How did physically acting out help to explore ideas?
During this activity, we could observe and understand the users’ thoughts and behaviours via the actions and situations. The users’ needs and problems were very clear and understandable. This helped us generate solutions for their problems and needs very quickly.
Did you refine your ideas and solutions to the problem through body storming? In what way?
Yes, our design problem was sleeping in an airplane. We created ideas by talking about each other’s flying experience. We designed more comfortable and quiet seats and beds. Then, we had a very short body storming. We observed that people needed and wanted private and clean seating on an airplane.
What was difficult or challenging about body storming?
There were three things that made body storming very difficult. Firstly, our team members were super shy, so no one wanted to act or role play. Secondly. we were seated in the middle of the classroom surrounded by lots of chairs and desks making it difficult to move and observe the acting. Thirdly, probably because of shyness we did not act out very much instead we just talked.
Does body storming lend itself to certain types of problems?
Because body storming in this instance is more ‘pretend’ (acting) than a real life situation we run the risk of misinterpretation and perhaps overstating the issues.
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?
This activity was a completely different way of generating ideas. Our extreme user type was the romantic which was a little bit difficult for me because I am not romantic person. My first thoughts were of flowers and fairy tales and the character was a 40 year old woman who was really crazy about fairy tale dresses and high heels. After that, we combined ideas into our group. It proved very difficult to collaborate our ideas, because some of us were thinking realistically and literally and some of us more creatively and with less realistic ideas.
Was it different to how you usually generate ideas and empathy?
Yes, it was very different. I usually generate ideas by asking others and researching the topic. This gives me inspiration.
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?
I think storyboard was very helpful in our group, because it clearly shows the ideas, the situations and users’ behaviours and thoughts.
1. How did this exercise help you build empathy with prospective users?
From the interview transcript, I could understand what the user’s thoughts and behaviours were. The exercise was like reading a personal profile which helped me to recognise the user’s needs and desires.
2. How did the clustering of information help you to understand user needs?
This exercise helped us to integrate users’ motivations, needs, problems and interests and how these change with different users in different situations and backgrounds.
3. What was difficult or challenging with the technique? How would you do it better next time?
The poor quality of the post-it-notes made a difference to the grouping of the clusters, that is, they did not stick properly to the wall and rolled into each other making it almost impossible to read them. Some even peeled off the wall entirely.
For next time, I would get a good quality post it notes (e.g. 3M) and use black markers (should be bold and no strange smell).
Also, the space is important. We should have a very large wall or whiteboard and should close all of the windows so that we have enough space and the notes will not be blown off.
Q: Describe your experience of creating a single persona from different users perspectives gathered in the interview data. Was there enough commonality between the 4 people interviewed to form a coherent persona? Or would it have made more sense to create a second different persona?
We chose ‘catching public transport’ as our topic and started the discussion by asking about the usage of public transport in Sydney. I found the experience was quite challenging and confusing, because even though we are all Chinese, we come from different backgrounds and from different areas. Therefore, we all have different perspectives, thoughts and experiences. Considering this, it was quite hard to create a coherent persona.
An interesting topic that we discussed was the technology of public transport. We talked about the Opal card and its use by travellers. Again, all of team members although of similar ages and all students, we still had very different travelling experiences using the Opal card. We discovered that we all had different technological devices with their respective limitations. Therefore, we spent lots of time creating a new application or technological device/elements that would enable people to travel faster and more easily.
Q: Do you think your final persona was successful in generating empathy with users ? What would you change to make it better?
Eventually, we created a genuine university ‘student’ persona dependent on the Opal card for travelling. I would have developed the persona more-more characteristics and more varied e.g., not just students but people from all ‘walks of life’.