IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Design is a state of mind


blog reflection

Blog Reflection 04 – rgao5686


As the listener, it was important to strike a balance between listening and reflecting back to the speaker. I found that it was also important to ask probing questions at the right moments — this showed that you were listening and that you were interested in what they were saying. Letting go of preconceived notions about the speaker allowed me to really learn more about them and what motivated them.

As the speaker, it was difficult to fully feel at ease speaking on a personal topic with a relative stranger. A sense of self-consciousness could take over at times, which impacts on the listener can engage with you.

As the listener, it is important to be open and curious and non-judgmental, and be in the moment with the speaker. As the speaker, you have to let go of self-consciousness and be willing to be open and a little vulnerable with your listener.


How was the experience of writing without thinking? Did you discover any new aspects of your experience with this exercise?

Writing without thinking almost required you to shut off your brain and fight against the part of your brain that seeks to make coherent sense of things. It was difficult to shut off that judgmental part of your brain and I don’t know if I succeeded. I found that my writing was mostly descriptive of what was going on in what I was witnessing, and over time it became very repetitive. It was difficult to access a level that wasn’t pure description.

It was odd to witness scenes of everyday reality like waiting for a train and riding a bus from the perspective of somebody else. It was at once familiar and unsettling. I noticed things like the way the light fell and the particular tint of a colour. This exercise forced me to pay greater attention to aspects of my ordinary experience.


Blog Reflection 09 – bmar5888

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

By thinking in terms of shots, I was able to more clearly identify the purpose of each shot. Rather than trying to include too many concepts for a given shot, shots enable me to think “what is the purpose of this shot?”, “who is this shot about?”, “what are they doing?”, “where are they doing it?” and when in the sequence?. It also enabled me to break a narrative down into it’s core simple elements, and ask – “what are the minimum set of scenes I need to effectively, engagingly and clearly communicate an idea?”. By breaking it down, I was also able to more clearly identify the objective of each scene, and identify a single camera technique to *most effectively* communicate that idea.

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

I was motivated by traditional short films – setting introductory scenes to create context, but not filling in details as to what the toy bear actually did, leaving these answers for later in the scene to create suspense, to keep the viewer engaged and wondering what the purpose of the bear is and why it’s the centre of attention. The answer to this comes mid way though the narrative. One example of this is in Ex Machina – where the cause of the blackouts is not known. In combination with the foreboding sounds, camera angles, lighting and general aesthetic, the effect this unknown creates is significant. It creates an emotion within the viewer, that helps reinforce the directors desire to make the sense of unknown resonate within the viewer and stand out as a key theme. This effect will be utilised to a much softer degree in our film – we still want to create curiosity, but NOT use fear as the emotional stimulant, we’d rather promote curiosity by allowing the viewer to appreciate the *CHILDS* curiosity in the toy – even the Child doesn’t know what its for in early stages or how it works, the viewer discovers the toy alongside the child.
3) What choices did you make about audience and style? Were they related?
Audience choices involved people who are a stakeholder of our project group’s design solution. This includes psychologists, children, parents and teachers. Any user who has the potential to interact with the system, and has some interest in being informed about it. Stylistic choices involved choosing locations that are familiar to these stakeholders, using gentle camera movements to convey peace – as our solution is in the therapy space we want our camera movements and vibe created from this film to be representative and appropriate for a therapeutic environment. Additionally, we do not want to scare or frighten viewers in terms of the unknown (the unknown being what the bear’s actual purpose is), we want the atmosphere to be one of curiosity and safety. Therefore, the style choices are definitely related to the viewer, we are not producing a thriller or action movie, we’re aiming to educate and promote this through creating curiosity in the viewer, via the childs curiosity in the bear. To establish this curiosity we need to create a calming atmosphere, in terms of camera shot choice, camera movement choice, and camera environment (context) choice. Additionally, this interest could come in the form of shots and music to build rapport with the child, have them convey emotions for which the viewer feels sorry for them (complication), and then follow on through the narrative (suspense) to the solution where the bear improves the condition of the child. A viewer who can empathise with this scenario is more likely to engage, therefore audience type is a crucial factor. It’s just like “who are we designing for?” and “what are their needs?” Our solution space in this case is the video, and therefore it’s style needs to satisfy the needs and wants audience (like how we satisfy the needs of personas).

