IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Design is a state of mind



Master of interaction design and electronic arts

Blog Reflection 6:Experience Prototyping

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

Our group focused on the topic on ” Sleeping on airplane” and we wanna change the shape of seat and add baffle to improve passengers’ comfortableness. Brainstorming is necessary the first step and then our group thought about any solutions. When we started bodystorming, it was easier to find that the thought might need more space and cost. Also this baffle would cause passengers sitting next you to feel that you dislike you. Thus, physical experience helps us explore new ideas and problems.dd

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

Exactly yes. We tested our ideas and solutions. The real feelings can be directly showed by bodystorming. Changing the large angle of seat may make passengers sitting in the back feel uncomfortable. So we modified the way of changing angle, which made seat slide forwardly. The solution would solve the problem of feeling, but increase that of space. Thus, I think that bodystorming is a good way of constantly finding problems and solving problems.0426_3

3. What was difficult or challenging about bodystorming?

All the real conditions were imaged by brain. It would make us ignore any real conditions. We thought our solution was creative and perfect. But the size of chair was different from that of airplane chair and we considered less of the size of airplane. Maybe the size would influence our design. Also, technologies would not satisfy our design.

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

Bodystorming is a good way of checking the primary ideas, which may help us find any problems we ignored. However, it difficultly occupies the whole design process. It cannot create the real conditions. Bodystorming only focuses on whether the solution is effective, but it would miss other esssential factors.

Blog Reflection 05-Ideation

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?

Our group chose the person with extreme romantic sense. In the process of creating this story, I always considered some scenes from my own perspective. Event though I would imaged that I was that girl and this is my story. Actually, this process of taking the positions of an extreme user is a process of experiencing this story, such as empathy. I should understand users’s real experience and idea, which was easy to generate some reasonable thoughts. A part of my brain had become the same part of this user’s brain. Thus, I can know about real needs in design. And my group members are all girls, so we always had similar thoughts and feelings. A simply thought can easily arouse sympathy.

Taking the position of an extreme user is a good method of generating new idea and empathy. When I need to consider some problems, I would put myself in that situation. For example, if I need to design a new GPS device, I would image that I was that user–what kind of problems I would meet.Normally, I would consider various problems including extreme issues. Only in this way, my design may be satisfied by more users. Thus, taking the position of an extreme user is easier to stimulate my thoughts.

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 is very helpful. If I tell my story or use design provocation cards to show my design thinking, that cannot specifically express my thoughts and listeners cannot experience my feelings or completely understand my ideas. However, storyboards can directly express the scenes of story and

Research Poster


Research Poster

Blog Reflection 4:Empathy&Defamiliarisation

  1. Briefly reflect on the lessons learnt from each exercise

a) Reflective listening

As a listener, I should feel empathy with speaker through listening to her or his opinions and feelings. This is a good process to understand people’s hobbies. And I shouldn’t judge others’ opinions.

b)Defamiliarisation of everyday reality

To some extent, some life segments we always experience maybe strange. According to watch theses two video,recalling my feelings of utilising in life segments would help me obtain some details that I have ignored; such as the train driver’s seat is on the left side. I can also describe predominant physical sensations to recall my feelings in these life segments. It would be a good method of comparing two objects.

c)Experience modelling

Although blurry eyesight made me difficultly find more details in life, I still feel familiar with surrounding environmental information. However, if I would meet unfamiliar environment in reduced sight, I might feel nervous and only rely on my perceptual cues to get more information.

  1. Complement your reflections with photographs of the process


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

Tutorial 3: Creating Persona

  1. 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?

Our group focuses on the topic of shopping in the supermarket with five group members, two males and three females. The questions include reasons, stuff, expenditure, and experience of shopping in the different gender, age and background. In the end, we formed a coherent persona with more commonality between two female interviewees.

I thought that the data from five members was difficultly found commonality. However, two girls (C & D) have high similarities in several questions about shopping habits, because they are friends in the real life. Maybe this is one of the reasons of becoming friends. Actually females enjoy the moment of shopping, so the final coherent persona was formed from females.

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

I believe our final persona was successful in generating empathy with users. Our persona belongs to two girls who have the same age, are friends and students. They have commonality in experience and expenditure of shopping. Thus, the results are about 22-year-old girls’ shopping habits. If the interviewees tend to find females’ age between 20 and 30 years old, I can explore that young women’s shopping customs. Although our 9 questions can also form a persona, more questions next time contribute to generate more empathy with users.


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

This activity helped me understand that designers cannot help most users make a decision. These interviews could directly reflect that what services or functions can satisfy their personal needs or solve their problems. Research based on interviews with some travellers, travellers have different ways of trip and encounter navigation problems to the homogenous destination.

We may have less chance to experience the travel and may not see these issues. This way can help us obtain different perspectives. We were able to build empathy with prospective users by listening to what they said and experience on the way.

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

Group works together to pick up the key information about certain topic, then categorises them into different types. After discussion, the group is able to find the common theme from the same type of information. Finally, group could understand the users’voice from summary of all the themes.

  1. What was difficult or challenging with the technique?

The first challenge is to assess whether the information I picked up is valuable. Travellers would worry about every item when they met on the trip. I try not to ignore their thoughts.

The second challenge is to categorise all the information into different themes. Every team member focuses on only one essay and I have less idea of other interviews. Thus, it is difficult to sure whether the theme is valuable.

How would you do it better next time?

I would spend more time on understanding these interviews and try to complete reading them next time. Working with peers together to analyse the core information that most travellers would meet on the trip. And I would define the themes more reasonable next time.IMG_0595

Blog reflection 1:Thoughts on sketch noting.

  1. How is this technique different to the traditional note taking?  

The traditional note taking is to record main ideas what I heard. If the lecture speaks quickly, I may not have enough time to write down more details. Sometimes, I also ignore the key points of lecture.

However, sketch noting tends to utilise my different ways of consideration when taking notes. I have to simultaneously catch the key points and think about how to paint the pictures. According to different types of essays, I also decide to use which ways to structure the information in the best way. A good logical thinking can facilitate to finish the sketch noting well. On the other hand, the sketchnoting technique can highlight the main ideas in the essay and this is a good way to make a plan.

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

A good sketch noting can help people understand what is important and the relationship between each part. Furthermore, the pictures can directly illustrate the complex content. The funny pictures also attract more readers’ attention. Conversely, the imprecise words could make readers misunderstand what the authors want to express.

However, this visual approach cannot express the abstract content according to pictures. For example, the author wants to describe the personality, which can be expressed by some adjective words and specific cases. Thus, sketch noting has its weakness.

3. Personal challenges as sketchnoters.

I do not know how to select the best way to structure information.The different type of essay has its own logic thinking. If I don’t know the whole content before sketch noting, it is difficult to highlight the key points. Moreover, the unsuitable way to structure information could not  effectively illustrate the content. In class, we followed the video to sketch note. I don’t have enough time to consider the frame leading to a messy note. I have to spend more time on practicing painting.

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