IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Design is a state of mind



blog reflection 09 rjia6396

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

While thinking about the shots and scenes, I feel the storyline became more clear to me, meanwhile, I was able to think about things thoroughly when I was picturing the scenes, I identified few details I didn’t think of before.

2)  What motivated your choice of storyline structure? Can you think of an exemplary from a film that uses the same structure?
For our storyline structure, we used Who, Where, When, Why, What, How. We believe I can help the audience to understand easier. As for the movie, I would say one of the Russia movies I recently watched called Дурак have the similar structure as our storyline.

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

We would say our audience should likely to be international students who were not able to face their mental health issues. We have not decided on which style we would use, but it would definitely be related.

Blog Reflection 08 RJIA6396

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

I bring a sponge from my kitchen for this exercise, initially, it should be used to clean the dishes. However, during the discussion within my group, I found this sponge can also be used as an exfoliator for the feet. After wrapping it with cling wrap, the surface of the object became smooth, both affordances I mentioned before became disabled. Yet, I discover because the object is a sponge, one of the main feature of the sponge is how light it can be while it’s dry and the cling wrap basically makes it waterproof. Therefore I believe this sponge can be used as a floating tray to put small objects on it while bathing.

2)  Given that affordances are 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.

During the exercise, I tried to use the touchscreen while wearing a glove, I find I was still able to use it, just not as easy as without the glove. Which reminded me how uncomfortable users will feel while they have to take off their gloves during the cold winter. As a designer, I find that we have to think things from the different perspective and discover the different affordances the object might have thoroughly.


For each of the 2 techniques (user observation, think- aloud):

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

Firstly, as an observer I find I can be more objective in terms of analysing the situation meanwhile, I was able to observer the emotion that the user is experiencing while they were using the websites. On the other hand, by doing think-aloud, I feel like I was able to share the empathy with other, see the problem in a different angle.

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

As an observer, I find it is much easier to analyse the user reaction while using the corresponding data collection forms, however sometimes it might be hard for the observer to understand every facial expression user had. As for think-aloud, this technique force the user to think and express feelings while using the website however some people might find they don’t use to talk aloud while working, they might find themselves hard to concentrate meanwhile more easy to get impatient.

Poster, rjia6396

Blog reflection 06-rjia6396

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

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

It is quite interesting to think while you doing the physically acting, you will realise that some of the ideas you were thinking might not work in real life. Meanwhile, it helps you to think of the problem in users’ perspective.

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

Bodystorming definitely helped us to refine our ideas,  it allows us to see the idea in a different angle. Meanwhile, experience what would work and what might have a problem if we did not execute it properly.

3)  What was difficult or challenging about bodystorming?

First of all will be the limitation of space, there were not enough room for us to practice our idea. On the other hand, we don’t have enough tool in our hand. Therefore, we cannot actually execute some of our ideas. At the same time, because how everyone might receive information differently so we had some arguments within our group, which can be considered as a good thing since a different point of view will help us to think outside of the box.

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

Bodystorming can help us to understand the problems in a more effective way. However, it might require more preparation and more detail should be discussed before the action.

Blog Reflection 05-rjia6396

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 quite hard for me to create a character base on my imagination, therefore I do feel my character a bit superficial. I believe it would be better if I do some research before I start to create the story. This method is definitely different from what I usually do, yet I allowed to think more in other’s position and have empathy with the character.

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?

Between our group, we shared our stories and discussed how the future payphone booth will become more playful and has different use compare now. Meanwhile, we have drawn a storyboard in order to make the story clearer and visualise the story.


1. Briefly reflect on the lessons learnt from each exercise

a. Reflective listening

I feel like I’m fine to be both listener and speaker, it is quite to interesting to listen to others experience, and it is actually surprised me about how many details you can gather by just talking to others. On the other hand, being a speaker is also quite interesting, I do feel comfortable share my experience with others. Meanwhile, by sharing our life experiences with each other, allows me to understand how other’s opinions can be different from yours better.

b. Defamiliarisation of everyday reality

I did not feel much different or uncomfortable while I was watching the video. However, when I was watching the video, I did pay more attention to my surrounding than when I actually taking the public transport. Therefore, I was able to find out what can be improved in terms of public transport.

c. Empathic modelling
When I was wearing the wrapped sunglasses and walking down the hallway, I felt really insecure even I partner was holding my hand. Although I am rather familiar with the building, and I was able to see stuff vaguely, yet I still fear the unknown. Meanwhile, we I was taking the photos, I was not quite clear about what is the object I was taking the photo from, and I was unable to decide which angle is better for the photo taking. By doing the exercise I was able to have some knowledge about how those who are blind or can see things clearly feel in their everyday life.

2)  Complement your reflections with photographs of the process IMG_5649 2IMG_5646 2

3)  Include a scanned copy of your defamiliarisation forms (public transport)

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Blog Reflection 3-rjia6396

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 choose “Catching public transport” as the theme of our interview.  I felt there is quite a lot commonality between us regard to the using public transport. Because three of us live rather close to one and other, and we have the similar reason to use the public transport. Therefore, we were able to create a persona out of the data we collected easily. However, one of our group members has quite different experience of using public transport. Yet, the persona will be a bit weak and unsupported if the data were all collected from one person.

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

I do believe we have created a very typical persona for university students who live near to their champs. However, it would be better if we interview more people and collect more data. Meanwhile, I think we should try to let the interviewees share some personal story, and express their feelings, in order make a more accurate persona.

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Blog Reflection 02-rjia6396

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

When I was reading the interview, I bear in mind that I need to highlight the interests, needs, motivations, frustrations of the interviewee. Therefore, instead of just browsing the interview, I tried to find the key information all the way, and it makes my reading became more effective.

Meanwhile, by writing downs the statements of user interests, needs, motivations,
frustration makes me understand the user needs more clearly. Meanwhile, after we put all of our data together and create affinity diagram, we were able to see which catalog is more concerned by customers and that will absolutely help us to understand the users.

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

By doing clustering of information, we divide the different voices from the interviewees into groups. It helps us quickly find the information we need by looking at the keywords. Meanwhile, judging by the proportion of each block, we will clearly see which catalog need more improve than the others.

Overall, creates affinity diagram is a method not only can help us understand our target customers more effectively and clearly, but also can organize information in a reasonable order.

IMG_5561 2What was difficult or challenging with the technique? How would you do it better next time?

Firstly, as someone who has not done this kind exercise before, we were confused by what are we supposed to do at the beginning of the clustering, and we wasted a lot of time. Secondly, I was unable to finish all the reading in half an hour. Moreover, it is quite hard to figure out how to organize each group. Sometimes can be rather difficult to find the connection between statements and make sure each cluster have only a few post-it notes at the same time.

To make it better next time, I will train myself to read faster. Meanwhile, I will start to think about the connections between statements while I am reading the material and mark them in the different colour. Last but not least, we should try to improve the group communication efficiency.

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