IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Design is a state of mind




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

I started with my three objects: a potato peeler from the kitchen, a contact lenses case from the bathroom and a decorative stone from the living room. I decided to focus on the potato peeler. The affordances for a peeler are easy to spot at first gaze (it’s a simple and intuitive design) but as the exercise continued I also spotted false affordances and perceptible affordances. For instance, could it be used for self-protection or attacking people? How to grab it correctly and make sure the blade is on the right side? And would it work for shaving, or on the other side, would it peel of your skin? I also thought about how this instrument would appeal or be used by older and short sighted people, or even children, and how the blade with no cover could be harmful or dangerous. So I tried to make a cover with foil and wrote instructions for using it on the handle.

  • 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.


Yes definitively. From the physical design, a peeler is not very different from a razor, so my first idea was to use it as that. But right away I understood it would not only be extremely dangerous but also not very practical. Then I thought of different uses like a slingshot or a tea bag holder. For the contact lenses case, it could also be used for holding earrings or even pretended swimming goggles. This exercise was fun and helped me develop creativity, I think it could be very useful for the assignment since it helps create different users scenarios according to the defined affordances.


Week 7: Bodystorming

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

First we started with the brainstorm, we did a list of potential issues and solutions and started acting. As we did we realized some of our ideas were not going to be feasible and we discarded them. At the same time, new ideas occurred and we acted them as well. Space and materials was an issue but we drew pretended items in paper. Above all, I think it was an excellent exercise since it helped us visualise how each idea would work in real world.


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

Definitively, acting ideas out helped us  immediately discard ideas that we realized wouldn’t work


  1. What was difficult or challenging about bodystorming?

The most difficult issue was that we were trying to recreate a plane (with its critical space issues) and we had a huge class room to use so it was hard to relate with space problems. Besides, the lack of materials and little time was challenging, but at the same time it helped us get more creative since we had to fake virtual reality screens with paper, air moisturizing devices with bottled water and  cycling gear well, with nothing!


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

I don’t think that bodystrming itself if what leads to certain problems, but the natural interaction between men and devices, wether a piece of technology or trying to sleep in a confined space is what is most problematic. This exercise is a way of facing that interaction and reproaching it from a designers view. Everything looks feasible and easy written in paper, but those same brilliant ideas might not be at all helpful when you add the human factor.


RR: Design Thinking Poster



Hi everyone,

I got great feedback for my poster so thank you all very much for that 🙂

The main issues that were addressed during the fedback session where the following:

  1. Tell me more about attitudes towards air quality (pollution and smokers) and how it affects people´s decisions to keep plants
  2. I didnt know that cigarretes with incorporated seeds already existed
  3. Have you thought about why concept #3 (DALIA) has so many conclusions? (ie. music, camera, etc) –> we talked about this with Karen and Sym and actually having so many features is sort of driving the product away from it’s main purpose. I think I might go back to the original virtual-friend concept in helping adult women with loneliness and therapy.
  4. Have you thought about linking concepts #1 (INS) and #3 (DALIA)? –> I had this post it note twice so I think it will be a good thing to consider. Still, INS is addressed to young adults with little time (since it takes care of the plant all by itself) and DALIA helps older women with loneliness and need for companionship, so I’ll have to see if there is a way to merge them without loosing the main objective.
  5. Have you thought about linking the INS to an app and using an smartphone to ID the plant? –> Actually I hadn’t thought of it and I think it makes a lot of sense!
  6. Tell me more about the age / motivation chart and how it leads to concept #3
  7. Have you tought about emotive solutions to sustainability?
  8. Tell me more about attitudes towards fake plants / Have you thought about perception around fake plants?


See you in class,



Week 4: Empathy and Defamiliarisation

  1. Reflective Listening

I started talking and telling my experience and challenges of speaking English as a second language. As I was paired with an Australian, I think it was interesting to show how everyday situations might be a little trickier when you are not a natural English speaker! When my turn to listen came, I think it was more difficult for me, since I kept interrupting my partner and asking all this questions. It was hard for me just to keep quiet and listen! I think it might have to be with the fact that I came from a big Latin family!


