see our storyboard they could easily understand our design from an interesting perspective.460250234-tutorial 05.jpeg



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