IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Design is a state of mind



Blog Reflection 03 – meli3574

Describe your experience of creating personas from different users’ perspectives gathered in the interview data.

In order to involve the personX (eventually we called her Sakura) in the design process of improving and innovating currently existent system of public transport, our design group of 4 gathered to collect real data combined with our own user experiences for the public transportation.

The first step was to investigate users adequately to receive feedbacks, members of the group took turns to act as an interviewer, accompanied with the other three participators automatically converted their identity into interviewees. Despite some generic forms of Qs and probe like the frequency and reason for taking specific type of transport, the most impressive part serves as “whether you think the indicators of public transport are clearly enough”, as for me, as I usually choose to take trains according to my own living position, I think the electronic screen set in platforms and the relevant timetable indicated on the mobile apps such like TripView and Opal are enough for me to get the precise and timely info. In addition, the interviewees should provide basic demographic data like name, gender and age to help the design group act upon and improve the understanding of personX.


The second step was to deal with collected data across distributing them into groups of continuum and multiple-choice. We chose the representative variables namely “The distance from home to USYD Darlington campus”, “The frequency of taking PT” and “The fees spent on PT per week” as the continuum presenting genre, with two multiple-choice variables from data samples namely “The preferred type of taking PT” and “The preferred ways used as indicator to get off PT”. After mapping the interviewees upon each variable, we brought off one specific pattern to formulate our personX from two similarly representing data sample.


The final step was to define end goals of our extracted persona model. After capturing and analyzing 7 total patterns, we found it free to describe the conclusion of To do Y of our PersonX.

Was there enough commonality between the 4 people interviewed to form a coherent persona? Or did it make more senses to create a second different persona?

Indeed, during the user modelling process, the commonality was enough for us to clarify the coherent definition simply using the current 4 interview data across the design group. In our group, the two similar date came from two interviewees who live near campus, so it seemed definite for us to find the pattern and finalize the ultimate persona. The week3 tutorial went on well, so I think for  this design processing, there is no necessity to create extra personas. But if there is no obvious pattern followed across the continuum and multiple-choice variables during other design processes (maybe one possible reason is the discrete data ), to accomplish the user modelling target, the design group needs to overthrow their conventional thinking and create some more personas.

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

I think our final persona was successful during the generating empathy process with users, cause when filling in the narrative persona template, we found it easy for us to describe the user needs and get directly the pain points. The characteristics presented through certain pattern can be easily understood combined with visualized template, especially during the presentation and communication processes with other groups. To make the persona better, we need to perfect the user needs that can be directly used during the design process, trying to update the persona template more vivid and engaging with experienced skills, such as sketching skills served to define personX image.


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Blog Reflection 02 – meli3574

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

Real interviewer data

Reasonable data-dealt flow

Based on the topic of travel planning, the glance of the user interview transcripts helps to gather the informative keywords succinctly extracted from user needs. By directly reading the unprocessed data, I can focus on generating user-provided scenario which can effectively lead me to the capture and collection of several distinctive single interpretations recorded on yellow post-it notes, clearly achieved and understood by group members.

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

By dealing with highlighted lines with attachment of user interests, needs, motivations, frustrations, etc., I can easily pick up the core repeated information which could be instantly converted into potential user needs from the comparison of illustrations given by different users or just the same user’s words collected from separate sections. After producing individual Affinity Note, the communicating with other group members and various category management of distinctive interpretation notes help to clarify the similar points of perspective, which can be further applied to reproduce reproducing the useful information from phase to phase.

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

Rapidly grasp the shining points relating to user needs

We can usually understand what people are saying, but perfectly miss their initial needs. I think I need to spend more time to read and analyze related information collected from the raw data, try to stand on the user’s point except a unrelated reader if there is an access to user’s background or more detailed information may also help.

Highly-assessed diagram generating procedure

We sometimes miss some research-deserved data when struggling to form a complete structure of the Affinity Diagram.

To solve this mistaken process, we could focus on enhancing each post-it note’s content and then concentrate on the conclusion of the broad themes. Use the language from the user such as “I need…/ I prefer…/ I’d like to” instead of presenting as a viewer when going upward from the yellow post-it notes to the blue and pink ones.



Continue reading “Blog Reflection 02 – meli3574”

Blog Reflection 01 – meli3574

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

Sketch noting is a combination of symbols and presented information which can simply convert the words and lines into relatively visual and creative signals. It seems closer to the imagination and images refreshed in our mind, explaining and extending our thoughts. On the other hand, the traditional note taking has solid creating form without time consuming of brainstorming or technique of expression. It is usually build up with an extraction and summarization of contents taken down literally.

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

The visual approach of sketch noting gives me multiple choices of generating genres such as documented emotions, differential images and memory pieces with simplified amount of information. This means I can save plenty of time not trying to memorize the whole phrases and paragraphs abstracted from the composition of my note taking, and directly pay mass attention to the key content when communicating my ideas. Conversely, consuming time and energy basically come from the process of choosing the most appropriate form of expression limited as a result of the lack in sketch modeling ability and abstract capacity.

Personal challenge as a “sketch noter”

As a learner in the first stage of sketch noting, I find difficulty to cultivate the habit of naturally recording my everyday life using this intuitive approach. When I find something attractive to me, I prefer to take photos as the primary choice of storing memory instead of turning directly to sketching. Although sketching seems a good way for a designer to collect information and inspiration, it actually will take up plenty of extracurricular time for a beginner as me to promote sketching technique and layout skills to be an advanced learner.


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