The first iteration was a simple representation of the original plan, to test if the usage of a “physical bar diagram” would work. evidence/slideshow1/p1.jpg
In the neighborhood itself, we opened up discussion through our probes. evidence/slideshow1/p2.jpg
This was tested in front of a shopping mall, and in an elderly activity center. evidence/slideshow1/p3.jpg
We had to present our findings on a regular basis to the clients of the module. evidence/slideshow4/p1.jpg
The second iteration was a full-size probe, with which participants could indicate their priority for transforming the neighborhood on the topic of sustainability. evidence/slideshow1/p4.jpg
In a very tangible way, we let the neighborhood inhabitants contribute to debate on neighborhood transformation. evidence/slideshow1/p3.jpg
The FAR/ABC model identifies the persuasive intent of technology. This is determined based on what type of outcome of the change is required, and what kind of change is suitable. evidence/slideshow6/p1.jpg
The Elaboration Likelyhood model maps the routes of persuasion, and which stages have to be passed before behavior is changed successfully. evidence/slideshow6/p2.jpg
We mapped the stages of persuasion from the Trans-Theoretical Model to the various principles of influence from Cialdini. This way, we mapped how we used persuasion in various stages of the process of behavioral change. evidence/slideshow6/p3.jpg
With Storyply, we empathized with the user through envisioning the story behind this person. evidence/slideshow3/p1.jpg
We defined the setting around the user: the people, the objects and the places. evidence/slideshow3/p3.jpg
After that, the story was defined: the conflict that the user has while being in the design context. After this, the consequences of this conflict were explored. The story was completed by a design proposal to solve the conflict, and envisioning the improvements in the design context based on the proposal. evidence/slideshow3/p4.jpg
Close to the context (the office building), we discussed the envisioned concept. We showed a video storyboard to let the participant of the session sensitize with our solution. evidence/slideshow3/p2.jpg
The first step was to identify patterns in the qualitative data. evidence/slideshow7/p0.jpg
Afterwards, the groups of qualitative data were placed on a scale for mapping their relation to the experiential needs. evidence/slideshow3/p1.jpg

Pics or it didn’t Happen

targeted competency areas

  • User Focus and Perspective
  • Designing Research Processes

targeted process activities

  • Synthesizing-Concretizing
  • Exploring, Validating in Context

Pics or it didn’t Happen is a project from Materializing Memories, which aims at understanding relations between media and remembering and forgetting. I created the concept CoCap, which enables capturing collaboratively. The deliverable is an app for capturing memories, and an interactive overview for reliving memories. It is a result of an iterative process, which considered usability, business and user experience. The user test iterations relate to User Focus and Perspective, as I applied a variety of methods to empathize, reflect and validate with users. DDW x KVK relates to this project, as the app used for defining a business strategy. It is explained within this activity, and relates to Designing Business Processes. From the feedback, I can confirm the process was quite straightforward. Some more diverged ideation for generating more ideas can result on a richer process with more elaboration. The report could be more elaborate on design decisions and from various iterations and it lacked depth. I could improve on the field of Ideas and Concepts, as well as Design and Research Processes.

It involved process activities within Synthesizing-Concretizing, as in all the iterations, a concrete prototype was delivered and used for user involvement iterations. These moments of involvement are related to Exploring, Validating in Context.

Location-based tools for neighborhood transformation

targeted competency areas

  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Designing Business Processes

targeted process activities

  • Envisioning, Transforming Society
  • Exploring-Validating in Context
  • Analyzing, Abstracting

This module was about increasing inhabitant involvement in transforming a neighborhood. A probe was created to investigate the priorities of the inhabitants regarding sustainability. It related to Teamwork and Communication, as it involved many ways of communicating and collaborating with stakeholders: probes, interviews, presentations, discussions and reflections. This way, it was a good exploration for the PDP goal improving stakeholder involvement; I found out how I can effectively involve stakeholders, which I applied in my project Pics or it didn’t Happen, and it defined my identity as a designer further. Part of the feedback was that we did not define roles for stakeholders in our concept, which is part of multi-stakeholder settings. This relates to Designing Business Processes, as we could have created models to show how the stakeholders fit into our concept.

