IDEA9106 Design Thinking

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design methods

gkur0229 Blog Reflection 02

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

This exercise was strangely informative in regards to how to process through a clustering of information given to you to find the most concise learning. Although time consuming, this exercise enabled me to create empathy through putting myself into the interviewee’s shoes and ask myself the question, “What would I mean by saying that?”. Through this method, I  found myself seeking further meaning from the interviewee’s words, and try to create a deeper understanding from what they were trying to say.

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

The clustering of information in actuality, did not help me understand the user’s needs. However seeking deeper meaning from the clustering of information, and try to come up with an explainable one sentence points from what we read made me understand the user needs further.

Through this exercise I came to a realisation that, the clustering of information gained through questionnaires or interviews are not going to give the answer one might seek as a designer unless the said designer seeks through the mount of information and finds what they have been seeking. In that regards, the “clustering of information” was only a beginning process for me as a designer to help me understand the user needs.

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

It was fairly difficult for me to come up with one sentence headings that would collectively identify the different thoughts and informations I have gathered with my team mates in the yellow post-its. The headings that collected similar thoughts and ideas had to have a one sentence explanation that couldn’t be too vague, and it was highly challenging to collect the ideas from various interviews and find common groups for each of them with the given time.

Thus if I was to change one thing about this exercise, would be to give further discussion times with the team-mates in order to come up with the common groups of information in a more constructive and understanding manner.13978333_10154418384381552_1433733716_o


Week 2 Reflection

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

The interviews helped me not only identify and understand the user’s needs, wants and motivations it also helped me identify areas of potential need.

In being able to read through their experiences the common themes were things that we could all relate to in our way of thinking about experiencing new things vs being comfortable and set in our ways. It helped to understand areas of weakness and strength and mirror them with life experiences we might have had to form an association with the user and understand the roots of their needs and actions by being able to understand the emotionalIMG_20160803_202538 IMG_20160803_202534 13844295_10154026594369635_1330749998_o IMG_6642 components of their successes, difficulties, and priorities when experiencing travel and family.

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

The clustering of information allowed us to identify common areas of need and highlighted some areas we may not have been able to clearly identify quickly without undergoing the exercise. It allowed us to form a more concrete picture of how certain needs impact experiences and thoughts around things like technology, personal habits, encountering new things etc.

The end result was a much stronger identification of user need in to clear areas to then focus on how we might meet those needs or provide innovative thinking around servicing or bettering initial ideas about what the user might require given a set of scenarios or experiences.

What was difficult or challenging with the technique? 

The main challenge I found was using the right language in conveying and grouping need. Language is really important to get right when grouping and I found it hard to fit the right language to a group of needs.

The other thing I found particularly difficult was mixing a number of people’s different ideas on post it notes as some people tended to focus on certain things which may not have been so need oriented or were general observations. So grouping those was tricky because the underlying need wasn’t clearly identified on the post it so it made it difficult to fit it into a given group or even a new grouping on its own.

I don’t feel like there was enough time to complete the exercise in the tute and even with the walk around enough explanation of why some people’s were better than others and a discussion/review of what went well and didn’t in the exercise. I would have liked the tutors to sum up some of the key strengths/weaknesses from the groups but there simply wasn’t enough time.

How would you do it better next time?

Take more time to be clearer with language and take more time to understand every post it should link back to a need and re-write/re-think the categorisation.


FMCC4214: Week 2: Material Iterations

1. How did working through different materials help you to explore and express potential solutions to a design problem?

It was interesting to note the impact certain limitations had on rendering my design solutions. The initial iteration (sketch), allowed for complex design inclusions and shapes where the restriction of cardboard (without sticky tape or glue!) significantly changed the solution in mind. The cardboard solution was simplified and paid more attention to ergonomic form than complex function. Comparatively, the pipe cleaners were flexible and allowed for further experimentation in the way the chair could be constructed – this material felt much more three dimensional. Finally, the toothpick iteration proved too difficult to make any significant design decisions or solutions. I felt that, with adequate time, toothpicks and sticky tape as material could provide some design insights, however this was not the case during this class.

2. What kinds of information and inspiration did the different materials give you? Did you have a favourite material?

The pipe cleaners gave my design concept dimension. Conceptualising the chair with pipe cleaners meant that I had to make concessions (from my original solution) to put it all together. These concessions ended up defining the structure and form in ways I would not have determined with pen/pencil alone. Considering this, and compared to the difficulty of working with cardboard and toothpicks (!!), the pipe cleaners would have to be my favourite material.

3. What did you change along the way? What did you learn from your prototypes?

The cardboard iteration was simplified and in turn, this changed the curve of the chair (which was complex in the sketch), I thought the shape was actually quite nice and unexpected. The pipe cleaners allowed me to add some toys for my client to play with in a three dimensional way which then added to the design from the cardboard phase (which was mostly form and zero function!

4. How well did you address your user needs in the various design models you created?

The user needs defined for Maggie were; playfulness, comfort/ergonomics and mobile. The cardboard iteration, as mentioned above, served well to play with the form and ergonomic considerations although the playful element was difficult to render. The pipe cleaners allowed me to add in a playful element and the tooth picks could have allowed experimentation with mobility, but we ran out of time!


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