IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Design is a state of mind



Blog reflection 09 –ybai8012

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

Shots and scenes make our design concept more visual and clear by showing some details. It could also help us take more other things which maybe are easily ignored into account in real experience. In this way, we could refine and improve each step of our project by considering the issues which we found according to the storyboard. In addition, using a proper storyline could provide audiences or users a clear and reasonable method to make sense with our project.

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

According to What, When, Where, How and Why, these guidelines make our design concepts more clear and logical to both audiences and ourselves. In addition, the storyline structure is a simplified approach to present our ideas and what we want to show. I watched this structure in many movies as well as ads. And most of them can make a deep impression on the audiences.

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

Because of our target audiences are female, we paid more attention to how to catch their emotion and feeling when they using our design. In my mind, it is necessary that the audience and style have to related. As a designer, only in this way, it could be possible that our audiences and potential users can make high sympathy with us and our design.

Blog Reflection 07-ybai8012

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 brought my toothpaste, vacuum cup and my spoon to the class. I chose my soup spoon as an example to present my view. Like all people,  I just use the spoon to eat soup or rice when I have a meal. Actually, I had no idea about how to use the spoon to do other things until I stared at my toothpaste for a long time. It suddenly occurred to me that every time I had to put the tail of toothpaste into the mouth side, because there was not much left in my toothpaste. And I found that I can use the spoon handle to roll the toothpaste up from the tail to the head, as shown in the figure. I was so excited that the spoon could be used in other purposes after seeing it from a different angle, which learned in this course.


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.

It is important for designer to know that the manipulation of the object and the abilities of people maybe make new purpose possible. At this tutorial, I tried to use chopsticks without my thumbs, it was hard time for me. I could not pinch anything by using the chopsticks in this way. It suddenly made me realize that many people might really be in such a situation everyday. This exercise inspired me a lot, changing the angle of some things with affordances to consider and design become more important for a designer in some special situations.

Blog Reflection 08-ybai8012

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

Verbal and non-verbal methods are equally important for understanding user’s thoughts and mind.  For observation technique, by observing the behaviors of my group members who used web prototype, I could easily capture their facial expressions and postures which present their attitudes to use these interface. In this way, designers  could know which aspects in the interface need to change or improve when user frowning or thinking for a long while. For think-aloud technique, users can directly tell what they thought and feelings during the evaluation. It is a good way for designers to know exactly what parts of the interface design made the user uncomfortable and did’t understand. In addition, in this technique, designer can also get lots of useful feedbacks and suggestions from users as well.

What aspects of the technique worked well or were frustrating?

The fact is that as a user, some of them maybe had the same situations as I do, there were not something wrong or let me confused when I frown or thought for long time, maybe I just  thought about which item or option I would like to choose, just focus on choices not interface design.  So in this case, the observer is likely to misinterpret the user’s meaning so that drew the wrong feedbacks and conclusions. At this situation, think-aloud technique can reduce the occurrence of such things and eliminate the gap of misunderstanding between designers and users.WechatIMG31

Week 6–ybai8012

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

Instead of simply imagining, physical action makes it more likely for us to explore issue practically, thus promoting a better and more comprehensive understanding of the relevant event. As a good result, issues can be solved more accurately and effectively since more practical experience is applied to it.

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

Yes, since what we focus on are the issues happening in the real life, body-storming is a good way for us to present problem we have discussed and to discover some potential problem. For example, our group have discussed the implication may be brought to babies in the waiting room. However, through body-storming we also realize the noise babies make can also lead to discomfort to other patients.

3) What was difficult or challenging about bodystorming?

The most difficult thing is that ideas will not come out once our communication and corporation are not that successful during the body storming. Forever since it is not the real scenario, some problem can also be ignored.

4) Does bodystorming lend itself to certain types of problems?