As we were making a probing tool for engaging the inhabitants more with the transformation of their neighborhood, we envisioned how they could collaborate with the local government on this. This is related to Envisioning, Transforming Society. By setting up the probe and gathering data, we explored the context and validated the probing tool. This is related to Exploring, Validating in Context, and the analysis of the probe is related to Analyzing, Abstracting, as we drew a conclusion on the effects of the probe.

Persuasive Technology

targeted competency areas

  • User Focus and Perspective
  • Socio-cultural Awareness

targeted process activities

  • Analyzing-Abstracting

This module was about gaining theoretical understanding about theoretical frameworks and models of persuasion. By means of a design, we had to analyze, apply and reflect on these frameworks and models. The end result was an app which persuades staff of ID to visit ID Café more often.

Look critically at why you would pick what kind of theory and theoretical constructs to inform your design decisions. Do they influence the same level of design decisions? Are they applicable to a variety of persuasive domains.

Also reflect on whether incorporating more details about values and motivations in user descriptions, would help you make design decisions about persuasive components.

I see how the various frameworks and models we used can be applied in the design process. We made personas, which are part of the empathizing phase at the start. We used the Principles of Influence by Cialdini, which provide a means of introducing persuasive elements in the conceptual phase of the design process. The FAR/ABC model by Oinas-Kukkonen can be used to map the intent of persuasion, which type of behavior change is required and what the outcome of the persuasion is (be it new behavior formed, old behavior altered, or aspects of behavior reinforces). It is a tool for setting a goal for persuasion. The Elaboration Likelihood model maps possible routes for behavior change: various stages of success and failure, and how to provide a fallback or when to motivate change. The Trans-Theoretical Model helps in mapping the various design elements and when they are relevant for behavioral change. This is related to Socio-cultural Awareness, as it gives a theoretical foundation for emphasizing with the design context. It is related to User Focus and Perspective, as this foundation allows you to look at behavioral change from the users’ perspectives. To the biggest extent, it is related to Analyzing, Abstracting, as it involved relating various theories on behavioral change.

Designing for the User Experience

targeted competency areas

  • User Focus and Perspective
  • Socio-cultural Awareness

targeted process activities

  • Analyzing, Abstracting
  • Exploring, Validating in Context

This is a module about broadening and deepening the understanding of designing for the user experience. I understand user experience subjective layer which is based on a user’s values and satisfactory needs. Designing for user experience requires an holistic approach, as the experience goes beyond a single interaction. It taps into pleasure, and is echoed into memories after usage. Good experience gives good memories, bad experience bad memories.

The module showed me various methods for exploring, investigating the user experience. One of these is Storyply, a framework for envisioning user experience by means of storytelling. By telling the story of the user (setting the place, time, personas and experiential needs of a person), you create empathy for the context of design. I see this as a useful tool to explore the context in early phases of the process. The story was used for empathizing and preparing an interview with the user based on assumptions. This is related to Socio-cultural Awareness and Exploring, Validating in context. The interview validated these assumptions, after which a co-constructing stories session was organized to discuss a concept with the target users. It is a method for generating input on concepts from early ideation, as it is rather explorative of nature. Co-constructing stories enables discussion about envisioned concepts, as it seeks to create understanding for the envisioned scenario, and lets the user contribute to it. It helps in taking the perspective of the user, so it is related to User Focus and Perspective. Data from the interview and the co-constructing stories was collected and analyzed as qualitative data, by means of thematic data analysis. It is related to Analyzing, Abstracting.

Where Location-based Tools for Neighborhood Transformation increased my understanding on the level of stakeholder collaboration, this module helped me to understand how user experience is approached. At the start it is empathic, as it serves as input for ideation. But by creating models like the customer journey map, you can maintain overview on the entire user experience. Within this holistic overview, changes should be made: various steps in the customer journey that have to be changed, or an overall change in direction, by delivering new services and new experiences. Each of these steps can be designed according to the envisioned experience through Storyply, and it can be discussed and validated with co-constructing stories sessions.

