IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Design is a state of mind



Week/ “Blog 6” Body Storming – Smcm4680

Q1. How did physically acting out help to explore ideas?

Our group did the scene ‘sleeping on a plane’ and before we physically acted out the ideas we had all agreed that it is uncomfortable to sleep sitting up with no legroom.

When we actually physically acted out the space, we came up with many more scenarios/ annoyances, such as; people hitting the back of your chair, kids staring at you through the seats, trying to sneakily put your feet up without the person in front’s arm realising, people falling asleep on your shoulder, not being able to get up to go to the bathroom when someone’s asleep on the aisle seat.

Q2. Did you refine your ideas and solutions to the problem through body storming? In what way?

We came up with an idea of cinema theatre style recliner lounges which shift the sitting part of the seat forward so that you can lean further back and stretch out your legs too. We though it would be beneficial to the airline to remove one row of seats and provide more space to the other rows to allow this. We would position it as a premium economy seat. Pricing would only be slightly more expensive but is comparable to business class seating.

Q3. What was difficult or challenging about body storming?

Feeling comfortable to put yourself in embarrassing situations with colleagues you are not that familiar with i.e pretending to fall asleep on someones shoulder. I think this is why the warm up activities came in useful, to warm you up for the awkwardness.

Q4. Does body storming lend itself to certain types of problems?

Without props you may miss some details that you might only imagine up. Personality types such as introverts might not express what they’d like to input. I think it’s a good exercise teamed with brainstorming and prototyping.

Week/ “Blog 4” Interpreting data – Smcm4680

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

Reading such a personal reflective article ( interview data) on one person regarding their travel preferences was a very informative insight into how they like to travel; for what purpose, what interests them, level of comfort, etc. With what goggles are they viewing the world? Understanding their own background influencing these preferences (or where did the goggles come from?)

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

Highlighting the text (specifically, any statements of user interests, needs, issues & motivations) as we went along allowed us to collect all the different user needs etc. Capturing these words/sentences as we went along allowed no room for memory loss, or in turn what our memory might perceive – injecting our own perspectives onto it.

The exercise of clustering the user needs (not just from the one interview but from various) helped bring these isolated needs into larger ones. It made us think outside of the box into what users want.

I can see how this (especially the wider observations) would be useful for group market research. A tactile way to gather insights.

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

It seems insignificant but the quality of post-it-notes made a difference to the grouping of the clusters. The cheaper the quality of post-it-note’s the less they stuck to the surface, which made them roll into each other so that it was not obvious to see. Next time I would get the good quality larger surface post it notes. Oh, and use black markers, as opposed to pen. It would be easier to see.

Also, a larger space than a desk. So that you can keep you clusters to their own grouping. It did get confusing as they were all over each other. Perhaps next time we could use a white board or a wall (again, you’d need good quality post-its for this so that they dont fall down).IMG_0827

Week/”Blog 3″ Personas – Smcm4680

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?

It was interesting to see different ‘user experiences’ of the same activity. Peoples personalities and uniquenesses come out, and you come to realise how different everyone is in their habits and preferences.  It was an interesting and new activity to think about grouping the variables. I have never had to think of gathering variables for reporting, although it seems like common sense. I understand why it’s common practise for data analysis. Variables: a logical set of attributes – a symbol that represents a quantity in mathematics.

Although there were a lot of similarities that came out between the 4 users, such as ‘what we love about the movies’: escapism, story telling, time out. There were other aspects where 2 personas would make for a more interesting/diverse user case. That is, there was a big difference between the young, single, male student studying full time versus the mature age, married, professional female, studying part time. If this were market research tied to a marketing plan – we would have to target these two people very differently.

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

Unfortunately we didn’t make it to this portion of the exercise.

Week/ “Blog 2” – Smcm4680

 1) How did working through different materials help you to explore and express potential solutions to a design problem?

I found sticking to one material limiting. I found that because I put an ideation to paper first, I was frustrated with my material limitations. In saying that, It did make you think about practicality. I real world situation you might have to stick to materials that are easily available to you, or what budget confines. That is, design on paper should also translate into practise.

2) What kinds of information and inspiration did the different materials give you? Did you have a favourite material?

I definitely learnt that I’m stronger with pipe-cleaners than I am with toothpicks or cardboard (with the limited cohesive) I liked the flexibility of the pipe-cleaners, it allowed you to push your paper design ideas further, to be more creative.

Toothpicks together with sticky tape (and a limited timeframe) made for a frustrating experience. However, if I had my time again I’d explore different working methods with toothpicks. I saw that someone in class had taped together 4 or 5 toothpicks together to make the material thicker that made it easier to work with & built a sturdier chair.

I was working with a thick piece of cardboard and no being able to cut that was very limiting. I learnt that if I were to do this again I’d definitely work with thinner more flexible cardboard, that you could fold.
3) What did you change along the way? What did you learn from your prototypes?

I succumbed to temptation and used 2 materials together. The rigidness of the cardboard and the flexibility of the pipe-cleaners.

I felt that using one material is very limiting, but it does force you to think outside your set expectations. Perhaps I would go back and amend my design.
4) How well did you address your user needs in the various design models you created?

I think the idea on paper was much better than the models that I created. The brief was that Ralph had a sore back from carrying a heavy bag, and that his seat was not aiding to any relief. The idea was to make an ergonomic chair with arm rests that allowed room for his books/stationary. This was not so effective with the materials I had on hand.

I also need to learn to be more patient with fiddly materials.



Week/ “Blog 1” – Smcm4680

  1. How did engaging with a real person, testing with a real person, change the direction your prototype took?

The brief was very individual centric. It wasn’t simply designing the perfect gift for ‘a female in her 20’s’. There are no assumptions, and those that were unconsciously made were critiqued. The prototype was pulled in a direction – I was not steering it. We worked in collaboration, which was a fun exercise.

  1. What was it like showing unfinished work to another person?

I felt like I had to justify my decisions. I picked up on one clue and took it too far. I was pulled back from my brilliant idea.

  1. As a User, how did you interact with your partner’s level of lowly-resolved prototype; how did the level of resolution impact your experience as a user?

It was great to have someone listen to my desires. A product/experience designed for me personally. I then had the chance to perfect it on the later round. The gift ended up suiting me perfectly.

  1. Design thinking is an iterative, self-directed process. Based on what you learned, what would you go back and do next? What would you do over again?

Once I made a prototype (of what I thought was finalised) turned out that there were more missing elements. i.e it wasnt personalised enough, and it wasnt clear as to what they were to do with it without the context of the class exercise. Next step would be to have a round of amends.

  1. What principle, what tool would you infuse into the work tomorrow?

A round of amends, and final reviews.


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