In this week’s reading, the process of design was explained in a linear fashion. The article describes defining a problem, discovering more information about the problem, synthesis or building prototypes, construction, refining, and reflection. When defining a problem, it is important not to jump to what conclusion you feel is the best answer to the solution. However, it is equally important to make sure that there is at least one viable idea. Discovering solutions involves gathering data to better understand the problem. In order to discover the knowledge used to develop the best outcome, a designer should learn everything he/she can about the problem, including the details about who is having the problem. It is important for a designer to understand how this invention will help a specific set of people and to understand exactly how this technology will be utilized. Synthesis involves the creation of initial designs and prototypes. Prototypes can be tangible objects, the product itself, or even a sketch drawing to help understand a product’s capability. Following synthesis is the creation of the project, followed by the reflection of the product. Often, the reflection of a product is overlooked. Many businesses believe that reflecting upon a product is a waste of time; however, this gives the business time to observe how the product is used by its consumers. In return, the business creates new and improved ideas to build a more user-friendly product.
What I found most interesting about this article was the need to understand so much about the user and the user’s interactions with technology. One way to understand more about a particular user is to interact, observe, and ask the user questions. Sometimes, focus groups are held in order to bring people together to discuss a specific topic. This idea of having a focus group reminded me of my research methods course in college. There were six teams in my class and each team used different means of collecting data. My team used a questionnaire, my friend’s team used an observation technique, and an interview technique was also used to collect data for the research. Just as gaining sizable amounts of data is important in research, it is important in design. This gives the designer a better chance at succeeding. Understanding what is needed, why it is needed, and how it will be used is imperative for creating a successful design.
Kolko, J. (2011). Thoughts on interaction design. http://hcc629.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/kolko-people.pdf