IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Design is a state of mind



Blog Reflection 9 – thng4342

Visual Story Telling

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

Communicating design concept via scenes and shots is to put design solution in context of real life situation. Wide shot give viewer a sense of text, and what kind of situation our solution fit in. Also, the types of shot convey the focus we want the audience to pay attention to. Seeing someone using the solution is also more understandable than reading proposal as it is more relatable and audience can imagine how the design object can help them in their own lives.

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

Our story use flashback to tell a story as part conversation between the main character and his friend. I think example is Forrest Gump. The story start as part of the conversation between Forrest Gump and people sitting on the same bench with him. The beginning and ending of the video are the conversation so it’s easy to package the design solution in the middle of the video. The commentary style also help guide audience as he will have conversation with the audience.

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

Our audience is everyone that use health care system so we want to have a humorous and casual style. Our design is to improve feedback so we want to make it friendly and welcoming to everyone. Humor in video can deliver our concept clearly as people are relaxed and more receptive.

Document of tutorial session can be found here.

Blog Reflection 8 – thng4342


1) Choose one of the objects you selected and describe how your initial understanding of its affordances changed over the course of the exercise?

The object I chose is the alarm clock I put next to my bed. I use it to check the time and also set morning alarm.

However, when I wrapped it with plastic, it was difficult to check the time though ti’s still possible. I can still see the knob to set the alarm.

When I was blindfolded, I couldn’t see the time anymore. Also, the wrap prevented me from knowing where the alarm knob is. I also couldn’t see the indicator of what time the alarm is set to. I realize that the clock is not designed for visually impaired people.

2) Given that affordances is a relational property between a person and an object, how did the manipulation of the object and the person’s abilities inform your understanding of the concept? Did it give you inspiration or insight for how to work with affordances as a designer? Discuss this through the specific objects you explored in the exercise.

Clock is a common object in daily life. Its usage is standardized through mass production. Though there are many designs of clock, its affordance remain the same, which is helpful for any people when buying a new clock.

With the clock wrapped, the visibility of functionality is reduced to close to zero.

For visually impaired people, I would imagine those people never use clock before will have trouble using it as they might not have the usage model in their mind. And even people who are recently visually impaired will not be able to use it due to the lack of audio telling them what time it is. A better designed clock should have audio features to assist these types of users. I found a nice collection of “talking clocks” that have the feature integrated.

Any object should be designed to last long. Designer should consider the physical conditions that the users are in. When users have injuries, sickness, it might be harder for them to actually use the object. Designing only for perfectly healthy people will reduce the accessibility of the object greatly. Regarding affordance, it should come in the form of visual, sound, haptic design to communicate with a wide range of users.

Documents of the tutorial can be found here.

Blog Reflection 7 – thng4342

Topic: Evaluation

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

Method: User observation

As an observer, it was challenging as sometimes the facial expression of users don’t really indicate exactly their feeling. Their face might look similar although they feel annoyed or confused.

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

I think the number of questions user have indicated how confusing or complex the interface of website is. Other signs are their facial expression and body gesture as they show how uncomfortable or unfamiliar they were with the interface, and they tried to understand the new interface. When they failed to do so, they asked questions. So questions are equivalent to unresolved problems they had when using the interfaces.

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

The form to fill in information when observing is quite long so it took time to do it without missing important moments of the users.

As an user, I felt a bit weird when some one was looking at me when I used the website. That might affect my behavior.

Method: Think-aloud

As an user, I have to say out what I was thinking, feeling and doing so it made me more focused. If I didn’t have to do that, I would have been quite free in discovering the website more. Sometimes, the users might not know why they are doing certain things such as aimlessly browsing shopping sites.

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

The feeling and thoughts user told me are all important. What I find most important is when they said they are doing something and explained why they are doing that. The users were sometimes inconsistent. I guess they were confused also.

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

I think this technique works well for most of the time. But when people think-aloud, they are more focused and want to look like a reasonable person. I think when they use the website alone, they might behave differently. I think being aware of someone’s presence have an impact on people’s behaviors.

Documents of the session can be found here.

Summary Poster thng4342

IDEA9106 Summary Poster

Blog Reflection 6 – thng4342

Experience Prototyping

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

I would say physically acting without preparing a mental readiness does help explore ideas to the full potential. It does help force our mind to be in the situation and therefore think about the the context.

We have one person acting as observer and moderator of the role playing. He emphasized the problem and gave us new constraint.

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

Body-storming helped us have understanding of how the solution in situation, how human interact with each other to solve the problem. Some solutions looked weird when we acted out.

We also switched the role during the role-playing so we see the problem through different perspectives. I think this is a good way to refine the idea. Both people outside and inside the situation contribute to solving the problem.

3) What was difficult or challenging about body-storming?

Acting is weird sometimes as we are not professional doctor or nurse. I think if we watch an episode of Scrubs, it will help us act better. But it kinda put us in uncomfortable position to actually think about the people doing these jobs.

The pace of the body-storming is a bit fast for me. I didn’t have time to do react fast in the 1st trial. Then it was fun and easier. I guess practicing will help me see more benefits.

4) Does body-storming lend itself to certain types of problems?

Body-storming is good way if people doing it are used to it, otherwise, it feels strange for a few people. Some people like me want to have time to think and analyze the situation. It is good in generating many ideas and solutions and designers will refine them after that. However, refining through body-storming might not always be the best way. It should be done with background research, shadowing the real professional to have empathy with people doing the jobs so that we can play the role accurately.

Documents of the session can be found here.

Blog Reflection 5 – thng4342

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?

Extreme User have a personality with characteristics belonging to near end of spectrum. They have certain strong needs that need special consideration in the design solution. It also require the solution to be very focused on them, which I think is challenging considering the design solution is for other types of user also. However, my design solution was solely for the Extreme User so I will think about How would more people benefit from using this product. The methods of building character profile and stories, storyboard are very similar to how I usually generate ideas and empathy.

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?

Building character profile, stories, and storyboard are all helpful in creating an image of user in our mind, helping us feel more connected with a specific person you might know in our life. Although, I find the character profile quite similar to some character I know in books, movies, I still find the method helpful. It depends on how people use the method to visualize the person. The more real, the more empathy we can have. I think a fictional character will be irrelevant in understanding the Extreme User. It would be better to know some one with that personality.

Documents can be found here.

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