IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Design is a state of mind



Week 2 Reflection

  1. I have to admit that besides in the case of drawing, I had no experience using the different materials. This made it quite difficult to construct anything especially meaningful in the limited time available, so exploration of ideas was not very fruitful.

As far as expressing potential solutions is concerned, the properties of the materials served to place focus on aspects particular to them. In the case of the cardboard, structural stability was what demanded attention. The pipe cleaners were the most versatile for me, so they allowed some degree of representation of the final form that I envisioned. The toothpicks were too difficult for me to make anything decent in the allotted time.

Having said that, I do appreciate the underlying principle of material iteration in developing prototypes. Given time, the basic sketches could be constructed into increasingly higher fidelity prototypes with significant insights gained at each stage of the process.


  1. I may have covered this in part 1, but the lack of malleability offered by the cardboard, meant that only overall structure could be represented by my limited skills, so focus was on structural integrity and balance. With the pipe cleaners, I was able to more accurately represent curves       and cantilevered components. The toothpicks were the most difficult to arrange in a representational way and as such only served as a guide as to how I might go about building the underlying structural surfaces in a model that utilised a combination of materials. My favourite to work with were definitely the pipe cleaners.


  1. If I’m to be honest, I changed the design to suit the challenges presented by each material, rather than making changes based on insights gained about the final product. From my prototypes I learned firsthand why compromises are often made in design due to limited manufacturing processes or resources.


  1. The user needs were addressed in each model at least in spirit. My client was baby Maggie, so her chair had to have playful distractions and secure safety restraints, which represented in some form or at least would have, given enough time.

Week 1 Reflection

  1. Working with a real person allowed me to receive immediate feedback on the design problem at hand. My partner voiced concerns and issues that I was then able to address and which I may not have anticipated on my own. His feedback necessitated the development of multiple iterations in order to address his requirements from the product at each stage that I presented it to him. When testing the final product, an issue arose that required me to add an additional feature that addressed a specific problem that arose for him.
  2. Showing unfinished work was not an issue for me. The time constraint and minimal resources at hand were obvious to my partner, so I did not feel any pressure to produce a high fidelity presentation. I had confidence that the materials that I was producing were addressing the issue at hand and were incorporating the data that my partner offered up. As a result, I was pleased to be demonstrating an iterative work-in-progress.
  3. My partner’s prototype was a fair representation of multiple, successive screens that required easy-to-understand user input. The low fidelity meant that I could not get a complete picture of
    how aesthetically pleasant or responsive the interface would be.
  4. My eventual product was an assistive technology for gift wrapping, so I would probably get my partner/prospective users to wrap various gifts in order to monitor the physical and mechanical challenges that they encounter when using their current skills. In retrospect, the only thing I would do over again is ask more specific questions about any issues that arise for my partner when gift wrapping.
  5. The main tool I would use at this stage is a survey that explores the pain points associated with gift wrapping.

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