UXify meetup: UX Evangelism

UXify is a network for professionals and enthusiasts within the field of user experience. I attended a meetup about UX Evangelism. The idea is that in a big (technology) company it is hard to integrate the mindset of designing for the user experience. To gain momentum, you need to propagate and ease your ideas into the companies. Using soft skills like giving feedback, giving credits, managing expectations and building a network, you manage a design process for integrating user experience. I experienced something similar during my B31 internship at Océ, as the interaction designers called themselves the “ambassador of the user” within the large R&D organization. In that sense, they are evangelists as well. This evangelism fits in my identity as a designer; I want to share a user experience mindset within a multidisciplinary team, which might not always be accepted or consensus.

Branchmarking workshop

Six Fingers, a company that envisions new products and services for other companies, organized a workshop in branchmarking. Rather than benchmarking, it means to find radically new opportunities for services by taking inspiration from other branches that are not relevant to the field where you are operating.

In service design, I think branchmarking can bring inspiration for envisioning new services. From user experience perspective, there are many branches that try to tap into the satisfaction of their customer. Taking inspiration from any of these branches can take user experience to the next level for the branch you are operating in. I think I can use this in my way of working, as a means of finding inspiration for ideating.

GET STARTED / KVK Online Startersevent / DDW x KVK

targeted competency areas

  • Designing Business Processes

GET STARTED was an event for and by startups on the TU/e campus. I attended inspirational lectures by entrepreneurs, and attended the workshop “From idea to business”. This event mainly served as inspiration; I learned about a typical approach entrepreneurs would take to launch their ideas. It was explained with a model called Effectuation, which consists of some principles: starting small, only risk what you can afford to lose, don’t hitch hike on others’ plans, network with anyone (it might spark interesting combinations), and predict how you can solve worst-case scenarios.

The KVK Online Startersevent gave me insight on more strict rules for entrepreneurship. It includes required skills (bookkeeping, networking, administration), differences between legal statuses and how to secure against risks. This gave more insight into the practical aspects of entrepreneurship and the official steps into realization.

DDW x KVK is a series of workshops aimed at startups of the design community. The first workshop, “From ambition to strategy” was about defining a proposition for your target group. It was an interactive session, so I used the concept CoCap in the workshop to define the proposition, and define more clearly the target group of my idea. I learned about the actual difference between users and customers; as for my app the customers will most likely provide the app to the users. In detail, the customer would be the organizer of days out, theme parks and recreational parks. They can provide the app as a part of their service to their customers. The user group is quite broad; the concept is universal to any group situation, as long as the user has a smartphone.

All in all, these activities got me inspired in entrepreneurship, and helped in making the first plans for going entrepreneurial with my app CoCap. This is relevant for Designing Business Processes, as it made me look different at business than business models only. I consider this input for my PDP; it is an activity driven by personal ambition, but I see that I can learn from this with respect to entrepreneurship and service design.

Iterative vision process

In five iterations, I discussed my vision with my coach twice, with Oscar Tomico twice, and in a plenary vision session (including my coach) once. These iterations helped me to focus my vision better, but also helped me to relate the activities with which I broadened my horizon to my vision.

  1. In the first iteration, I got feedback from my coach: my vision was focused on how I wanted to design, rather than that it included my motivations and that it described the area of application.
  2. A plenary vision feedback session with students gave me insights from multiple perspectives; the second iteration of my vision should contain more of my personal view on it. Next to that, the vision should define my focus on design branches, and my area of application.
  3. My coach gave feedback on the third iteration: it should focus more on the future I envision, and how I fit in it as a designer.
  4. The fourth iteration was discussed with Oscar Tomico. He explained my vision was a combination of a vision and an identity. Where the more personal and practical aspects belong at the identity, the vision should mainly focus on the future, my ideals as a designer. He suggested to use the following structure for my vision:
    1. The challenge of the current situation in the context of design I aim for
    2. Current situation & approaches in this context
    3. My vision on how it should be done.
  5. The fifth iteration incorporated this structure. Oscar Tomico gave me feedback on this iteration as well. My vision should be more specific about details, and contain more reasoning to statements in my vision. Next to that, it should be written more concisely, as it is written down as a story.

