IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Design is a state of mind



Research Summary Poster – yson6361





Feedbacks Received and My Response:

I didn’t know…

1). I didn’t know which one is more important, diet or exercise?

According to the result of our my investigation among 72 participants, balanced diet seems to be the most important factor of fitness and regular exercise is second important.

2). I didn’t know good quality sleep can effect fitness

Actually, regularity is very important for people. Mess around too much with sleep and wake schedule, our body’s circadian rhythms can be thrown out of whack. We would not only will feel sleepy at odd hours, but also may struggle to fall asleep at night, and our appetite and energy will fluctuate in unhealthy ways.

Tell me more…

1). How people felt about the topic and emotions you saw them express?

They seems to be interested at this topic. Especially some of them want to lose some weight or want to be more strong and they are looking more a more efficient way to help them.

2). Tell me more about diet

Diet is not simple about eating less. It is more about teaching people how to have a balanced diet, I mean, how to eat healthily, how much to eat and chose the food based on what our body need.

3).Explain more and how this element effect us

Dietary habits and choices play a significant role in the quality of life, health and longevity. A particular diet may be chosen to seek weight loss or weight gain. Changing a subject’s dietary intake, or “going on a diet”, can change the energy balance and increase or decrease the amount of fat stored by the body.

Physical activity generally refers to movement that enhances health. Physical activity or exercise can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Physical activity and exercise can have immediate and long-term health benefits.

Have you thought …

1). Have you thought about to promote/draw awareness of how healthy lifestyle is important to them?

Yes. Actually, what I want to do is to mobilize local communities to act and make some positive changes towards their lifestyle and eating habits in order to improve the average health level.

2). Have you thought about using elbowpad to urge people exercise, not only protection?

No, basically I think the role of technology is just a reminder or guide, they work as a reference. They could never force human to change their behaviour under any circumstances.

Blog Reflection 4 – Creating Personas – Yan Song (yson6361)

1). Describe your experience of creating personas from different user’s 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 “going to the supermarket” as our group discussion topic and shared our personal shopping experiences. At first I thought it would be a general resembles with slight differences as we are a group of 4 girls with similar age, similar background.


However what surprised me is that our shopping preferences are quiet different in some ways. We would like to go to the supermarket on different time period and buy different kind of products. What’s more, we also differ on our personal shopping styles. For example, ST and I are roommates, every time we go to the supermarket together; I always drive her crazy because she would be a plan person who must make shopping list in advance, go straightly ahead to where they are, put them into the trolley within 2 minutes and do not want to waste anytime strolling around. However I am killer to that kind of person. I never make plans and I love aimless walk in every corner of the supermarket. LOL

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After discussion, we found that Carol and ST’s shopping experiences have more common variables in general and there are more similarities between Coco and me. So we decided to form two different personas (Susana and Echo) based on our interview data.

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 it sure would help to a great extent. Because I think probably the biggest amount of time that an interactive designer spends at the first stage is modeling the human behavior in the forms of personas. It is helpful to create reliable and representations of key audience segments for reference in design process.

Next time I think it would be better if we have more quantitative user research and web analytics. And we should focus more on the major needs and expectations of most important groups of user.

Blog Reflection 3: Interpreting Data – Yan Song (yson6361)


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

In this exercise, we were asked to read different user research interview, analyze and then distill useful information. First we read the article separately and highlighted the content related to user interests, needs, motivations and frustrations etc. Then we worked as group of 6, we shared our result, organized, grouped similar notes and clustered the data we collected into broader themes step by step.

In this process, I found that basically we could identify a few similarities among this group of people. But individuals always have specific distinctive needs due to diverse lives of these people. And that’s what we aimed to do.




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

The idea of clustering information makes it easier to identify the needs of various users, especially when we worked as a group. It is efficient because it saved us lots of time reading multiple user research articles. We can work separately at first and share our results. Some of them seemed to be overlapped, because the information is similar to some extent. So we can sum them up and look more on specific need. For examples, some of these travellers have got their little ones and parents around during the trip. So the whole travel plan should cover not only themselves, but also the baby and aged people’s needs.

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

Actually, I misunderstood the task at the first place. I thought it was to identify various users’ common needs and sum them up. I did not realize I was going on an opposite direction until very end of the class, which makes me feel really bad. And everyone has different understanding definitions, so it is disputable when we discuss how we put those notes into categories.

4). How would you do it better next time?

I think we’d better have a discussion and have a clear understanding and reach a consensus on which information to collect before we start to read those article. That might be more efficient when we start to highlight and write down each customer’s needs afterwards. Because the interview was too much, and actually I was disorientated while sifting the information.

Blog Reflection 2: Sketchnoting – Yan Song (yson6361)

How is this technique different to the traditional note taking?

This technique is a completely different experience for me. Because it does not simply involve text like traditional note taking does, but focus more on drawing, symbolizing the information.

