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IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Design is a state of mind

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mrab6077

Blog Reflection-8_Evaluation_mrab6077

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

Think aloud: For this evaluation I was asked to evaluate Officeworks website to buy the cheapest tablet available and order it to be collected at Officeworks Glebe store by setting Glebe as my store on the store. The Officeworks interface was a bit slow and the search button section was not user friendly. the user interface took me to Glebe store when I clicked on the Officeworks store locator but it didn’t  change the interface to it’s homepage. The user interface was confusing as it doesn’t filter products by price and it showed unnecessary things under category.

User-Observation: The task for the user, was to find a paper at the library site. One insight that I have found was that my user had lots of frustrations when using the University of Sydney library website. Most of the time the user needed some assistance in finding the research paper. The user tried to follow the steps as given in the booklet but the user had a very difficult time to find which category architecture belongs to. I believe that subcategories should be provided so as to make the browsing experience easier for the user.

2. What aspect of the technique worked well or were frustrating?

Think aloud: Documenting the verbal behavior as well as the system usability scale for a particular task help[ed the elevator gain valuable insight.

User observation: The questionnaires and the evaluations technique provided clear-cut results for the task and gave detail information for evaluator’s use.

IMG_4674IMG_4675

Blog Reflection-8_Evaluation_mrab6077

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

Think aloud: For this evaluation I was asked to evaluate Officeworks website to buy the cheapest tablet available and order it to be collected at Officeworks Glebe store by setting Glebe as my store on the store. The Officeworks interface was a bit slow and the search button section was not user friendly. the user interface took me to Glebe store when I clicked on the Officeworks store locator but it didn’t  change the interface to it’s homepage. The user interface was confusing as it doesn’t filter products by price and it showed unnecessary things under category.

User-Observation: The task for the user, was to find a paper at the library site. One insight that I have found was that my user had lots of frustrations when using the University of Sydney library website. Most of the time the user needed some assistance in finding the research paper. The user tried to follow the steps as given in the booklet but the user had a very difficult time to find which category architecture belongs to. I believe that subcategories should be provided so as to make the browsing experience easier for the user.

2. What aspect of the technique worked well or were frustrating?

Think aloud: Documenting the verbal behavior as well as the system usability scale for a particular task help[ed the elevator gain valuable insight.

User observation: The questionnaires and the evaluations technique provided clear-cut results for the task and gave detail information for evaluator’s use.

IMG_4674IMG_4675

Blog Reflection-7: Interrogating Affordances_ mrab6077

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

The three daily objects that I had brought from home were a fork, a TV remote and an Aftershave bottle. The object I selected for understanding its affordance is the fork. Normally, a fork is an utensil with two or more prongs that is primarily used for eating or serving food. But after I sketched the utensil I examined it closely and found that the affordances of a fork can be manifolds apart from its traditional role such as it can be used for raising, piercing, carrying , digging, combing, back scratching and the most unique of all its uses act as a screwdriver. I have personally used the fork for the latter purpose. Keeping the exact configuration of the object one can use the above mentioned functions except for the screwdriver where the tips of the prongs might have to a bit pointed or made thick to fit the screw heads.

  • Given the 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 that you explored in the exercise.

After changing certain physical properties of the object revealed some interesting possibilities. for example, for the aftershave bottle in its original form did not inform the user whether the cap is to be twisted or pulled to use its contents. After wrapping masking tape and putting ribs using a pencil lines in the direction of the motion of twisting to add some tactility helped increase its affordances. My partner and I evaluated the aftershave cap blindfolded and truly provided the user with tactile cues as to the direction in which the cap has to be turned. This gave us valuable information about how important tactility of an object is Without any visual cues an object can provide much information to its user just by the sense of touch. However, for the TV remote the affordances remained unchanged irregardless of the materials added to it as the rubber buttons  overwhelmed other textures that have been placed over it and it was hard to make out the materials only with the sense of touch in the absence of any visual cue.IMG_4446IMG_4445   IMG_4447  IMG_4406

Blog Reflection 6_Experiencing Prototyping (Bodystorming)_mrab6077

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

The topic of our prototyping experience was sleeping in airplanes. All of our teams members had some complains regarding the uncomfortable airline seats especially on long haul flights. we had problems in getting enough ideas to kick start our prototyping process. the first problem was a person having a window seat had to disturb the other person twice when going out of his/her seat and returning back. it was something that we had never realized in real life scenario. This was one of the many problems that we were able to notice during our body storming session and it was really helpful for us to develop new solutions on site and look into the problems in detail.

