Semester 1 Report

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There are 6 briefs in semester 1 with half of the teamwork and half of the personal projects. Brief 0 gives me a chance to explore my feeling from my hometown to WSA. I learnt how to collect useful information of users by collaborating with other students from teamwork project. With plenty of interviews and observation, for me, design is not only a way to make things good-looking, but to serve the user, focus on experience. At the end of semester 1, I’ve finished a map of feeling, a campaign for cycling in Winchester, there personas of the Design Museum exhibitionists, more than 20 ideas for commuters by tube, a weather app for pupils with Lo-Fi prototype and test, a vending machine app with two videos and 3 personas. Meanwhile, 10 blog tasks require me to think deeply and put what I read such as affordance, user experience, and techniques into practice.

In this semester, every project enables me to learn new things step by step. From the first class, I started to follow 5C modeling which asks me to work with my teammates to collect relevant information from the target group as the first step. After research in each project, the most important thing is to identity the design challenge by understanding the real needs of users. In this case, new ideas about how to encourage people in Winchester to cycle which is the brief 1 come out. This is the first time that I experience the design process inducted by 5C modeling although with a little creativity. Moreover, new ideas require support and resources to develop in the early stages as James told us on the first few lessons. After I notice the importance of knowing users, I learn the ways to comprehend and empathize user by PACT, personas and other user modeling techniques such as empathy map, user experience map and scenario which becomes the most useful ways for me to organize my data in later design project like brief 2, 4 and 5. In project 3,  I’ve learnt to generate ideas by drawing sketches quickly and roughly to save time and energy. However, without considering too much reality, some of them must not be feasible and will face some technological limits or even get out of the point. Thus, design is an iterative process, which can be seen in project 4 more clearly. Before setting about brief 4 which is about a weather app for students in key stage 2, I dig the concept of affordance. Not like iPhone, tablet PC offers more functions as well as the potential design possibility for kids. I’ve struggled to combine more elements to attract young kids but make this app become complex. To solve this problem, I make a prototype and invite people to test it. In the end, I remove many redundant functions and make the navigation simple. Besides, I believe the vending machine app for brief 5 is a good example to verify the steps advocated by 5C modeling: collect, comprehend, conceptualize, create and cooperate. For me, I collected data and information mostly by interview and observation with mates as primary research to get enough quantity samples and research similar survey or article as secondary research. To comprehend the user group better, on the one hand, I tried to find all the affordance of design carrier such as iPhone 7. On the other hand, I analyze PACT and make personas as well as the scenario. Thus, when it comes to conceptualizing the strategy I can do some brainstorm and select the most promising ideas. Lo-Fi Prototype and test help me to keep my focus on targets in the early stage so that when I make a Hi-Fi digital prototype, I can only follow the principles of interaction design without wasting a lot of time, which also confirms what Jasse James Garrett believes.

Then, in these 3 months, I also grasp new software skills like Adobe Muse and Adobe XD. To make a better personal website, I spend quite a long time to get used to Muse and I’m glad that I’ve tried my best. With Adobe XD, I make Hi-Fi prototype with interactions to test with others. It turns out that Hi-Fi prototype gives me more useful feedback than Lo-Fi one.

I don’t like teamwork, but I’ve survived from semester 1. However, there is no harm to listen to different opinions and inspired by others. Meanwhile, It’s not easy to totally understand all the things I learnt in the past month. I still need more practice especially when it needs me to concentrate on user’s real needs. At first, I think there are not enough samples to do research, but now I believe, prototype test is another important way to improve my work.

 

 

Reference

Friis, S. and Gelting, A. (n.d.). The 5C model. [ebook] Available at: http://www.designedasia.com/2014/Full_Papers/2014/2_The%205C%20Model.pdf [Accessed 22 Dec. 2017].

Garrett, J. (2011). The elements of user experience. Berkeley (CA): New Riders.

The Interaction Design Foundation. (2017). Affordances. [online] Available at: http://bit.ly/ 1Mhi6W5 [Accessed 22 Dec. 2017].

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