Aan tafel met

“Aan tafel met” is a networking event organized by Lucid, to get in touch with companies in various design branches. That is where I got back in touch with Océ, and it was the first time where I spoke about a final master project with them. There was a good atmosphere for networking, and I learned that I should always have business cards with me. It was my first experience in networking, and later on, at GET STARTED, I would learn about the “crazy quilt” principle from the Effectuation model. This principle is about networking with anyone, regardless of branch, as it might spark new collaborations that seem illogical at first. This is also related to branchmarking; although the method itself is aimed at ideation, you can make connections with other branches through networking.

Zuidzeven lecture

This lecture was given by an interface designer, who runs a network of freelance designers. She emphasized best practices, as well as the importance of several aspects. She mentioned designing by priority: make the most important aspects the biggest, and place them at the start of the user’s reading direction. Another topic, already familiar, was to envision scenarios. What does the user do, and are there any opportunities to design for within this scenario? She explained about the use of graphic metaphors. As everything is becoming part of dialogs and inputs, the icons and labels are the only way of distinguishing between functions. But by making these metaphors more explicit (for example, picking a number for a service counter not by tapping button, but by pulling out a number), you restore overview on a screen full of functions, and the interactions can be more intuitive.

Among best practices were sketching while meeting with clients, this already starts discussion. It adds another layer to stakeholder collaboration, as I like to use tangible deliverables. But making sketches also adds interactivity to a meeting, in the way that your ideas and the ideas of the client can be explored throughout the meeting. Another one is to explore what the competition is charging. In a dense branch like web design, I see that this can give me a more realistic view on what I can charge for my websites. I know I am charging very low prices, but as I did not register as an official company, I am bound to legal limits. Another best practice was to always design for the worst possible scenario (loads of error messages, the screen is filled with all the possible data), as this will make the interface you design understandable in any scenario.

It was part of expanding my comfort zone. I did like the subject of the lecture, but initially, I did not know if I could learn something new. At the end of this semester, I see that this is not the way to go; I should always be open for new things. Although the topic of this lecture is not specifically aimed at user experience, I still see relevance for my way of working. In the end, I am strong at designing visual interactions.

Presentations Will Odom, Wendy Moncur

These presentations were organized by Materializing Memories, the higher-level project that Pics or it didn’t Happen is a part of. Will talked about virtual possessions. He discussed that digital memories may never be lost. It makes me think of a documentary by “Tegenlicht” called “Digital Memory Loss”, which argues it may not be permanent after all. So I think everyone should be able to download memories as well. In his presentation, Will confirmed my assumption for the concept CoCap; he discussed that the increasing rate at which media is generated makes it harder to extract the essence from it manually. When I look at the future of CoCap, I think it should adapt to changing technologies. Take a look at YouTube for example; they shifted from flash to HTML5, yet the vast collection of videos is still available. To persist, CoCap should adapt to new technologies as well.

Among best practices were sketching while meeting with clients, this already starts discussion. It adds another layer to stakeholder collaboration, as I like to use tangible deliverables. But making sketches also adds interactivity to a meeting, in the way that your ideas and the ideas of the client can be explored throughout the meeting. Another one is to explore what the competition is charging. In a dense branch like web design, I see that this can give me a more realistic view on what I can charge for my websites. I know I am charging very low prices, but as I did not register as an official company, I am bound to legal limits. Another best practice was to always design for the worst possible scenario (loads of error messages, the screen is filled with all the possible data), as this will make the interface you design understandable in any scenario.

Wendy talked about digital inheritance. First of all, she mentioned the willingness to share, which is greater for positive than negative things. When looking at Facebook, it is mostly a bulletin board of positive things. In addition, she talked about the durability of digital memories. Through the course of generations, interest might be lost. Where antique memorabilia degrade, digital media could as well. It is a way of saying goodbye to memories of fading interest. It is commonly accepted that everything lasts forever, but some things might not remain relevant to be kept forever. This should be considered when launching a service for storing all the memories of people: if it grows, it will require huge data centers, especially over the course of generations.

When reflecting on various activities and looking back on these presentations, it changed my vision to storing and curating digital memories.