Yes I think so. Since body storming is just a type of acting not experiencing real live. Some problem may be simplified through this form which is actually not that easy to be solved in the real world. That is to say ,body storming is a good way to explore potential issues. Nevertheless, it may not be the best method to identify those problem in a sensible way.



Blog reflection 05–ybai8012

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?

The activity of taking the position of an Extreme user allows us to better understand the user’s mind and thinking in an easy way. In other word,the needs and motivations of the characters are easier to understand and apply them to the design. In the normal way of design, we get empathy with truly users or stories by interviewing and doing research. However, Extreme user does not really exist just created by designers so that it is free and no boundaries for designers to create what they want.

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?

Storyboard is a good and useful method to present our group’s ideas and collaborate with our group members as a design thinking technique. Compared with text, storyboard can be more intuitive and concise expression of ideas. In addition, replacing the boring text with several screens of narratives by sketching can make the idea more interesting and attractive.

Blog Reflection 04–ybai8012

1) Briefly reflect on the lessons learnt from each exercise

Reflective listening

We switched roles as a speaker and listener in this exercise. Although I enjoyed my speaker’ s stories, it’s hard to me to say anything throughout the whole process. At some points, I could not help wanting to share my similar experience with my speaker. Similarly, I found that just talking alone without any conversation and respond would be a little bit awkward as an interviewer, especially for those who are very shy.

Defamiliarisation of everyday reality.

Actually,I am in these train and bus surroundings everyday, but I have not never noticed these things before until I did this exercise. It is undeniable that observing users’ reflection and experience is a good way to understand and take these feelings of users into account as a spectator in these states. It also reminds us that we need to pay more attention to the things around us at the same time.

Empathic modelling

In this activity, we took lots of blurred pictures and walked back and forth in the lobby by wrapping the camera and sunglasses with cling wrap. Everything was vague shape even in a very near place. I truly understood and felt the feelings of those people who have vision impairment or in need of help in the dark environment. It made me understand how important it is to take these groups into account when designing some products.


2) Complement your reflections with photographs of the process


3) Include a scanned copy of your defamiliarisation forms (public transport) Post your reflection to the blog and add category “Blog Reflection”


Reflection 3–ybai8012

1.Describe your experience of creating personas from different users’ perspectives gathered in the interview data. Was there enough commonality between the 4 people interviewed to form a coherent persona? Or did it make more sense to create a second different persona?

Our group chose the topic “catching public transport” to collect the real data by interviewing each other. During that interview, I found out 4 personal information is enough to form a coherent persona. All four of us have lots of similar demographic data, like we are girls, come from the same country even have the same age. To some extent, we have the similar background and experience when we use public transport,so it’s is easy to get sympathy for us.

2.Do you think your final persona(s) was successful in generating empathy with users? What would you change to make it better?

Yes , I think we generated empathy with users, but there are still some problems. The first thing I have to mention is our interview data just too similar to represent the majority. So, for final personas we couldn’t show the very comprehensive and good views of others. Secondly, we all didn’t have any experience in this exercise that led us to not arrange time effectively for the interview and creating narrative persona. If we get more information, personal stories and experience from other age or background groups and make a reasonable allocation of time, our final persona will be better.

Blog Reflection 02-ybai8012

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

This exercise allows me to better understand the needs, interests, motivations even some frustrations of users via the collection of interview data. At the same time, the users’ descriptions of real idea and intentions are very important for designers, as this real feeling can make designers feel personally on the scene and build empathy with users.


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

Clustering information is a great way to help me get and classify the needs of the users. It makes the needs and interests of users are much easier to observe and analyze during re-arrange and cluster them. This methodical classification can also help designers to save memory time and select some key points from a mass of disorganized information for research and analysis.


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

Putting the notes in the appropriate column is the most challenging thing in our group. At the beginning, according to our notes, we separated more than 8 columns and even just have one note in some columns. Columns were too small to reach the functional purpose. Finally,we readjusted our methods of category. Next time I will focus on reading the interview more carefully and re-arrange information effectively.



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