IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Design is a state of mind



Blog Reflection 09

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

The shots and scenes influence the way to tell the story. Different angles and visual effects can reflect the actors’ emotion, products’ functions, and designers’ concepts. They provide variety of information to audiences and make audiences have multiple feelings.

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

The basic elements of a story are what, who, where, how, when, why. To tell a complete story, these elements are necessary, but the sequence of events can be changed. For example, my favorite movie In The Mood of Love, it firstly shows the result of a story and then tells the reason why it happened. In this structure, audiences will keep the curiosity about a story.

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

We chose some typical and common situation that our audiences may have. The contents can reflect the problem they have in daily life and show how our design can solve the problem. The video is to resonate with our audiences and let them to understand our ideas easily.

Blog Reflection 07

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

The object I chose from my bathroom was an instrument for face cleaning. At the start, I thought it was only for cleaning, for example, I can use it to wash cups or bowls in kitchen. In the process of thinking and learning, I had an idea that I can change the brush head to a spoon. The combination of the instrument and the spoon can be a electric whisk! Thinking from different perspectives are useful to find new affordances of an object.

2) 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 manipulation of an object and a person’s abilities can change the affordances of the object. For example, in the kitchen, the instrument for face cleaning can be a whisk. How an object can be used depends on how people use it and what the environment is. Also, my partner closed his eyes and used his cup. It was harder to find the cup and drink with it. Therefore, the design should suit the users’ abilities and needs and offer the best user experience for them.

There is still no enough space, so I cannot post the pictures.

Blog Reflection 08

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

When I observed the users, I got their verbal behaviors, gestures, and facial expressions. From these reflections, it is easy to realize their feelings and their thoughts of the prototype. I realized which parts should be improved and what should be kept. The information may be different from what the designers intended before, which is closer to users’ real feeling.

2) What aspects of the technique worked well or were frustrating?

As an observer, it was convenient to collect data using the forms, but the users’ reflection was not all included in the form, so it was a little frustrating when I cannot find suitable position for the users’ reflection.

As a user, I did not have too much verbal behaviors and actions, but because I knew that someone was observing me, my expressions were not so natural actually.

Because there is no enough space for pictures, I cannot upload my photos.

Blog Reflection 06

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

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

In the practice, we firstly imagine some possible problems and solutions. Then, we acted the problems out and generated our ideas to solve them. Compared with imagination, physically acting out is better to simulate scenes, which are so similar to our previous true experiences. We found more problems we might meet. At the same time, when we acted out, we built our empathy easily, which benefited to generate more ideas.

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

We refined some ideas. In the discussion, we just found out that the patients have to waste their time to wait for a doctor if the doctor is running late. In this condition, we thought it was better to offer some water and comfortable waiting room to satisfy the patients. When we act it out, we found that a comfortable room may be not the best solution because the patients are still limited by time and space. Then we generated an idea that we can send a message to remind patients the possible time, and then the patients can have a cup of coffee or do not need to hurry up to arrive at the hospital. Physical acting out is a simulation of a certain scene, which is helpful to refine an idea.

3) What was difficult or challenging about bodystorming?

I think the biggest problem is some member was so shy. In front of many people, not everyone can act naturally and express their ideas sufficiently.

4) Does bodystorming lend itself to certain types of problems?

Bodystorming lends itself well to certain problems, for example, some scenes which are suitable to be simulated. However, for those abstract problems, we cannot act them out easily and it is hard to apply bodystorming to them.


Blog Reflection 05 by lwan6635

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?

It is different to my normal ways. Usually, I think about users’ real conditions and experiences. However, everything of an extreme user is created by myself. There is much more space for me to consider the user’s needs, motivations, feelings, etc, which make my design more comprehensive. Although these are not true, it is still helpful to build the empathy of a user.


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?

Design provocation cards are necessary to collect all group members’ ideas and thoughts of the user. It made the user more like a true person in life, rather than a one-sided character created by one designer. Also, comparing with text descriptions, a great storyboard can directly reflect a user’s experience, which is more interesting and creative.