2. Did you refine your ideas and solutions to the problem through body storming? In what way?

Body storming definitely helped us to create unique solutions to the problems. For instance, we devised a solution for visually impaired passengers to be able to track their seats after they leave them to go to the lavatory. our solution was to create a proximity sonic system that would give out a beeping sound whenever he/she get’s in range of their seats. Body storming helped us to recreate the scenario and gave us a more tangible environment to work on our problems and evaluate our solutions.

3. What are difficult and challenging about body storming?

The challenging part about body storming was time management. to act out and find solutions for a specific problem I think more time is required. Furthermore, recreating an airline cabin was a tough one especially with chains and tables in the classroom that created an impediment to the prototyping process and getting our ideas materialized.

4. Does body storming lend itself to certain types of problems?

The idea of acting in front other team members can be a frightful proposition especially for people who are shy and introvert. they will be apprehensive about the body storming idea and might not be able to utilize the technique to its full potential. However, the body storming technique is an integral part of any prototyping process and should be used and if necessary coupled with other design techniques to be able to create user friendly outcomes.IMG_4356 IMG_4357 IMG_4358

RESEARCH SUMMARY POSTER_mrab6077_Assignment1

Feedback:

I didn’t know:

  1. donating through widgets and online game platforms.
  2. that Slacktivism costs.

Tell me more about the Geo-bombing activism technique?

Whenever a government uses censorship to downplay its corruption and abuses power by using tyrannical methods and put a ban on video sharing platforms such as YouTube and Daily motion, UNITE can be very helpful. UNITE can act as a plug-in for Google Earth, Google Maps or Bing Maps and every time any user using Google Earth or any of those virtual globe map geographical programs passes over a political organizations building can automatically watch the videos with their links attach on Google Earth.

Tell me more about the insight of the interviews?

The interviews were taken in two ways: using questionnaires and interviews. All the subjects were flat mates who live in the same student accommodation and are a mixture of postgraduate and undergraduate students of University of Sydney.The questions asked during their interviews were regarding their participation in online activism, whether they are part of an activist community or do they support online or offline activism.

Have you thought about interviews of older people?

My focus group on this project was mainly young adults with an age group in between 20-30 years. Old people are less active in online activism and they prefer to participate more in offline activism than online one. As my focus was on online activism I didn’t go for the older age groups. But it would have been great to know their point of view on this topic.

Blog-5 Ideating-mrab6077

  • 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?

Taking the role of “money spinners” as the Extreme User narrowed down the thinking process and it definitely helped us to focus on a particular character with wild and uncommon concepts and ideas. I usually embraced the character and generated ideas according to my preferences and fantasies  if I would have been in the character’s shoes. As the setting of this design challenge was based on a hypothetical scenario about the future of payphones in relation to the Extreme User, the utility of the generated ideas together with the users lifestyle was also given importance during ideation. Although, we came up with ideas that were debatable, but at the end of the day it allowed our imaginations to run wild and each group came up with ideas that had real potentials and scopes of improvement.

  • Did any of the other design thinking techniques (design provocation cards, stories and storyboards, etc.) help you to work through ideas and collaborate with your group members?

In our group there was an extensive use of design provocation cards coupled with the extreme user type, this proved useful especially during the ideation process. The provocation cards proved really helpful whenever I went out of ideas about my Extreme user and it narrowed own the set of concepts for my story and acted as a guide throughout the whole process. After individual ideation session each of the group members shared their concepts which in turn helped them to evolve into more credible user friendly solutions. then as a collective we drew mind maps and storyboards to visualize our concepts.

It was an interesting design challenge and rather exciting one which allowed our minds to break the usual barriers of a set of specified rules and go wild with ideas that were rather interesting and unique.

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Blog-4: Creating Personas- mrab6077

  • Describe your experience in creating personas from different users’ perspectives gathered in the interview data. Was there enough commonality between the 4 people interviewed to form a coherent persons? or did it make more sense to create a second different persona?

