IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Design is a state of mind



Industrial Design. Illustration. University Professional staff. Interested in UX Design.

Blog reflection 09 – tkyd2192

Q1. How did thinking in terms of shots and scenes influence your approach to communicating your design concept?

It helped to nut out the design story and what features are most important to communicate to the audience. In a way it is similar to body storming where it enables the designer to test a prototype without physically making one. Thinking about the bigger picture and who the story flows with the design concept.

Q2. What motivated your choice of storyline structure? Can you think of an exemplar from a film that uses the same structure?

Our storyline was motivated by showing the life cycle of our interactive toy (the design concept) and how the toy allows communication between certain stakeholders. It was important for us to introduce different characters in the narrative and clearly communicate those personas through the storyline structure and what their interaction is with the toy.The method of showing an event through different character perspectives is called Rashomon effect. An exemplar of this type of movie could be Vantage Point or Babel. However, we’re dealing with kids for this narrative so obviously the storyline would be light-hearted.

Q3. What choices did you make about audience and style? Were they related?

The audience would be broad. Ultimately if we were to pitch this idea it would be to a range of stakeholders (government, parents, healthcare professionals, teachers). The storyline would need to be easy to follow with simplistic themes and exaggerated symbolic styling to enable the viewer to recognise certain scenes/characters easily. For example – a child’s room with plenty of toys and bright colours.

Blog reflection 8 – tkyd2192

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

As the user it was a weird experience, I felt like a bit of a lab rat. I generally am quick to click through sites and if I can’t find what I am looking for I will click in and out pretty , I think I can pretty quickly determine whether I am getting the information I need. The site I used when I was the user was frustrating, it was a messy site and therefore I felt I looked a bit dumb because I couldn’t get what I needed quickly, it took me a long time. I like to think of myself as a proficient internet user, this exercise made me question my abilities.

The System Usability scale was a good refection of my interaction with the site (as user). The data from this scale could easily be compiled into a report and used to reassess a sites strengths and weaknesses.

As evaluator, I found that the user observation was ideal. It was much easier to tick boxes and keep a tally of how the user was interacting with the site.

The think aloud was also beneficial, but as I was scrambling to write I’m sure I may have missed things or the user mightn’t have fully communicated what they were doing.

1. kind of information and insights did it give you about the usability of the prototype/product?

I found that across all sites tested there were a lot of assumptions made about the user. When I was a user and I was trying to purchase a product and have it picked up from a location the site kept on assuming I was in a different location. Another site also grouped categories together in a strange way so it was hard for the user to find the correct information they needed because of incorrect categorising/cataloguing.

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

I think overall the exercise worked well. I think if a video recording component was introduced you could get richer data. As previously mentioned the think aloud evaluating was difficult in certain points because it was hard to record the user’s processes in real time. We also didn’t have enough of the worksheets to complete so had to improvise.


TKYD2192 - A1 poster


Blog Reflection 6 – tkyd2192

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

Physically acting out the scenarios enabled us to explore ideas further because we were able to form a better understanding of how users interact in the space. It allowed us to explore further by physically incorporating the space, environment and users. Ideas were also easily changeable because the group could freely move around to explore new design possibilities.

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

Bodystorming helped refine our ideas, especially for the aeroplane scenario. Our group was stuck in the ideation/brainstorming phase and we weren’t coming up with many creative design solutions. Bodystorming enabled us to think outside the box and look at the space and users as a whole. It allowed us to explore alternative ideas and move past areas that we were stuck on. It also assisted when communicating our design solutions to the tutorial group. We were able to quickly communicate our concept physically to the group with the intention of helping them to form a better understanding the real-world application of our concept.

Q3. What was difficult or challenging about bodystorming?

I think factoring in different personality types and preconceived ideas about the space/scenario was a challenge in our group. Encouraging people to speak their mind and discuss their views on the scenario helped tackle this challenge.

Q4. Does bodystorming lend itself to certain types of problems?

I think that stereotyping and jumping to conclusions of how users interact in a space is problematic when bodystorming.  Without properly observing the “real-world” space, we as designers, may make uniformed design decisions without factoring in some essential points that may impact our design solutions.

Blog Reflection 5 – tkyd2192

Q1. How did taking the position of an extreme user influence your thinking in relation to the design challenge? Was if different to how you usually generate ideas and empathy?

It was different to how I normally would look at generating design ideas and empathy because I usually don’t think of my users in such extreme terms or scenarios. When creating personas in a previous tutorial we didn’t push the envelope so far and by doing so it fostered a different type of empathy towards a user with exaggerated emotions and attitudes. It helped to explore new design possibilities that perhaps would not be considered on a “plainer”, more researched user profile. Creating an extreme user from a stereotypical perspective enabled us to design freely, it was a boundless exercise where we were able to deliver a product based on our own story created for the extreme user.

Q2. Did any of the other design thinking techniques (design provocation cars, stories, storyboards etc) help you to work through ideas and collaborate with you group members?

The story-telling and then the visual storyboards helped to work through and fine tune our ideas. Our group initially developed a story together, then split off to create our own personal storyboard and then reconvened to review our storyboards. We found this worked well for the team as we each interpreted the same story slightly differently and in the end we used different symbols and emotions to communicate the same overarching storyline and also have a streamlined product solution.

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Blog Reflection 4 – tkyd2192

Briefly reflect on the lessons learnt from each exercise:

  1. Reflective listening – I found this exercise a good tool for even general day-to-day life and forming relationships with people. It’s a good tool to not only get information from someone (a user), but also form a relationship and ensure the person you are speaking with feels heard and respected. It enabled me to tap into my partner’s memories of events and give some insight into certain motivations she has for her career and life in general.
  2. Defamiliarisation of everyday reality – this exercise brought up memories and feelings of travelling on trains and buses. I don’t particularly like travelling on buses so at points in the video I felt anxious that the bus was going too fast. I also felt sensations of wind blowing in my face – a memory associated with personal public transport experiences and recalled the same familiar noises that the train and bus make when pulling away and braking.
  3. Empathic modelling – I have previously done this exercise a few years ago in my UG degree, I once had to make an empathy suit (to simulate a disabled older person). I find the exercise profoundly moving and it triggers sensations of un-easiness, particularly when we take for granted our everyday mobility and 5 senses and then all of a sudden these are impaired. The effect of blurring our vision with the plastic cling film around our glasses and walking around the building made me feel vulnerable. Movement was slower and it was hard to judge depth and direction. I had to use the lights to guide myself through the hallways and relied upon the people walking in front of me to help me navigate my way around without tripping over any objects that I couldn’t see. This exercise enables you to put yourself into the user’s “shoes”, building empathy for the user and seeing situations in a different perspective.

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