IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Design is a state of mind



Blog reflection 9 – skan2518

1) How did thinking in terms of shots and scenes influence your approach to communicating your design concept?

Visual storytelling allowed us to imagine our concept more effectively with many details. We could find out some elements we should shape up and elaborate, and it also refined and specify the property of each idea. This method was helpful to identify ideas for better conceptualization. As a result of this exercise, we successfully came to the conclusion that combined two different ideas to a final concept of our project.

2) What motivated your choice of storyline structure? Can you think of an exemplar from a film that uses the same structure?

Our group tried to identify what would be the ideal user flow for this concept. According to that flow, we could define the requirements and the constraints of this concept. These results led us to refine the storyline to make it more realistic. This iterating process was helpful to create a better storyline structure. Considering that this concept is a sort of public campaigns, this storyline structure can be used for a campaign of TV commercial either.

3) What choices did you make about audience and style? Were they related?

Since we are aiming for creating the public campaign, we tried not to distinguish the target audience except the children. Considering the concept of our idea, there is a need to consider the age-based approach, especially for young children. Therefore, we decided to create the different version of the storyline for the young children group.

Blog reflection 8 – skan2518

Reflect on your experience of conducting and participating in usability evaluation, by answering the following questions:

Comment on how you experienced the technique as both user and evaluator …

When I played a role of a user, I could only focus on the tasks that I was interested in. Even thought the prototype I was trying was the familiar one to me, however, it started to defamiliarise and focused on how I passed through the flow.

As an evaluator, it was very interesting to see the user’s face expressions. I realised that I could guess and gain lots of other aesthetic information from their physical reaction while they tried to use the prototype.

For each of the 2 techniques (user observation, think- aloud):

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

The usability evaluation allowed me to discover a number of things I have not realised when I designed. Through this evaluation, I found that user might have totally different behavioural patterns, which the designer might have not imagined. From this experience, I could learn designing based on only a designer’s assumption would cause some problems without any observing user’s actual experience and behavioural patterns.

2) What aspects of the technique worked well or were frustrating?

Observing user’s face expression was really helpful to realise how they felt about the process of using the prototype. Once I noticed that they were struggling, I tried to find what task they are trying to do, and what makes them be frustrated. However, Due to the fact that I needed to record every information I got at the same time, I sometimes missed the user’s flow and the timing to write it down.  Therefore, I thought that it would be better to be more than one observer for gathering information more effectively.

Blog reflection 6 – skan2518

1) How did physically acting out help to explore ideas?

Physical activity provided lots of insight that I would not be able to come up with by using imagination. It made it possible to create real life situations so that I could immerse myself into the actual users’ perspectives. Also the activity helped us to share ideas more naturally.

2) Did you refine your ideas and solutions to the problem through bodystorming? In what way?

Our initial hypothesis was that the personal reading light is one of the irritators in the cabin. However what bodystorming taught us was it is not the light itself but the direction of the light. Based on our learning, we changed our ideas from simply restricting the light to giving more control of the beam direction and adding a foldable screen.

3) What was difficult or challenging about bodystorming?

Appropriate space and tools were necessary for proper bodystorming. We used tables and chairs to emulate uncomfortableness of the passengers, but they did not work the same way to real ones.

4) Does bodystorming lend itself to certain types of problems?

I found bodystorming more effective when the user stays in limited space and context. Having less variables let us engage in the situation more easily and enabled us to develop our initial abstract ideas into more concrete solutions.

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Blog Reflection 5 – skan2518

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?

Due to the setting of an extreme user, it is much easier to empathise with the user and imagine ideas for determining user needs, and behaviours. This methodology helps to create a more clear context of a user’s circumstance, which is one of the most important keys to understanding the problem and solving it.

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?

Creating stories and drawing storyboards lets us consider the flow and context of users, and increases our level of understanding for ideas and concepts. It was significantly useful to present an idea, and discuss it with other people, which is the essential process of group work. Considering the fact that every person of a group tends to have a different perspective respectively,  this method, such as visualised storyboards seems to be very helpful to reduce the gaps between different people’s understanding and imagination about ideas and concepts in a group discussion.