Blog Reflection 04 by lwan6635

Briefly reflect on the lessons learnt from each exercise

a. Reflective listening

In a conversation, speaking and listening are both important. To be an effective listener, I should listen carefully and respectively. It is helpful to pick up the key points and understand speakers’ true feelings. A speaker should speak logically and tell his/her stories clearly. The transfer of these two identities built my empathy of the opposite position. In a design research, I will do better to dig more motivations and experiences of my interviewees.

b. Defamiliarisation of everyday reality

The videos of train and bus are similar to our real condition when using public transport. However, I never focused so much on my own feelings, both physical and psychological. When I did that exercise, I noticed more details that I never noticed before. Also, the imagination made me built empathy with people in that environment. In a research, maybe there is a lack of opportunities to get in users’ true lives which I am not familiar with. In this way, I can make sense of their real experiences.

new doc 2017-04-04 14.30.49_1new doc 2017-04-04 14.30.49_2

c. Empathic modelling

It gave me a chance to experience the things in a totally different perspective. I almost lost my view and I cannot find right directions. These inconveniences let me build empathy with who are really in this condition. Some people never got the things “normal” for us. As a designer, I should think more about users’ condition and design from their perspectives.


Reflection Blog 03 by lwan6635

1) 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?

We discussed our experiences in cinemas last week. We only had three group members, so the sample was small and it was easy to find enough commonality to create a persona. Although we went cinemas in 2 countries, there were still many similar feelings. Not like traditional interviews, creating personas just offered limited questions, so interviewees can recall their experiences immediately and interviewers can locate key points accurately. The process of creating a persona is really useful to understand different users’ common needs.

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

We found our commonality successfully, however, because of the communication between us, other members were reminded by my experiences and talked about the same experiences. This may benefit to find commonality, but I think it was more like emotion leading and it cannot reflect users’ true feelings. Therefore, I will do interviews separately next time and avoid the influence between interviewees.12EA228F-1F72-4381-BFFF-83266F98E162IMG_3898

Reflection Blog 02 by lwan6635


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

The interview gave me a chance to find the interviewees’ interests, needs, motivations, which may reflect most prospective users’ thoughts. Through their words, I realized how they felt. Their stories really happened, so the feelings and emotions were touching and referential. Based on these, I would like to think from prospective users’ standpoints.

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

There was plenty of information. Therefore, it was too complex to read and easy to repeat the same topics. In the group, we put similar information to one column. Then, we use sticky notes in different colors to summarize the information step by step. In this way, the categories of information were very clear, at the same time, the key issues were obvious which was convenient to us to find out users’ common needs.

3) What was difficult or challenging with the technique? How would you do it better next time?

The interview was so long, so I almost did not have enough time to read the whole pages and maybe I ignored some important information. I think I should read fast and practice picking up the most significant information of a long interview or research.

Reflection Blog 01 by lwan6635

1. How is this sketchnoting technique different to the traditional note taking?

For me, sketchnoting needs drawing skills and creativity. I can express my ideas by both words and drawings. The notes are attractive and creative. On the other hand, unlike traditional note’s step-by-step structure, the skechnotings are tree-like divergences, which inspire me a lot and reflect my thoughts and ideas very clearly.

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

Sketchnoting makes the idea recording fun. Sometimes it is hard to describe a complex idea, but when I paint it I feel the task is interesting and easier. At the same time, it helps me separating my ideas into some parts and having a brain storm, which is a good way to dig much thoughts and details of the ideas.

However, I am still used to record my ideas using traditional notes and not good at drawing, so I need much time to design the paintings and arrange the whole page to make it look good. In this way, I may focus too much on painting and lose some ideas.

3. Personal challenges as a sketchnoter.

My biggest challenge is painting. I never learned drawing, so sometimes I need a lot of time to sketch a person or a plan, but the paintings are very different from what I think. Therefore, I need to improve my skills and do it better.


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