IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Design is a state of mind



Blog Reflection 10-ytan6974

Processed with VSCO with c8 preset

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

While I was making visual storytelling work, I found I could not simply slap a few stock photos. I need to consider the whole structure and calls to action must be crafted carefully, my visual content deserves more than a second thought. My target customers will form their own interpretations and first impressions based on the visuals I choose to put before them. I could imagine the true senses of user who is employing my design product.

  • What motivated your choice of storyline structure? Can you think of an exemplar from a film that uses the same structure?

We defined our storyline structure according to the example that showed on the lecture, cause our design proposal is also about community health. Meanwhile, we searched a piece of short videos on Facebook, which also inspired us.

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

The two of our group has investigated community health on both IDA and diabetes. The main difficulty we need to address is different age groups. As a result, we built a structure of our storyline among 28-year-old Amanda and her 8-month daughter, as well as her husband Ben. We organized the whole structure around IDA and diabetes.

Week 9 Blog Reflection-ytan6974

Processed with VSCOcam with f1 preset

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 toothpaste and toothbrush which from  bathroom as the objects. Initially, as a normal individual, I thought they are just tools for cleaning your teeth and there is nothing different. While I am interacting with the toothpaste and toothbrush as a lazy person, I found the seperate cleaning tools are so complicated. As a result, I cut the toothpaste and put it on the cuted toothbrush. The affordance of these tools has been changed, it looks like I do not need to squeeze toothpaste from the tube each time. While I am observing the combined tool, I found the affordance is suitable for teaching child how to utilise the toothbrush, cause it partially could be an auto-teaching brush.

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.

Processed with VSCOcam with 4 preset


According to Norman (1988) an affordance is the design aspect of an object which suggest how the object should be used; a visual clue to its function and use. Norman writes: “…the term affordance refers to the perceived and actual properties of the thing, primarily those fundamental properties that determine just how the thing could possibly be used. Affordances provide strong clues to the operations of things. Plates are for pushing. Knobs are for turning. Slots are for inserting things into. Balls are for throwing or bouncing. When affordances are taken advantage of, the user knows what to do just by looking: no picture, label, or instruction needed.” (Norman 1988)

The difference between user and object could contribute to totally different results and interactive details. As a designer, I should always consider more about the affordance of designing. While decorating the knife with cling wraps and silver paper, the function of the original knife has been changed, the precious user could use this as a shovel in the kitchen, or a tool while planting flowers.

Norman thus defines an affordance as something of both actual and perceived properties. The affordance of a ball is both its round shape, physical material, bouncability, etc. (its actual properties) as well as the perceived suggestion as to how the ball should be used (its perceived properties). When actual and perceived properties are combined, an affordance emerges as a relationship that holds between the object and the individual that is acting on the object (Norman 1999). As Norman makes clear in an endnote in Norman (1988), this view is in conflict with Gibson’s idea of an affordance (explained next).

Blog Reflection8-ytan6974


As the user (Web: Sydney Opera House Website)

The website interface of Sydney Opera House Website is user-friendly, with a good sight of the whole functions. The task of mine is book two tickets which will be conducted in the Opera House at the New year’s eve. The whole page of this website looks simple but the searching option is not clear and I am unfamiliar with the button which I could search what I want. I was a little unfamiliar while I was using this website. However, after I found the entrance to look for the date, the progress of booking tickets is easier.

As the evaluator (as the administrator)

As an evaluator, I found that the task for using office work website looks like easier than mine but while the true user is doing the task, the filter and the searching information are not totally about the key world. At the same time, I could find the user face changes, most of time are confused and while she was searching the nearest office work in Glebe, she made a mistake. On the whole, the user flow is much more clear and it has a better user experience.


Blog Reflection 06- ytan6974


How did physically acting out help to explore ideas? 

Physically acting out helps you experience the true sense for a certain situation. Designers could experience the imitated situation while they are acting as the true users. The needs of users are more apparent than just imaging. A group of people is more likely to act together and some points, which are usually ignored by us, could be found easily. This way will be helpful while looking for the ache point of users.


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

While designers are acting physically, their ideas are usually influenced by the specific conditions and it is easy to be refined. For example, we selected “sleeping on airplanes” as a design problem. We came up a series of ideas about sleeping on airplanes, and then act as the true passengers on planes. Such as noise, annoying smells and polluted light are common issues, which are always confused by passengers. We also find some ideas to address these problems. Such as a special seat that could use VR technology and can be insulated from others reasons that could cause sleeping problems while flying. All of these solutions are found after refining ideas about this problem.


What was difficult or challenging about body storming? 

Undoubtly, acting as a true user is really difficult, and we usually ignore some methods and details, we have to pay a lot of attention on it and act as a true user.


Does body storming lend it to certain types of problems?