Blog Reflection 4 – skan2518

1) Briefly reflect on the lessons learnt from each exercise:

a. Reflective listening:
While I was listening, I was trying to imagine, and follow the context of, what the speaker explained. It was very meaningful to try to give some reflective questions to the speaker, as it allowed me to have an opportunity to make the context clear and empathise more with the speaker. Furthermore, as a speaker, reflective listening led me to immerse myself more deeply in my own speeches, such as in situations that I was explaining, to enhance the interaction between the speaker and the listener.

b. Defamiliarisation of everyday reality:
Although waiting for a train at the Circular Quay station is already a very familiar experience to me, it felt interestingly unusual and unfamiliar when watching it through the video. This exercise impressed upon me the need to recognise the importance of standing back while observing the context, since it allows us to have an objective perspective.

c. Empathetic modelling:
This exercise reminded me of an exhibition I have seen, ‘Dialogue in the Dark’, which was one of the most unforgettable experiences I have had. In the exhibition, all of the audience entered a dark room with no light, but still felt and experienced the whole exhibition. With the wrapping glasses, it was literally impossible to see anything clearly, leading me to empathise with the experience while having reduced sight effectively. Moreover, it was a totally different experience than what I had imagined it would be. Throughout the exercise, I could realise the gap between the imagination of what we believe that we empathise, and the reality.

2) Complement your reflections with photographs of the process

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

Blog Reflection 3 – skan2518

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?

After each group member had an interview with a partner and shared to find some commonality, we created a persona for the users of the supermarket. However, only 2 interviewers among 4 had some meaningful commonalities. Therefore, it seems to be not persuasive enough to convince a good persona. Even though there were obvious commonalities in their interviews, we reached the conclusion that there is a strong need to build a different type of persona to represent different user’s perspectives.

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

It appeared to be successful in terms of leading to creating a persona from our information from 4 interviews. However, it is definitely obvious that we are able to develop a better persona if we have opportunities to have more interviews, allowing us to gain more insights and commonalities from it.

Blog Reflection 2 – skan2518

1. How did this exercise help you build empathy with prospective users?

While I was reading the user interview, I was not only able to build empathy but also follow the flow and context of what users experienced through the process of travelling. With the highlighted statements of user’s interests, needs, motivations, and frustrations, I could understand how we should distinguish and divide valuable information from user interviews to building meaningful research. Moreover, it made me recognise that it is important to ask open and appropriate questions and avoid leading questions which might lead user’s questions to where the interviewee intends.

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

After putting all the post-it-notes on the boards, members of my group could easily find out that there are some general, common user’s interests, needs, motivations, frustrations, and preferences related to travel. Clustering information allows us to understand the important key-factors which can generate the user’s behaviour and how we approach and solve users’ problems.

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

Due to the fact that there were several different ways to cluster the information according to purposes, it was sometimes difficult to label the group of information especially for some notes which we did not read, so the whole context of these statements was taken by other students. To avoid that, it is reasonable to state that it is better to include the detailed context or explanation with the notes for better understanding. In addition, considering the fact that we tried to interpret the pre-interview data from the booklet, we were not required to lead the interview and analyse at the same time. However, it is easy to imagine how difficult it would be when we should lead the interview in real time, and respond to users’ answers to gather meaningful information. Therefore, it is clearly understood that there should be the process of preparation for building appropriate questions before proceeding the interview.


Blog reflection 01 – skan2518

How is this sketchnoting technique different to the traditional note-taking?

The traditional approach appears to have a tendency to be focused on the hierarchy and concerns of how to structuralise content. Contrary to traditional note-taking, the sketchnoting approach appears to be more focused on what to prioritise: whether something is considered to be more important than other content or how to try to visualise the connection between them in real-time. This allows the viewer to unconsciously understand the whole context and picture without careful reading, but still see everything at a glance. Consequently, I found that it is considered to be useful to empathise with and express the most impressive and important parts of the content.

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

The visual approach is more powerful when the content needs to be delivered in a quicker and more intuitive way. The viewer can understand the context of the content quicker and more efficiently with a sketch. Furthermore, sketches contribute to the viewer remembering the content better. However, when it comes to delivering the details, there is likely to be difficulties visualising certain detailed elements, which can be a disadvantage that leads to the viewer misunderstanding and overlooking the content. Furthermore, it is easier for the sketchnoter to do sketchnoting with a biased, subjective view than with traditional methods of note-taking. Therefore, there is a possibility that it cannot be delivered at the same level.

Personal challenges of a sketchnoter.

One of the biggest challenges I experienced was whether or not I should listen and sketch at the same time. So, sometimes I would get distracted while listening to the details when I was trying to focus on visualising. After I finished the sketch, I would realise that I missed some details, and it showed through the lack of information in the areas I lost my concentration.

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