How did physically acting out help to explore ideas?
By acting out the whole sequence, I started to notice little problems and issues that we might have overlooked during the initial problem identification brainstorming session. We had to focus on layout (of the hospital waiting room) and how the organization of the room is conducive or not to the patients that are waiting. We also started taking up characters that would be the worse in certain roles, for instance an absent receptionist, one who is either not there or always on the phone not paying attention to the patients. We had to come up with solutions to counter ideas such as lack of chairs, boredom in the waiting room, annoying patients etc. Also by physically acting out the situation, we found out that magazines in the waiting room had the potential to being unhygienic. We believed that entertainment through contact might actually be counter intuitive at a waiting room considering sick people can spread bacteria through contact. We came to the conclusion that most people already had smartphones, so it would be best if the smartphone notified the patient when the doctor was ready.
Did you refine your ideas and solutions to the problem through bodystorming? In what way?
Yes definitely. The whole bodystorming process notified us to problems that we would not have identified in the brainstorming session. To me it was like a detail oriented research process where every single detail is accounted for. From the arrangement of the chairs to the positioning of the receptionist in relation to the patients/public. Bodystorming made us consider everything from the comfort of the patients to the accessibility of different items. Throughout the whole design thinking classes and tutorials, we had been focusing on empathising with the user. By bodystorming, we’re actually capable of placing ourselves in the shoes of the user and seeing the problems and issues from their point of view. We also had a platform to put our ideas into context. We had the idea of entertainment while passing the time, but through bodystorming we believe that it should not be a public, tactile based form of entertainment. We sought different solutions of games and entertainment methodologies but ultimately came to the conclusion that most people already had a smartphone therefore they would probably be killing time there. Perhaps we could offer them free wifi and a charging point. One of the design elements that we implemented was notifying the user through his phone that it was his turn to see the doctor.
What was difficult and challenging about bodystorming?
Bodystorming is actually a rather fun process especially when you’re performing them amongst friends. In fact the biggest challenge that I saw was the believability of the situation we were creating. I think it would be best to actually have proper set ups and costumes to really place yourself in the shoes of the patient. Currently, we had to use a lot of our imagination and that causes us to not focus on identifying problems, rather we are imagining a room full of patients as opposed to an empty set of plastic chairs. Perhaps we could even visit the actual location.
Does bodystorming lend itself to certain types of problems?
The biggest problem that I see with bodystorming is that you’re viewing all the problems from your point of view and not the point of view of the general population. Perhaps something that is irksome to yourself is not necessarilly that big an issue with everyone else. That’s why I feel it’s important to go through the whole bodystorming process with as many people as possible to see issues from as many perspectives as possible. Another suggestion I would have is to perhaps record the whole session. Following this we could play back and view the entire sessions analysing what we did right and what we did wrong. We could also use the footage to further analyse in detail any problems that we may have missed during the initial run through.