  1. Defamiliarisation of everyday reality

When I first got to Sydney I used to take the train a lot, and usually went by Circular Quay. During that time, I was searching for an apartment and had a rather hard time finding one I liked. I looked over 70 apartments! So the video reminded me of the stress that I went by. As we were watching the video, my shoulders felt heavy and I took notes grabbing the pen very hard. So I think that reflects the feeling of stress the video reminded me of.

On the other hand, the video of the bus is much more like my current situation. I don’t take the train anymore but I take the bus daily. Compared to my hometown, buses in Sydney work very well in my opinion so I like riding the bus. I enjoy watching people, playing games in my phone or watching the houses we pass by. Since this is a pleasant memory for me, I instantly got relaxed. It’s amazing how memories can reflect in your body language.

  1. Experience Modelling

During this exercise I felt quite sense-impaired. I could see little or nothing at all, and I’ve always had sort of bad hearing. Plus, I’m very clumsy! So I kept running with chairs and people. It is amazing how a place that you know pretty well can, all of the sudden, feel so different and strange. I got to understand the critical role our senses play in our perception of the world – something we all know but sometimes take for granted.


Week 3: 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 an interesting experience, mainly because it enables the researcher to better understand the motivations and frustrations of the users, in the aim of identifying relevant insights. Nevertheless, I think we required more time to get in-depth interviews, and go from demographics and uses to real motivations. Definitively I think a bigger sample would have been better, to get a richer persona.

 Our group had a lot of variety, with people from 3 different ethnicities and in different times of their lives. Due to this is that it was almost impossible to have an only persona. Only two of the interviewed showed very similar behaviour in most of the variables.


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

It was a great exercise, but since it was just our first approach to creating personas there are a few issues we should work on:

  • During interviews, focusing more on motivations and frustrations rather than demographics or habits
  • Writing down notes in first person (“I” rather than “she”)
  • Creating a persona that seems real, using a real name and with a background storyimage3image2 (2)image1 (3)

Week 1: Sketching

Hey guys – I just got access to the class blog so I’m sorry but I’ll collapse you with three weeks worth of blog posts today.. I have to make up for lost time! 🙂

 1. How is sketch noting technique different to the traditional note taking?

The first (and more intuitive) difference that comes to my mind is the usage of forms, pictures and diagrams instead (or in compliment with) of words and numbers. But it also recons a new and different way of presenting content, since sketch noting requires a different mental setting from traditional note-taking, where content is presented in a rather linear and bullet pointed organizational approach. Sketch noting seems messier – but in my opinion its greatness is that it can make complex content (such as the TED talk from the example) rather easy to understand and way more appealing.

  1. How does this visual approach facilitate communication of your ideas? Or does it prevent it?

Definitively facilitates the communication of ideas and makes it easier to digest and remember. Both because sketch noting requires an extra effort that traditional note taking doesn’t, hence making us concentrate more and rationalize ideas. But also because, in my case, I have a very visual memory.  I hardly remember what anyone says, but I always seem to remember where some piece of content was placed in a notebook or website. So this kind of notetaking works for me. On the other side, I think sketchnoting is very personal since styles vary from each individual. This could make sharing notes (or communicating ideas to someone else) kind of hard, if the developer’s style, and the receptionist’s, are very different.

  1. Personal challenges as a sketchnoter

I have to say that my biggest challenge is about timmings, sketchnoting requires a lot of time (especially if you are not a talented artist, which is definitively my case) so the way that I take notes is using a lot of highlighters, bullets, arrows and drawings (you can see my notes below). I think it’s an in-between style from sketchnoting and traditional note taking. I’d rather use proper sketchnoting (for all the mentioned benefits) but if I did, I think I’d be able to capture half the content due to my slow drawing capacity. So, if I ever become a proper sketcher I would gladly take sketching notes, but in the mean while this kind of mixed style works for me J

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