IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Design is a state of mind



Blog reflection 04-Carol Liu(yliu2216)

FullSizeRender1.Briefly reflect on the lessons learnt from each exercise

a. Reflective listening

In this part, Heidi and I chose a topic by ourselves and interviewed each other. Although we were quite familiar with each other before, interviewing is still a new way to acknowledge somethings new. I learned how to create a more interactive conversation. As for a listener, listening carefully and asking relevant questions are extremely important, which can help interviewee be more comfortable and talktive. Never judge what the interviewee talk about and always give he/her a trustful look. As a speaker, I should speak in a moderate speed and clear logic to avoid listener being lost. By doing this exercise, I think interview is the most direct and quick way to gain empathy in a short time.

b. Defamiliarisation of everyday reality 

Video of train and bus reminded me of my own experience immediately. After arrived Sydney, I live in a place which is quite far away from university, therefore I have to travel by train everyday. I always feel lonely when I am waiting for a train, the video recording train station recalled that kind of feeling back, and I started to miss my family member, my friends and my hometown. In terms of the bus one, I remembered that I was nervous when I first take bus. Because passengers have to press the stop button to get off the bus in here, I was afraid of if I couldn’t press the button at the suitable time. Defamiliarisation creates a customized context for different person, because the context is based on memory, sentimental feeling and background.

c. Empathic modelling
This part is quite stimulating. Only with piece of cling wrap, I can discover familiar environment in a unfamiliar way, and everything became blurry. What if the world with cling wrap is exactly a real world of a certain group who can’t see everything clearly? After this thought flashed into my mind, I was astonished. That would be a hard life. It was  interesting to infer location relying on sound and color, but only for a quite short and temporary time.

2.Complement your reflections with photographs of the process

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3.Include a scanned copy of your defamiliarisation forms (public transport)




Blog reflection 03-Carol Liu(yliu2216)


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?

Catching public transport is our chosen activity. Firstly, we interviewed each other in pairs and took notes about the interview questions and demographic data. Secondly, we set several variables in terms of demographic and behavioral aspects and then mapped the interviewees on each variables. In this process, identifying variables was quite interesting, because we needed to consider why we have different preferences and classify the differences. After that, we analyzed the relationship between variables and extracted a specific character using potential pattern. Finally, we created a virtual persona which was quite representative.

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The commonality of interviewees was enough to form a persona, because two of our team members were in a similar situation when using public transport, both of them were living far away from the university and they had to travel by train. Therefore, the traits of them were quite notable. But in order to meet user diversity, we did think that a second different persona should be created to represent other user group.

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

Definitely, our final persona was successful to represent a certain user group, who have to travel by train everyday. Favorite features and frustrations of this user group are similar, specifically, they focus on the frequency and cost. Next time, it is better to have more interviewees, and I also need to prepare more concrete questions for them, so that I can cluster more specific informations to make the persona much more representative.

Blog reflection 02-Carol Liu(yliu2216)


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

  • Read Real Interview Data

I am totally involved in the users experience when reading the interview 1. It can be seen from the genre of statement, the interview was processed in a relax environment, which helps user feel more comfortable to give real experience. Moreover, there is not a logical rule of speaking, both adorable and disgusting experience are presented in a casual way and provide more sentimental communication between interviewee and researcher.

  • Highlight User Interests, Needs, Motivations,etc.

When I was highlighting the material, I started to classify them into interests, needs, motivations and frustrations. Understanding and analyzing user comments is quite important in this session and helps me think deeper and recognize orderly.

  • Create Affinity Diagram

After writing down the observations on post-it, we clustered them and discussed them as a group. In this step, my classmates offered different opinions so that I was able to know more about real user experience, and eventually have a comprehensive understanding of user demands.

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

Everyone in our team read different interviews, therefore we clustered loads of information to post. By analyzing the information, we grouped similar observations into certain categories at the beginning, for example, sights, hotels, food and language, etc. After that, we started to come up with some user demands which link to observations directly and indirectly. In this process, I learned how to focus on potential user needs through information clustering. Specifically, based on understanding the facial demands, we are encouraged to be more innovative and explore deeper needs. We also need to concentrate on finding inconspicuous connection between user experience and potential functions.


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

Firstly, when there is a large number of information and some of them can be linked to different aspects, clustering observations will be one of the difficulties, because we have to classify observations in two dimensions. Secondly, labeling a cluster needs us to be comprehensive and original. In order to write unique and appropriate labels, deeper thinking is required. Next time, apart from real interview resources, I would like to read some references and do some relevant research in advance , which can help me to have a broader view.


Blog reflection 01-Carol Liu(yliu2216)

How is this technique different to the traditional note taking?

In terms of genre, traditional note-taking always be noted with phrases and paragraphs, however sketch-noting includes pictures and different marks. Sometime, it will be hard to describe something literally, sketch-noting offers a clear way to transfer the meanings.
As for style, sketch-noting is casual,although there are three layouts to make sketch seems better, but people will draw differently. Compared with it, traditional note-taking will be much more formal, and it seems much more similar.
People who noting with sketch always have extra ability than the other note takers . For example, they need to be familiar with how to visualize words with graphics, so that their sketch-noting can be much more practical and usable.

How does this visual approach facilitate communication of your ideas? Conversely, how does it prevent it?

This is an era of visualisation, a increasing number of people prefer to read pictures rather than paragraphs. Sketch provides us an opportunity to describe things with graphics, which makes note more interesting.
In addition, sketch-noting can submit sentimental meanings directly. We use simple lines to show emotions and body languages. Meanwhile, it is easy to illustrate trend, timeline and fluctuation using sketch-noting.
However, sketch-noting needs me too draw quickly and clearly, otherwise it comes to be confusing and remind people something else.

Personal challenges as a sketchnoter.

As for me, there are two main challenges.on the one hand, I have to think logically and organize an outline in my min before taking sketch-noting. On the another hand, when I was listening to a speech, the TED one, it was hard for me to draw at the sometime, because I was thinking about the content, layout and details all the time.

The following photos are my sketch-noting.



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