IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Design is a state of mind


Sarah Beach

SSAF4685: Assessment 3 Presentation

Google drive link:

Blog reflection 05: ssaf4685

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?

Taking the position of an extreme user allowed me to step out of my own shoes and almost role play in a way to come up with an idea that reflected my user. It was much different to the usual way of ideation and creating empathy because I actually pictured myself as the extreme user and thought of what that user would want.

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?

The storyboards helped visualise my concept to the team and they were able to come up with even more ideas to refine the idea as they could visualise it quite easily. Also using a short ideation session with post-its allowed us to generate ideas quickly and simply with an extreme user in mind.

Blog reflection 04: ssaf4685

1. Briefly reflect on the lessons learnt from each exercise

Reflective listening

The reflective listening exercise allowed me to really think about what my speaker was talking about. Because I could only really probe based on what the speaker was talking about I firstly felt myself listening more and secondly felt restricted because I wanted to have a conversation about my experiences too. I believe this exercise made it really clear to me that when you speak, the words you use and the questions you ask need to be curated the right way to show that you are truly reflective on the subject and if you get tempted to speak about your own experiences you may not get the additional content that you are actually searching for.

As a speaker, my listener was really just listening to me – this made me talk so much more and expand on things I was saying. I am naturally a talker, but the feeling of me as the subject made me open up much more knowing that someone wasn’t just waiting their turn to speak.

Defamiliarisation of everyday reality

This exercise made me so much more aware of something as simple as a train station or bus ride. I am so familiar with those surroundings, but just by writing as I observe I noticed so many new things that I had never really paid attention to before. This has actually opened up my eyes in my own job because I am so familiar – it would be great to just step back and observe in this way.

Empathic modelling

This exercise allowed me to put myself in the shoes of someone with a disability and made me so aware of how much we rely on shapes, sound and colour to identify common objects. I felt that items that were usually obvious or prominent faded in my vision and other items that are usually not so obvious were more prominent – such as light and warning signs in bright yellow or red.

2. Complement your reflections with photographs of the process

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

IMG_4484 IMG_9947

Blog reflection 03: ssaf4685

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?

Our group had two interviews that were similar with one another, and the other two similar with one another. So initially, finding those commonalities were quite easy… but then when we developed the persona from the two interviews we realised that those two personas had some very different variables. If we had more data we could probably find a more prominent relationship to develop a more accurate persona to represent the user

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

I believe our final persona was a great start to generate empathy with those users, but I would much prefer to collect more information delve deeper now that we know more about that representation of users. I would probably do a small group again before interviewing a larger range so that I can iterate the interview and I would also be very careful with my variables to try establish statistical significance with my user data.

Blog reflection 01 – ssaf4685

How is this sketchnoting technique different to the original note taking? 

Sketchnoting involves creating visual references to help articulate a concept, theory or message. Apart from the obvious difference that this technique is not purely sentences, bullet points and verbatim quotes like the traditional note taking technique, there are also differences in the skill required;

  • The noter needs to be able to absorb information as they sketch a topic or idea so they don’t lose focus
  • The noter needs to have a plan on how they plan on laying out their information in advance to avoid running out of space
  • The noter should have a library of icons and drawings to avoid getting caught up and losing focus

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

This approach allows content to be consumed in a visual way by the audience or reader making it easier to process and remember the content. When words are supported by graphics or icons like sketchnoting does it also gives the message more context and a powerful meaning.

Sketchnoting, although a powerful visual method of communication could prevent the communication with a reader or audience that prefer to consume knowledge in other ways, such as reading, watching or listening.

In turn, sketchnoting can also prevent the communication of ideas if the noter does not articulate the idea or concept with appropriate use of graphics or plan in advance the layout of their sketch note.

Personal challenges as a sketch noter

The personal challenges I uncovered in sketch noting include:

  • I found that I got stumped when I wanted to sketch a graphic that didn’t turn out the way I expected – as a result lost track of where I was
  • Without the preparation of what the subject was and how I wanted to layout the information, I ran out of space quickly and found myself moving around with no logical order
  • I wasn’t sure what information to capture, as it may be relevant to tell the story. I found myself paused for a period of time because if I started sketching again it wouldn’t add up based on what I had captured so far.


Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