Making a Product for Extreme Users

TASK: Create an oven for the blind

Our team discussed the problem, sketched and prototyped using cardboards and post-its.

Experimenting with more than hands as "interaction devices" and how even with 2 hands, one was used for framing and the other for fine grained interactions.  We also discuss the possibility to keep some of these features for non-extreme users: how inclusive design can be become inspirations for designing for all.

Lesson from our amazing Professor Anne-Laure:

1. Don't forget empathy: Teams focused quickly on the task rather than imagining the whole life of the person (the empathy level was not very high when they started describing the context of their project; they barely remembered the name of their user). For a real project, that will imply doing research (observations, interviews, etc.) and trying to go beyond the obvious and learn about the life of the person beyond the specific problem. [Remember what we discussed for the wallet exercise. Remember also some of Chris (from whatif) tips for the interviews.]

2. Be concrete; think of the specifics: personas and scenarios (or similar tools) are useful to help you think of the situation...  Being concrete and empathic will allow you to focus on the experience of your user / customer (which you did not really seem to take into account at least when you presented your final solution).

3.  While doing (and prototyping) is important, don't jump to one solution too quickly and be ready to change. It is important to explore different opportunities / options before making a decision. [I did not feel there was a lot of explorations going on]

4.  Remember to brainstorm (with a set amount of time and a facilitator) and remember the rules of brainstorming:

1.Defer judgment

2.Build on the ideas of others

3.One conversation at a time

4.Stay focused on the topic

5.Encourage wild ideas

5. Where and how you ideate? We discussed and experimented several times how location (in a different room, in the street; standing around a board instead of sitting, each in front of computers, etc.) could have an impact on our ways of thinking. It is up to you to design your space so that it is optimum for collaborating and coming up with a lot of great ideas.

6. Collaboration and communication: this is team work and even though it's the end of the semester and everybody is tired, it is important to work together. Moreover, while working in sub-groups can be effective (remember the shopping cart video with various sub-teams working on some specific aspects of the design), it has to be a conscious decision and managed so that you can get a fruitful mix of ideas.

7. Prototype to think and not only to present

You did it to a certain extent, but you could have done it much more.