Body storming is a suitable method to address certain types of problems, such as problems that in relation to our daily life. Those senses we are familiar with, we usually refine and reflect the details easily and exactly.

Blog Reflection 05- ytan6974

FullSizeRender 15.jpg

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?

Sometimes extreme users can be representatives of various normal users. It is mainly because users have similar special needs and usual needs. Standing at a position of an extreme user provides designers with opportunities to think as a true user to imagine and reflect the information we could obtain from the true users. Therefore, this kind of thinking is more effective for designers to address design challenges.

It is really different from the normal way to generate ideas and to build empathy. I could not think just from my own view. Taking a position of an extreme user could be a good choice in the further design progress.


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?

User stories and storyboards are more useful than provocation cards for me. The provocation cards could help designers come up many more ideas while the whole team is brainstorming. The collection and clarifying could specific the features of further designing. Apart from this, story as a design technique could help designers reflect things like a true user, at the same time, designers usually could find something they did not find before. In addition, the storyboard allows designers to draw with a story line from the story imagined. It is an easy and clear way to present and synthesize ideas. Not only can we present group ideas to others though storyboard, but it also provides us with a clear way to refine thinking.


  • img_9360img_9361img_9362img_9363Homework


Blog Reflection 04- ytan6974

FullSizeRender 13


a. Reflective listening

Reflective listening provides me with an opportunity to communicate  with my interviewees and build up empathy with them through the whole talking. Following the speaker’s conversation, and keep a clam, just like a complete listener. As a listener’s attitude could be a good choice during designing process. After the interview , reflect the whole conversation, and then analyse the speaker’s feelings and experience from a deeper insight. 

It is a new way to listen and it is also suitable for us in our daily life’s conversation, since sometimes we could find something different with any other emotions and participations.

b. Defamilliarisation of everyday reality

At first, I do not understand the exact meaning of defamilliarisation of everyday life as a tool to observe life. Just like the video shows that, we do know the own experience of taking a bus or a train. The video shows a different view of these experiences, maybe there are different height of body and different attentions, all of these parts help me observe and experience the difference of everyday life from an unfamiliar view.

c Empathic modelling

Removing the clarity of vision is an amazing view of me. Sometimes we usually consider the life of blind. Although it is not a blind people’s view, we also have a totally different view of others. Moving through an environment with reduced vision, I did not know what it was.I could have an imagine of everything.

FullSizeRender 12FullSizeRender 11


Blog Reflection 3-ytan6974


Processed with VSCOcam with j3 preset


  • 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?

There are four uni female students in our group to build up a persona of a specific group in going to the supermarket. At first, we had pair interviews and then we began cross talking. As the real uni female students, the data looks like more representative.Through the conducting, we found that there are plenty of commonalities among the four people. As a result, we formed a coherent persona. 3-4 times a week is the most common frequency of our persona. This kind of group prefer to buy some necessities when they are going to the supermarket. Supermarket variety is the favorite feature. Apart from this, her ideal supermarket is to be more intellectual while she is selecting items, such as, auto-weighing and auto-calculated price . However, this persona is not enough and if there is an opportunity, a larger interviewees should be need to make sure the reliability of supermarket persona.

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

The final persona could be better, cause the interviewees are limited and we just thought about it from ourself. Maybe four girls in our group have similar interests and the data is too limited. I prefer to imagine that I am a totally different people from myself, maybe I am a male architecture and I have had  four-year experience in this industry. I married and  I have a lovely daughter and a clever son. There will be different demands while talking about the experience of going to the supermarket.



Blog Reflection 2-ytan6974

Processed with VSCOcam with 4 preset
  • How did this exercise help you build empathy with prospective users?

As designers, we need to think about products or services in the view of prospective customers.During this exercise, there were  four categories among the interview: Interests, Needs Motivation and Frustration. It is really  interesting when we displayed different findings from different interviews. And then put similar ideas into the same group. After that, we concluded the characteristics for different groups. Finally, we re-conclude the pink conclusions briefly. It is a good opportunity for designers to understand the users’ perspective, therefore, they could come up with many more user-depending ideas when they are designing, in other words, it is a more exact way to build empathy with prospective users.

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

    Everyone began writing with “I want…”, and express their emotions. After the clustering of information, you could found similar complaints and reviews. During this process, it is easy to find which areas should be corrected during vacations planning and process. It is better to build a system around the user center.


Processed with VSCOcam with 5 preset

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

The most difficult thing is to summarize points from the interview. You need to have a quick reading speed and keen awarness. At the same time, the clustering process need the cooperation of the whole group. It is mainly because everyone is a single one and he/she can represent his main understanding of his interviewee.

Regarding how would I do it better next time, I believe that a more detailed preparation is essential since the reading speed of mine is too slow… I also need to develop the clustering  skill.

Blog at

Up ↑