I really enjoyed creating a persona. it was like creating a hypothetical clone human taking bits and pieces from other persons and putting it together. only in this case, the persona was the blender machine and we were the ingredients to put in it. Me and my other team mates had a lot of commonalities on the topic of going to the supermarket. Almost all of us had commonalities in our behavioral and  demographic data such as age, occupation, quality of the products that we choose or buy, shopping locations, hours of shopping, cost effectiveness and transportation. I thoroughly enjoyed creating a character out from our interview data- a technique which i have thoroughly enjoyed learning and looking forward to using it in any design related projects I do in the future.

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

I think the persona was successful in generating empathy with the users. since almost all of us shared similar behavioral and demographic information, it was easy to create such a persona, as we all shared similar life stories. However, if we were to use this technique against any unknown persons then it would have been tough to distinguish commonalities in a diverse data. But, i believe that would also be a good challenge to work out on.

Blog Reflection-3 Interpreting Data mrab6077

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

As I was reading the interview transcripts it was pretty much an informal talk rather than a formal one with the prospective user. After reading the interview transcripts I can identify the different problems the user had when travel planning and unable to find a place in a crowded city without a travel guidebook or his laptop since he wasn’t carrying one with him. I identified some of the users needs, frustrations, interests and motivations. An example of his needs would be to find a kid friendly place for his two year old daughter, without proper information of the restaurant which shouldn’t necessarily have to be kid friendly but rather can be accommodating a kid without burdening someone else’ meal in the process. However he points out that he goes for a place by the kind of view or the place it is situated in rather than having a  kid friendly environment. So by collecting these important points in three different colored posits and arranging them in a hierarchical manner I can deduce the observations and reveal the key themes in the interview data.

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

Our four team members grouped the post it’s on the wall and categorized them under different themes according to the users context which in turn helped us to identify our users preferences about a situation. After categorizing the information we looked at the other teams which helped us to refine our grouping further.  Finally, to give us a better understanding of the user’s needs we filtered identified and narrowed down our related categories and labelled them accordingly.

  • What was difficult or challenging with the technique?

Sometimes the information gathered from the transcripts is not enough which sometimes lead to problems when grouping the information under the different categories. Fragments of information in the user’s interviews made it hard for us to figure out and sometimes group information under one category. The interview should have been done with more precise to the point questions rather than being ambiguous.

  • How would you do it better next time?

Since the interview was too long and I was unable to read the whole interview and figure out the relevant users needs, to the unnecessary ones. I would concentrate more in identifying the required users data and would help me cut down on noting recurrent user’s preferences thus making my findings less ambiguous. Furthermore,the interviewer tried point based questionnaires which I believe went too far and made identifying the user’s needs difficult to comprehend in the transcripts. This would have been overcome if the user would have been interviewed in their natural setting.

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Blog Reflection-2 Sketching as a thinking tool-mrab6077

  • How is the technique different to the traditional note taking?

Sketching is an innovative method of expressing information using diagrams rather than words. It provides us with the freedom and flexibility to play with our ideas in helping us to remember and understand ideas and experiences by creating a meaningful visual document.Human psychology tends to discern information embedded in drawings much easily than words which is sometimes cumbersome to read and interpret. Sketch noting allows us to break down the words into a visual storyboard which is much faster than note taking in every scenario of our life. Although, it can be a bit time consuming as you need to process the incoming messages into visual art in a short period of time, but it makes the experience that much more enjoyable and entertaining than the traditional note taking.

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

This method gives you enough freedom to visualize and express your thought and ideas in a drawing format, in numerous ways. It does not restrict you from following a specific format like note taking. however, sketchnoters should be very fluent in their sketching methods as well as in their ability to multitask in a short period of time. Otherwise, they might tend to loose important bits of information while concentrating on a single task. To makes this method handy sketchnoters can combine their visuals with texts so as to  pass their messages across easily.

  • Personal Challenges as sketchnoter

As I am an architect by profession we tend to use this method regularly in our profession. Drawings as notes are much preferred in our profession than words. We frequently use sketchnoting to give instructions to the engineers and other professionals that we work with and with clients in a meeting. Sketchnoting is an effective method in dealing with clients as they being a lay persons find it hard to interpret technical ideas, so a bit of sketchnoting combined with texts can go a long way to help both parties communicate with each other.Personally, I am a fan of this technique of note keeping and it is an indispensable part of my profession and life.  11120911_10205890003422168_1736625512_n 11880177_10205890000222088_1072424_n11913394_10205890000262089_1668548127_n11912921_10205890000342091_129561050_n11874063_10205890000302090_1288801847_n

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