IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Design is a state of mind



Blog 8 – Evaluation – lzha5583


Tutorial 08 – Evaluation. 

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

The information and insights of “think aloud” and “user observation” method could bring a direct reaction of the user experience, while the existence of the observer and the set-up environment may influence the final result of the user being observed, which may lead to a certain mistaken observation. Certain users may react unnaturally within the situation. However, the detailed record of both verbal and non-verbal behavior gave us the valuable opportunity to quickly capture the moment of user’s both physical and mental change of the entire experience and the entire flow of the activity, which could usually be hard to be previsioned in advance.


  1. What aspects of the technique worked well or were frustrating?

The technique definitely captured some specific moment of the user experience, however the challenge may be laid the difference of the participants observed, who may have various levels of experience and performance due to various background differences. Thus the key to avoid frustrating result may require further narrow down the narratives of the targeting user with a clear frame of the testing criteria.

Blog 9 – Visual Storytelling – lzha5583

Week 11 blog post – Visual Storytelling.

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

Each shots, as each frame of the video, could be understood and viewed as an image with much information. While how to compose each shoots to tell a story becomes the key to express our final design in a direct visual language.

From the lecture, we have been given the narratives, “What”, “Who”, “Where”, “When”, “How”, “Why” as the basic frame to build up our language of communication and the story. Shift between different depths of shoots offers a rhythm of the viewing experience and storytelling.

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

Our choice of storyline structure could be mainly motivated by our user experience of our final design, which will be emphasized mainly on two parts, human user and pet (animal) user. While the story will be based in a daily environment and a common casual home atmosphere, our inspiration also came from some TV commercials, which emphasized a lot on the user as the basic storyline to carry the design concept to the audience.

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

Since the user experience will be emphasized and conveyed to the audience, our style maintained a realistic expressing with a warm color adjustment to form a more family atmosphere. Family feelings could be more appealing to our potential audience, especially elderly people. The visual style should also be clear and simple for the user to understand.

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Summary Poster – lzha5583




I don’t know that news are very important for middle age people.

I don’t know that middle-age middle-class ladies is a demographic group.

Tell me more about the shape and color or where the product will be.

Tell me more about middle-age people’s interaction with current devices (iPhone) ?

Have you thought about checking out a project named “keeker”?

Have you thought about social interactions while entertainment?

blog 4 – week reflection – lzha5583

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

By grouping different people, motivation and issues, we started to think and see the broad perspectives of the user. By understanding major group of need, we started to differentiate the key element and major influence of the user perspectives and generation group.

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

The cluster combine major similar notes within a minor range to group and divide users into various category and perspectives. By further summarize and analyze the cluster with blue tag, we started to move to more specific areas and perspectives of certain direction.

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

The difficulty will mainly be laid into the accurate use of the expression of the notes and tag to reach a more precise grouping process with less missing information and distorted meaning.


Blog 2 – Week 2 Reflection – lzha5583

  1. How did working through different materials help you to explore and express potential solutions to a design problem?

The difference between materiality offers an opportunity to see and understand the solution in a different approach. The cardboard leads me to planar thinking, while the pipe cleaner leads me to a more abstract line thinking with toothpicks as a more rational line thinking. All these different properties let us to think differently with different approaches.

  1. What kinds of information and inspiration did the different materials give you? Did you have a favourite material?

The planar thinking with cardboard gave me a quick capture of the major surfaces of the chair with different functions. While abstract thinking with curvy pipe cleaner gave me a more flexibility to push there major surfaces into webs and nets knitted and weaved into each other. However with a more rational thinking of toothpicks, the key joint becomes the main question of the design approach.

  1. What did you change along the way? What did you learn from your prototypes?

The more detailed and more rationalized level will be reached from cardboard to pipe cleaner and toothpicks, during which I learned about the major surfaces, main structure and principal joint will be of a chair as a prototype.

  1. How well did you address your user needs in the various design models you created?

Due to the given story of Ralph, who spent 8 hours a day in class with an uncomfortable chair and large carrying backpack, we focused our design principles as long-time performance, efficient and convenient storage spaces and comfort back support with enough back recline, to meet his specific condition and need.

Thus the first cardboard model captured the main surface of the chair with enough back recline and head support with generous space underneath for the backpack. While the second pipe cleaner model focused more how to transform the major planar surfaces from cardboard mode to a more dynamic and comfortable form to support the entire back of the user with plenty storage space underneath as well. The third toothpicks model showed the key joints for the back reclined option for the chair, which might be a potential for the chair to be change the recline degrees easily as an option.

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Blog 1 – Week 1 Reflection – lzha5583

  1. How did engaging with a real person, testing with a real person, change the direction your prototype took?

The start of the communication and dialogue between a user in person will always be difficult and the key to the answer. In the week 1 tutorial,  Yuqing is my partner. Getting to know about her, I felt it seemed easier for me to start with some details with strong and close relationship to personal taste and attitude, which might lead to a following conversation with more precise and important information. It is so interesting to see and learn thing from an indirect way and try to understand the User and her true need.

  1. What was it like showing unfinished work to another person?

She was so excited and happy seeing these fun, radical works designed for her with the unexpected outcomes.  It is interesting to see the emotional change whether the user’s need has been met, with a more pleasurable experience expectation with some more different or radical operative oppotunities.

  1. As a User, how did you interact with your partner’s level of lowly-resolved prototype; how did the level of resolution impact your experience as a user?

I was so excited seeing my partner’s design for me to serve a daily practical daily function. As a user, the resolution of the prototype could always be a start to refine the design and to show the amount of work need to do to complete the final design.

  1. Design thinking is an iterative, self-directed process. Based on what you learned, what would you go back and do next? What would you do over again?

It is always hard to go back. The ideas merging first could always be the one from the origin and the one from sub-consciousness as the product of both experience and knowledge. However go back to the first conversation and first feelings about the design could be a good way to rethink and redevelop the prototype from a different and clear aspect.

  1. What principle, what tool would you infuse into the work tomorrow?

Why could always be the case with a story behind the answer. To know a story of the user could be a really good opportunity to see and to explore the user’s need and personal feelings. The emotion should always be considered as the guideline of the thinking or mental reaction of the user. To know User’s need and work out how to meet their need could be a really good framework to start thinking.

week 1exercise - lzha5583

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