First of all, obviously, sketching makes things more lively, comparing with the traditional method. It seems to be more detailed visually. So it is easier for me to recall the information especially the forgettable detail afterwards.

However, for people without much drawing skills, it is kind of tricky to master and put into real use. When we took notes, we usually don’t have much time to take everything down, so we wrote several simple keyword words to remind us just in case we can’t remember as time passed by.

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

Simple sketching provides a more lively and interesting form of idea delivery. And it is fun to share that sort of drawing with others. Especially when there are some problems with communication due to my not-good-enough English skill and limited vocabulary as English is my second language. Drawing is a useful tool to express my idea more precisely and make the communication easier in the process of conveying information.

Conversely, restricted by my drawing skill might not be good at this time to express my idea. So it might be a waste of time to trying to make the drawing more understandable. It might lose the original meaning of sketch noting if someone has no drawing talent.

Personal challenges as a sketchnoter.

To begin with, I think the biggest challenge part is the drawing. At this time I don’t have a mature drawing skill to express what in my mind. I know how it look does not matter much. But I still find myself kind of lost when the talk was carrying out. Because I need listen carefully, as English is my second language, it took more time for me than other people to understand the main idea when he was talking. If I was trying to draw something, I would sure get distracted and lost the latter part of the talking. What make this situation worse, I am poor at drawing, and it took more time than traditional note taking did when I was trying to translate the information into symbolic patterns. Another problem I was facing was the limit of time. For example if I use traditional form of note taking, it usually only takes me 1-2 second to write down each single word. However translating idea into drawing took more time and is kind of more difficult for me.





Blog Reflection 1 : Gift-giving Experience – yson6361

My partner — Coco is an adorable young lady, whose latest gift-giving experience turned out to be not so good. Because she gave her BF a perfume as a birthday present. But he was dismissive of it and said that only girls use perfume. So we were both aware that gender difference was such an important part in gift giving. Some gifts might be preferred by female, however on the other hand, they might be too effeminate for male gift receiver.

This time my task is that Coco gonna pay a visit to one of her mother’s friend in Sydney. She needs a way to deliver her greeting to a mid-age woman  BUT she never meet her before. They hardly know each other and might have a generation gap as for gift-giving.

The solution I come out with is a flower vending machine, which can provide multi flower combination aiming at different gift-giving purpose and orientation of gift receiver. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “Flowers… are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world.”

1) How did engaging with a real person, testing with a real person, change the direction your prototype took?

First of all, face-to-face communication provides me with a chance to actually interact with my customer.

So I can learn something about her by observing and speculate her need  in order to redesign her gift-giving experience.

My favourite part is that I can get instant feedback during the whole design process instead of creating a figment of my own imagination.

Obviously, engaging with a real person allows me to have a better understanding of the customer’s real need.

And I can refine the solution from time to time based on the empathy we gained during the interview.

2) What was it like showing unfinished work to another person?

To be honest, the prototype I made on the class is so rough and premature to present due to the time limit.  So I should do more oral explanation to help my partner have an understanding of , like, what exactly I wanna achieve in the future or what kind of experience this product gonna provide to the user.

Luckily, my partner is  a good listener, as well as a good questioner, and I can watch her  facial expression while she interact with the model. So I can quickly figure out what the problem is, ask her feeling, get an instant feedback from her and then have a discussion over it together.

I think what  the prototype look like doesn’t matter much, because it is just a way to deliver your concept and help your client understand what is it about.

Rough work is rushed but efficient. There is no need to crazy about the perfection of the model. Because creating and doing design is a process of iteration, constantly identifying deficiency and emphasising on revision.

3) As a User, how did you interact with your partner’s level of lowly-resolved prototype; how did the level of resolution impact your experience as a user?

Though my partner’s prototype looks rough like mine, I can still get her idea briefly with the help of her description and fill up the blank with my own imagination.

I asked a few questions and exchange my opinion with her. Without much tangible constraint, the user experiment provided more possibilities other than limitations of thoughts. I believe she would be able to accomplish a mature design in the future.

4) Design thinking is an iterative, self-directed process. Based on what you learned, what would you go back and do next? What would you do over again?

Next I am going to do more background research on gift-giving, especially the culture difference aspect, just in case the possible taboo in various civilisation. Taking the flower vending machine as an example,  the same flower might have a completely different meaning in diverse variety of cultures. White roses means romantic immaculate love in western society, however, they also refer to infelicity in other culture. To help the client make the right and proper choice in certain circumstance is what I should work on next. Meanwhile, I would spend more time on prototype developing, maybe should do it all over again after the concept tend to be mature. And keeping in touch with the client and listening to her opinion could also have   crucial importance.

5) What principle, what tool would you infuse into the work tomorrow?

The idea of co-creation makes sense to me and I might conduct multiple questionnaire survey. Gathering more people’s thoughts intend to be a good way to brainstorm new ideas and identify disadvantages of the design at preliminary stage.

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