IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Design is a state of mind



xjia7509 – wk6 – blog post

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

It will put you physically into the situation that the users are in. Not only you get to know their thoughts but also you get to know their intension and behaviors when facing a real problem. Design solutions based on those methods promt the accuracy of the solution quality.


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


We just found body storming is quite fun. Cause when you try to act the scenario out and you’re not the real user in the situation, you can’t actualy explain what you re going through and how you’re going to solve it. You just feel funny and hilarious when acting it. For me it’s a good way to try but not really the most useful way.

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

You’re not in the real situation. You’ve never gone through the whole procedure that the user went. You lack the industry knowledge. At least some actors in the group should be the professional ones.

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

In the situation of developing a product that everybody uses, I reckon body storming a good way. Just you have to be in the context and face the situation. Not just imagine. And better with physical mockups.


Body storming documentaion


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?

It allows you to imagine the user in the extreme context and to develop the design solutions to meet the diverse needs of the extreme users. It gets you wear the users’ shoes and put you into their situtaion to design the right solutions for them. As we all know, the extreme user are usually very demanding. By satisfying what they want, we might tweak our design solution in a better scenario.

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. Personally I prefer using the storyboard as it creates the whole flow from the user’s aspect to use the product. It hightlights certain function of the product or just helps explain a user scenario in a visual way. It can encourage the designers to consider more about the users’ attitude and behaviors while designing the solutions for the users.


xjia7509 – wk 4


  1. 1)  Briefly reflect on the lessons learnt from each exercise

    a. Reflective listening

    train myself to feel/understand the world from pure hearing sense aspect. When you becomes calm and try to listen the world you’ll find something different, cause when there’re so many things bothering you, you can’t really focus.
    b. Defamiliarisation of everyday reality

    Use an different method to change the daily life items. We usually get used to the daily routine stuff and didn’t actually figure out how to get good use of it or design it in a better way. 


    c. Empathic modelling

    This method helps us to get to know the product in a better way. When you do the modelling stuff you mimic a really situation and immerse in the context.

2)  Complement your reflections with photographs of the process


xjia7509 – A1 Poster


xjia7509 – reflection 7


Method: User observation

As an observer, it is hard to observe the users’ expression and get to know their thoughts at the same time without the previous understanding of psychology background information toward facial expression/gesture and psychology.

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

You get to know the true reaction from the users through their natural language – either expression or gesture. Instead of just hear them from the verbal replies.

As a user, I felt it awkward when I know there are someone that are observing me. So I reckon it is better to record the video then review the users’ behavior – gesture.

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

It might dig out the hidden information. F: But the users’ reaction is constantly changing. It is hard to capture them all.

User: F – feeling awkward to be obeserved.


Method: Think-aloud

As an observer, I found think-aloud is a really good way to get to know the thoughts from the user. As it shows their mind on real time. This is their natural reaction toward the product without additional navigation from the observer.

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

It directly shows the flow and navigation usability of the product. As when there are something weird happening,  they users might express their thoughts immediately and the observer can make a change due to their reaction.

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

The process of proming the users is hard. As a observer you might find it’s hard to ask the user to follow your original guide. The user might casually and randomly navigate the webpage or product without knowing its original test purpose.


xjia7509 – week 8

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

I chose the hanger as my object. As it has different hook shapes, it has the affordance of being a hook to hold and connect different items. If we stack different hangers together, it will become a small but wide container. Maybe we can put some book inside. Also if we put a light bulb inside, it will become a lamp as well. If we place the hanger in different angle, an art work is created as well. It depends on the amount, the angle and the position of the hangers.


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.

The way that human use the object depends on the context and environment they are facing. I always believe that a good product can provide the users with different function within a necessary range. It allows users to use it in different context with flexibility. But the design of the product should be in a minimal amount as well. It should mess the users with its multifunction.



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