Blog Reflection 9 -zluo8079

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

Shots and scenes surely helps to deliver the information to our audience in a vivid way. It can help to set the scene, and to capture the audience’s imagination.  Also, the video from different angle and way to present can have different effect.  In this way we demonstrated that  in a methodical way to interate with the audience.

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

The main purpose of the storyline is to rise the interest of the audience, try to catch their attention and rise their curiosity at the first place. By using shots of their daily life, it creastes an affect for the audience whereby they get involved and engaged. In our case, we need to focus on the wearable device on the hand with a “normal” life with the patient.

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

Ideally the audience are the friends or families of the mental disordered people, so they have sympathy of the video and they can feel how good their family/friend can be when they are using the device.  Also, the scene should include the interact these patient with their friends.

Blog Reflection 8 – zluo8079

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

The think-aloud technique is very useful in determining the user’s thought processes. It enables them to give direct and spontaneous feedback at every step of the process. I was the designated user to employ this technique while using the Officeworks website. I feel that it was effective in communicating my decision making and explaining the issues that I encountered. When assessing others using this technique, it was easy to follow and led to insights such as them not being able to find certain features. User observation, on the other hand, is more difficult to follow as an evaluator because facial expressions can be ambiguous, and sometimes hard to read when the user is looking down towards the screen. As a user, they are automatic. For this reason, they may be able to expose more genuine insights, and those that are too difficult or transitory to verbalise.

Think -aloud is a very good way to understand the users, from their mindset when using the product to the behavior they had when interacting with it. From recording the words and users’ feeling they told, we could know, from a user’s perspective , how people may look and think of it. From observing the face expression, we could know the pattern they have.

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

A advantage of think aloud is that it works for both professional tester and non-professional ones. A professional think aloud tester can to  do better job, obviously. Howevr, some one who never know what Think aloud is can also perform a test after explainning to them in a short time.

Another pros is that is relatively cheap( the reason is we don’ t need to pay a lot for the tester),  and with a certain number of participant, we can get penty of useful information.

The frustrating part is that we might find our participants aren’t really telling us what they were thinking, they tried to act professional and lie. Also, sometimes we tend to lead to the users unconsciouly, when can lead to wrong understanding about the result.

Blog Recflection 7 – zluo8079

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

The object I chose is a cloth hanger, initially I only knowed it could be used to hang clothes, pants, etc. But when you manipulate the hanger, I found I could also use it for hit somebody lol. Further more, the hanger can be used as a cable holder when you bend it to a certain shape.

2.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.

The manipulation of the object and the person’s abilities can totaly change the object’s affordance. I think people will have different reactions whe thy are relating to an object. A good design help user to learn how to use it itself  and make their life easier. It should be simply and clear. We won’t think about what object could be used in other way since it’s designed for a certain purpose. But in the affordances lab, we would think of it and realize how important the concept is.

Blog Reflection 05 – rgao5686

1) 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?

Taking the position of an extreme user was beneficial because it gave me a specific user in mind, and prompted me to think about their needs, goals, and desires. This led me to generate ideas that were focused on meeting these needs and desires. Because I myself had created the character, I was already acquainted with who they were and what they wanted. I found this easier than my usual method of idea generation, which usually involves brainstorming. This method proved to be a shortcut to generating empathy with the end user. I would use this method in the future because you can easily invent a less-extreme, everyday user and design from the perspective of meeting their needs.


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?

Yes — writing each idea down on a post-it and sharing it with our team members allowed each of us to collaborate on one idea and develop it to a resolution together. Our final concept was one that was initially generated by one person, but which we all developed and contributed to.

Writing our stories were helpful because it prompted me to inhabit the character I had created and think about what where they were, what they were doing, and who they were with; sharing this with my group members meant that we each gained an insight into each other’s characters. This enabled us to gain empathy for each of our characters and to generate design ideas based on their needs, as well.

Storyboards were important in working through our ideas in order to work out the kinks and logistics and to see if the idea could actually work. In the end, an aspect of my idea had to be eliminated because I realised that even in the future it wouldn’t be logistically possible.

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