IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Design is a state of mind



Master of Interaction Design and Electronic Arts Student

Blog Reflection 07: Affordances


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

I choose the spoon from the kitchen, i observed it with different angles, the best angel is to put it down horizontally so i can see both the curve and handle. The main purpose of the spoon is to eat food.

different user view point:for kid it can be a playing tool, for rolling and stir liquid…etc, for disability people it may be hard for them to hold it.

other affordance, we curved the spoon with wrap and soft papers to make it round and soft and just it as a massage stick to massage our face.

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.

we chose to modify human use by restricting the use of hands, the design of spoon obviously needs hand grabing posture to make it work properly, especially require for the use of fingers, the original design did not consider this situation for disability people. This inspired our idea idea, we tie up the spoon handle on the arm (used watch band in the class) which allowed the spoon to be attached on the arm firmly , disability people without hands can still use the spoon in this way.

Blog reflection 06:Experience Prototyping

Reflect on your experience of the Bodystorming exercise by answering the following questions:

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

Being in a real situation helps you to generate more ideas and reminds you of your past experience because you are seating in that enviroment rather than just think depend on your memories. It makes you think differently and visualise the physical situation.

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

yes, when we think about the pillow idea, we tried to put the “pillow” in different positions to find out the most comfortable way, at last we found that it can be attached to the seat belt.

3) What was difficult or challenging about bodystorming?

It was difficult to generate more ideas only base on our memories.

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

yes, if the person can not visualise the real situation, it would be difficult to find out the most relevant solution. It was also difficult to think in different ways and generate more feasible ideas. We were focusing only on our own experiences in the process, we didn’t consider in other user’s perspective.


Blog reflection 5: Ideating (ylan0827)

1.How did taking the position of an Extreme User influence your thinking in relation to the design challenge?

Our team chose a character with extreme romantic sense. we started to relate the characteristics of the person to ourselves, the process involved thinking about our own experiences, and some particular scenes in romantic movies.  We then consider the design ideas from a first person perspective, focus on the features and concepts that would better satisfy the user needs.

Was it different to how you usually generate ideas and empathy?

Sometimes we generate design ideas in our own perspective or start from a third person position, when putting yourself in the first person perspective you will have more empathy towards the users, have more ideas and engagement in the designing process.


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?

The provocation cards help us to expand other ideas and catalogue the best concepts. Stories with background and situation of the person, effectively integrate the characteristics and the good design ideas into one complete product idea. Storyboard brings the design idea visible and easy to imagine, allow us to think about further improvements.








Week 4: Empathy and Defamiliarisation

1) Briefly reflect on the lessons learnt from each exercise


Reflective listening

Reflective listening helps to gain understanding of customer’s real feelings and needs. By listening to the speaker, knowing the situation and their thoughts, we can build empathy in their perspective. In the exercise, the speaker sometimes feel reluctant to talk about their personal feelings and experiences, and the question is hard to consider for a more detailed answer in a short period of time. I found it helpful to ask follow up questions, in this way the speaker can think in a deeper way and respond with more information. It is also important to think in the speaker’s perspective and the follow up question should be align with their thoughts so I don’t judge or mislead the speaker.


Defamiliarisation of everyday reality

I found that this exercise is very interesting in bringing out the memories and thoughts that I was not aware of when sitting on the public transportation. When you were actually in the situation to take the public transport you might not be aware of the sound, movement and other details, but when you were watching the video as an audience, multiple senses worked together which brought out a totally different experience. And it is interesting to notice that your thoughts towards some memories became different overtime.


Empathic modelling

In this exercise when sight was blurred, bright colours and sounds became more obvious. Senses other than sight can provide us memories of the situation, but it was still difficult to find the right directions and walking safely without other’s lead. With a blocked sight, some object you tend to ignore before became more apparent because you are much more focused to feel the surrounding environment in order to keep yourself secure and safe.


Week 3-creating persona(ylan0827)

Reflect on your experience of the Persona exercise by answering the following questions:


  • 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?


We chose the topic “public transport” in this exercise. We interviewed 4 group members, asked questions about their habits, motivation, favourite features, frustrations and ideal experience. We also collected the demographic data for each member. After the interview, we integrated the interview data, and draw the variables on a line graph.

After this procedure, we are able to group people with similar variables in the same group, and identity their potential behavioural patterns. At the end we found that 2 members in the group who have car and lives further away from university have similar behavioural patterns and the other 2 members who live closer to university and doesn’t have a private transportation have more related preferences. So at the end we decided to make up two personas with diverse background to represent the interview data and behavioural pattern.


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


In this exercise, we were able to generate two distinct personas to reflect the collected data. Mary, who is a student haven’t start formal career. Mary’s major goal includes money saving and have a comfortable and easy trip. The second persona – Jack is an experienced business man who owns a private transportation, the motivations he had to take public transportation are efficiency and relaxation. The two personas was successful for us to think in the user’s perspective with distinct backgrounds and needs rather than think beyond our own experiences. It can be improved by collecting more detailed information from larger groups and generate a persona based on more variables.





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