IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Design is a state of mind



Blog Reflection 09 – sham8203

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

I selected a spatula as an object, which is used for spreading cream on cakes, however, through out this exercise I realized other affordances to this object. I think it can be used for digging  and planting, similar to a shovel. Another affordance of the spatula is that it could be used as a personal fan, since it is plastic, flexible and lightweight.

Given that 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 your inspiration or insight for how to work with affordances as a designer? Discuss this through the specific objects you explored in the exercise?

Yes, it did give me inspiration

Blog Reflection 08 – sham8203

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

It gave me information about how the user interacts with the prototype (website), and what he/she finds difficult or easy. It also gave me an insight on what the user enjoyed or liked while using the prototype, and what they didn’t like or enjoy.

What aspects of the technique worked well or were frustrating?

This technique is more effective than only asking the user questions about their opinion of the prototype, because seeing them in using it in action gives us a lot more detail than the user would give us. However, it was a little bit difficult to keep up with the user, listening to what they say, asking them questions and taking notes all at the same time.

Blog Reflection 07 – sham8203

How did physically acting help to explore ideas?

Our group chose the topic of ‘problems with sleeping in the airplane’. Physically acting out helped us realize what the potential problems were and helped us physically feel and build empathy with the passenger on the plane.

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

Yes, body storming helped us gain a deep understanding of the situation by acting from different roles in this situation, which created a means of extracting information and data that we are not able to extract through discussion only. This enabled us to come up with new, unique ideas, or come up with effective improvements for existing products and/or ideas.

What was difficult or challenging about body storming?

In order for our body storming to be effective, I think we had to specifically mimic the situation so that we could get a true feel of it. Sometimes it is difficult to mimic exactly how a situation is.

Does body storming lend itself to certain types of problems?

No, it can be used for any situation.

Blog Reflection 04- sham8203

Briefly reflect on the lessons learnt from each exercise:

  1. Reflective listening

    The reflective listening approach helped me understand the speaker’s idea with empathy, and offer the idea back to the speaker in order to confirm that it has been understood correctly.

  2. Defamiliarisation of everyday reality

    Defamiliarisation of everyday activities brought to my mind a lot of memories that I didn’t think were significant enough for me to remember.

  3. Emphatic modelling

    Empathetic Modelling allowed my to grow empathy for other with different conditions to me, it was like practically putting myself into other peoples shoes

Blog Reflection 03- sham8203

Generating_personasDescribe your experience of creating personas from different users’ perspective 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 chose the topic of “catching public transport”. We used open ended questions which were in a generic form, however, somehow related to the chosen topic. In our answers we found a lot of commonalities, especially with the demographic data, because we were all close in age, and because 3 out of 4 of us were international students. We could all relate well to the topic because we all use public transport as the main means of transport. I think that the information we gathered sufficient enough to create a realistic, archetype persona, however, I don’t think we had enough information and comparisons for a second one.

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

Yes, I think it does help generate empathy with users because it feels like hearing the story of a real person and discovering their needs. One thing I would improve would be adding more information to the persona, especially the back story section, to help me get a better insight about the user and help clear up any ambiguity.


Blog Reflection 05- sham8203

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?

Yes, taking the position of an extreme user did make a difference to how I would usually generate ideas and empathy. Being extreme usually means that some things apply to you that don’t usually apply to others. During the design challenge I was able to use ideas that were somewhat out of the norm because I was an extreme user, which made my ideas unique and different to what I would usually come up with it the normal case.

Did any other design thinking techniques  help you to work through ideas and collaborate with your group members?

Yes, our group used story boards to collaborate ideas. It was very useful because each of us could visually explain their idea in a way that is clear to everyone, because drawing is a language that everyone understands.

Blog Reflection 02- sham8203

IMG_9352How did this exercise help you build empathy with prospective users?

This exercise involved extracting every minor and major detail about a person’s interests, needs and motivations from an interview. This approach helped me build empathy with the prospective user by helping me understand their preferences, like and dislikes and the reasons behind it. Their response to the interview questions helped me visualize and comprehend how they would respond to a particular situation or a particular product.

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

The clustering of information helped me organize my thoughts and get a bigger and more focused picture about the users likes and dislikes, especially when trying to come up with one sentence that could describe each cluster. This sentence, or title, made the data more clear and easy to understand.

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

challenges with this technique include trying to deal with a great amount of notes and trying to categorize the notes into groups, as well as trying to understand what the user really meant from the interview excerpt on each note.

If I do this exercise again, I would try to detail my notes a little more, or add an extra note or sketch next to the excerpt to help me understand what the user meant within the context of the interview.

Blog Reflection 01- sham8203

How is this technique different to the traditional note taking?

traditional note taking usually involve short sentences, phrases or even bare words that help someone remember and recap what was heard or seen. However, sketch-noting utilises quick sketches and drawings or symbols as visual clues  to interpret information.

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

I think that sketch-noting serves and prevents communication at the same time. As a reader or interpreter, sketch-noting serves communication because it uses a language that everyone understands (i.e. sketches), you don’t have to be able to read a specific language in order to understand and comprehend what the notes are trying to convey, in fact, you don’t have to be able to read at all.

On the other hand, from the perspective of the note taker, sketch noting may prevent communication unless you are a professional and sketcher. For me it was somewhat difficult to be able to sketch what I really wanted to take note of, especially in a  short amount of time, therefore I wasn’t able to effectively communicate my ideas.

Personal challenges as a sketch-noter

A sketch-noter must be able to effectively communicate his/her ideas via simple sketches. They must have very good drawing skills and good imagination. I think sketch-noting requires a lot of practice.

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