IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Design is a state of mind



Blog Reflection 08 – Evaluation – yzho5003

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

Firstly, the usability test is divided into well structured with clear instructions, which make the test proceed much more smoothly. The observation is quiet a interesting work since we need to focus really carefully on user’s face to understand their difficulties, but it is kind of difficult to quickly capture every detail. The video taping helps reviewing the process, but it is not easy to capture both user’s face and their action and response to the app/web. What we did is use some screen recording software, like screen flow to capture the screen and computer camera, by doing this, we can easily connect user’s feedback and the specific action/function. The thinking aloud is a very useful tip.

2.What aspects of the technique worked well or were frustrating?

The thinking aloud is a very interesting technique, at first I thought it might not work since people are not used to do this, but after the testing, I found this is definitely a good technique to understand the real thoughts of users. However, one thing i am concern is whether the thinking aloud will affect the users’ real response, since it will procrastinate the response action time, so it may has some negative effects on products that require user’s quick response or feedback. (like game, shopping).

Blog Reflection #7 – Affordances – yzho5003

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

The common wooden spoon was selected for cotton swaps. normally, chopsticks is a kind of traditional asian tableware, I normally use it to pick foods and mix things, and cotton swaps are used for covering wound and clean the ear after taking shower. however I used a variety of different things and scenarios to extend its affordances. this swap now is able to clean not only a ear, but also some electronic devices, which have small gaps.


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.

I used several ways to test the revised product, at first users feel no problem using the product; so after this I added some restriction to the user, like only allow them use one hand or use a chopstick to use the product, then a lot of problems came out, they can not pick up the swap, so I gave them some instruction like hold the part with cotton on, and this resulted in a dramatic increase on the success of using testing. So I think later I may try to make the cotton swap covered by cottons.


BLOG REFLECTION 01-Design Thinking on Speed-yzho5003

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

To some extent, Interaction Designers’ duty is solving problems, problems that users meet. A good designer does not only have good design skills but also the instinct about user’s feedback. Engaging with a real person, testing with a real person actually is the most important way for UI/UX designers to gain real experience. It can prevent you from investing too much efforts in a wrong direction.  The process of testing with real person can take time, but it totally worth it.

What was it like showing unfinished work to another person?

Showing an unfinished work to another person is like to attend a unprepared interview. It can be awkward but also make potential problems exposed. Explaining the idea/concept of the design is a crucial skill for designers; it is important to make sure that we set the right goal and the right problem to solve at the very beginning.

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?

I have to say that I’m not a “good user” from designer’s perspective. During the process of listening her idea and testing her prototype, I’ve interupted for several times and tried to infuse my ideas into the product, which may make the product leave the way it was to be. But she is really patient and listen to my suggestions carefully, which makes me feel a sense of involvement.

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?

I would like to go back to engage my clients into the prototype design process. I’ve spent too much time on designing the product myself and leave the clients aside. The result of this is that I need to spend a lot more time on revising the prototype to meet the needs of users. What I will do next is to cut the process of prototype design into small pieces(from the big wireframe to detail of each function), and get quick feedbacks from users for each part and try to ask their advices. With those quick feedbacks and advice, the product can be more accurate and users can be more satisfied with the final output, since they feel they are a co-designer of the product.

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

If let me do the process again, there are several things that I am going to improve: Don’t guess, and let the user speak. I did too much talking in the first time, trying to catch user’s feedback and needs based on my own subjective thinking. This turned out to be a really ineffective way to understand the user and added extra burries to my futher work (polishing and gathering prototypes). The strategy for the next time will be: a. let the user talk, recording everything she/he mentioned. b. produce a prototype based on my record, and put the user into the using context with a detailed prototype. C. gather the feedbacks and revise/improve prototypes.  I thought the a is the most important stage, But actually the road to a great product is the loop for b+c.


Blog Reflection 05 – Ideating – yzho5003

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

Those extreme users look very “unreal” at first, but after taking their characters into consideration, I found it actually make it easier for to conduct my design solution, because the strong character make the main issue/need outstanding, so I can have a clear img in my mind picturing a specific user scenario .

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

Yes, When I design something for real people, I need to design something more realistic, or I can’t help thinking under a limitation, but when I use extreme users, I can release my imagination and build something that really creative.

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 way to demonstrate my idea, and the process of transforming thoughts into sketches can help me get through the logic; Persona is a good tool to collaborate with other designers, especially when I need to do a collaborative design project, it gives us a good direction to focus on.

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