Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Reflections on their Users

Our brave students conducted their interviews exceedingly well with their users from the Friends of the Disabled Society.

The experience moved many of them, and gave them insights into not just the lives of those less fortunate than themselves, but also into the nature of empathy itself. The students posted their insights on the class' Design Thinking Google Group. Here's a selection:

"[I] thought we must concentrate on what we are supposed to do like taking pictures or videos... at the end i realized that we had to listen to the user more than concentrating what we are doing." - Ruppa  
"I felt nervous at the start and during the middle but as the interview went we felt more confident and easy and treated our friend as someone we have already known before. After the interview, we felt happy as we had a wonderful interview as we had got our information we needed. We also had made a new friend:)." - Viswa
"I did not expect the disabled friend to actually communicate with people by texting, it was my first time seeing this." - Zihui
"[I was] inspired by the fact that even though our disabled friends have challenges, they still are determined to overcome them because they really struggled to get things done." - Jinghan
"After listening about his experiences and how his make use of his time everyday, I felt very sorry for Mr G. I have not expected to find out that our disabled friends lead such difficult lives... Before the interview,I felt that I am just an ordinary person, but after seeing Mr Goh and other disabled friends, I felt very fortunate and lucky to be able to walk normally, talk normally and perform everyday tasks without any difficulties." - Yanhunk
"[It was] unexpected that we actually went through the interview quite well even it was our first time interviewing a disabled friend. In the end I felt that we should care for them more especially by listening to them more other than just guessing what they need." -Fukai
"I think that the design thinking style of interviewing help us get a more detailed and comprehensible answers which are important. These to-the-point answers help us to empathise more with our users. Some unexpected insights i gained were: firstly, there are users who are low in self esteem and thus, not daring to voice out their opinions. I had heard stories of many disabled friends all around the world, getting introverted because they were different. However, it didnt really affected me n i thought it wasnt a big deal but actually meeting one of those kind of person makes me feel small to have belittled the problem." - Naw Theint

Well done, 2-1!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Sec 2-1 Meets Their Users!

Sec 2-1 today got their first live experience of need-finding through interviews.  5 visitors from the Friends of the Disabled Society (FDS) visited the school at noon to be interviewed by our young design thinkers. The delegation was led by Ms Roog, head of the Society, who had been kind enough to agree to the session and to arrange for transport for the members.

Though palpably nervous, the teams were well-prepared with questions and pre-allocated roles. They had already decided which of them would take be asking questions, recording spoken responses, and recording non-verbal reactions (e.g. facial expressions or body language).

Our friends from FDS joined the students at their tables. There was a round of introductions, and then the interviews began!

2-1 managed the interviews superbly - they were patient, focused and listened carefully to every word their guests had to say. 

They also coped well with unexpected challenges. For example, one of our guests was not able to respond verbally. Instead, she responded to their questions by typing out her answer on her cellphone. This slowed down the interview process significantly, and ultimately the students weren't able to complete their interviews. However, they remained patient and collected throughout, and plan to complete their interview with their interviewee via email.

The students also had the opportunity to show their guests some ideas for crafts that they could teach the members. Ms Roog had requested that the class provide training to the members, to enable them to produce crafts that could be sold to the public.

At the debrief, the students were subdued and thoughtful after their conversations with their guests. At the same time, there was an undercurrent of energy and eagerness to take up the challenge of designing something to help these "users" whom they had now met face to face.