IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Design is a state of mind



reflection w10_xhua8250

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

Thinking in terms of shots and scenes help us deliver ideas in a more specific way that, with context and visual aids, audience are more likely to understand our ideas.

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

By arranging the six cards recording different elements of the story (i.e. where, when, who, why, what and how), we retrieve the idea by shooting scenes to express these elements in oder. This is quite similar with the structure of one scene in the movie In the Mood for Love.

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

Yes, the choice in style is strongly related to the audience as we need to present our ideas in the style that meets the audience’s preference and requirements. As the audience is travelling persons (normally between 18-25 years old students), we decide to employ a funny and innovative style which can attracts the interests of our audience.


The following two pictures are respectively the 6Ws elements of our story and storyboard.


blog reflection8_xhua8250

Choose one of the objects that you selected and describe how your initial understanding of its initial affordances changed over the course of the exercise.

In the first sketching steps I drew a charger, a pair of chopsticks and curtain as the three daily objects, from which I chose the Macbook charger to study its affordances. The charger is simply consisted of two parts: a cubic plastic body with two metallic connectors, and a long thin wire with a plug to connect the computer. Over the exercise, I discard the existed understanding towards the charger and regards it as an object that I have never seen before. As it is small in size and smooth in its appearance, it suits my hand to hold it. the lengthy wire is a good tool to comb things up. The two metallic connectors are hard and bulging that they could be used in digging. The two white “wings” at the back of the charger are like an on-or-off button, or hooks to hang thing up.


Given that affordances is a relational property between a person and an object, how did the manipulation of the object and person’s abilities inform your understanding of the subject? 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. 

By wearing the gloves, my physical ability changes that the frictions of grabbing things by hands are increased, and my fingers’ cognitive ability of the object’s texture lowers down, which makes me grab slippery things more easily. It inspires me that people with gloves or rough skin will feel things quite different than normal people. So that in designing products like chopsticks, for people wearing rubber gloves, the chopsticks do not need to use good material to make the surface smooth, as hands in gloves cannot feel the differences among various materials. However, the chopsticks may need to extend it length as the gloves are sometimes not suited to the hands, which makes people not easy in grabbing things.


blog reflection7_xhua8250

In this tutorial we conduct and participant in the think-aloud  usability evaluation.

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

In terms of user observation, the participants tend to perform tasks more naturally and straightforwardly compared to answering questionnaires, so that observer is able to learn user performances in detail by examine users’ emotions, slight movements, etc.

As for think-aloud, evaluators are able to perceive more accurate user behaviours and the reasons behind by recording what the users speak out their thoughts, so that they can find out what problems may be there in the prototypes.

What aspects of the technique worked well or were frustrating?


In terms of both user observation and think aloud, they work well in delivering detailed user behaviours for usability evaluation, while they are frustrating that some participants may not good at expressing their thoughts and feelings out from their emotions, movement and words, which makes it hard for observers to evaluate.




How did physically acting out help to explore ideas?

Physically acting out scenes can help us set up empathy to the target group. By pretending ourselves as the users acting and experiencing some troubles under certain circumstances, we can learn more about what problems the users will actually meet. This method substitutes the limits of imagination in normal brainstorming.

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

Yes. In considering the difficulties and corresponding solutions of sleeping in airplanes, after we have done body storming, we found that some solutions that we thought of by brainstorming were actually not practical (like lifting the chairs up when the passengers are settled so that people will not be disturb by others). And then we refine our ideas by using some tools and equipments that we have to act out the scenes, so that we can receive  practical solutions.

What was difficult or challenging about bodystorming?

The equipments and tools are not enough sometimes that we need to use our imaginations, and the limits of our current acting-out tools may affect the results of our body storming.

Does bodystorming lend itself to certain types of problem?

Yes. the first problem is as same as the above question that the limits of the acting-out tools may affect the results of the body storming. Secondly, the models and the acting-out environment are, to some extent, different from the real circumstances which will also bring inaccuracy to the results.


assignment 1_poster & peer review





w5 blog-xhua8250

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?

Yes, it is very different from the usual way of generating ideas and empathy. Taking the perspective of extreme user, we need to leave the normal logic and point of view that the general people have, and try to think the special needs and requirements which the users with extreme characteristics would have.

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?

Yes. Writing and drawing a storyboard is a very helpful way to help us consider problems in detail, as we can generate scenarios and think of the user’s needs and requirements in each scenario.

the extreme character our group design and the related story board are as follows:


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