Week 3: Defining a design challenge

Week 3: Defining a design challenge

“Introduction to week 3 … Defining a problem definition … Defining your design challenge … Defining a design challenge … Reflecting on your work”
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  • Week 3: Defining a design challenge > 3a Introduction to week 3 > Introduction to week 3
  • Week 3: Defining a design challenge > 3b Lecture: Defining a problem definition > Defining a design problem
  • Week 3: Defining a design challenge > 3c Lecture: Defining your design challenge > Defining your design challenge
  • Week 3: Defining a design challenge > Assignment 3: Defining a design challenge > Tips for peer review
  • Week 3: Defining a design challenge > 3d Reflecting on your work > Benchmark video week 3
  • Week 3: Defining a design challenge > 3d Reflecting on your work > Benchmark video Design expert

Week 3: Defining a design challenge > 3a Introduction to week 3 > Introduction to week 3

  • Last week professor Pieter Jan Stappers explained why it is important to understand the context of use of the domain that you are designing for.
  • You learned how to go about studying a user within a specific design theme.
  • You have experienced that by using the same WHAT, HOW and WHY structure from week 1, you could unravel another person’s morning ritual and attain a rich understanding of it.
  • You can inspire your design process with insights that are grounded in the user’s experience.
  • Next week is all about bringing insights together and defining a design challenge.
  • Based on the same WHAT, HOW and WHY structure that you used before, Professor Matthijs van Dijk will explain the relevance of explicitly formulating a design challenge.

Week 3: Defining a design challenge > 3b Lecture: Defining a problem definition > Defining a design problem

  • Hi, my name is Jelle Zijlstra, I’m an industrial designer and design teacher at the TU Delft.
  • The Problem Definition answers three basic questions: the what, how and why of your project.
  • Elaborate and define whether there is a problem with your user’s behavior OR interaction with other people and products.
  • Who has the problem? It makes a lot of difference whether you design for children, adults, athletes or elderly people, etcetera.
  • People differ greatly in their preferences, experience and expectations.
  • What are relevant context factors? In what kind of environment will the design be used? Inside, outside? In freezing conditions or in hot conditions? In what kind of space or place? In which country and in what kind of cultural environment? What is the desired outcome? Or maybe better: what is the desired effect? What interactions between people and products do you need to influence to create that effect? For example, the desired outcome of a barbecue is not only roasted meat but also a pleasant interaction between people.
  • When you are IN a traffic jam you might conclude that the roads are too narrow and more roads need to be built.
  • Analyzing and redefining the problem results in a broader perspective and a need to look at more innovative solutions.
  • What is the problem? In the city center traffic jams lead to time loss, frustration, unsafe situations and air pollution.
  • Who has the problem? Urban commuters who travel between home and work by car in densely populated areas.
  • People live in suburbs because it is more pleasant to live there and they are used to a high degree of mobility.
  • What is the desired outcome? More room for slow traffic and a clean, pleasant living environment; A working culture in which people can be more flexible with their working hours.
  • So working with a problem and a design goal as a starting point instead of an existing product opens up doors to unexpected and more innovative solutions.
  • Based on this analysis and solution, a saddle manufacturer might decide to move into the design and production of handlebars as well! I hope this inspires you to define your own design challenge and to do the assignments that go with this video.

Week 3: Defining a design challenge > 3c Lecture: Defining your design challenge > Defining your design challenge

  • In the previous week you opened your eyes for how people experience and value their morning ritual.
  • Instead, you tried to emphasize with other people to avoid the pre-occupations that are only related to your own experiences and value system.
  • Along the way, you might have wondered what kind of design could be meaningful for people in their morning rituals.
  • Perhaps the user feels time pressure during his whole morning ritual and, as a consequence, is less careful and concentrated while making tea and moving around the house.
  • All the above reasoning takes us to the next step of the design process: defining your design challenge.
  • Firstly, that what you want the end-user to do, to experience, to feel in terms of emotional response, and how you want your user to behave during this morning ritual.
  • We say, designing is about understanding the relationship between the user’s context and the effect you want to realize.
  • Why do you want people to act, experience, feel and behave, like you desire them to do? This is what we call the Design Challenge.
  • What you want to accomplish with people on an effect level.
  • If your design challenge is something like: ‘I want people to feel control during the morning ritual’, the arguments underlying it could be that they feel like mastering the morning ritual instead of playing catch-up constantly.
  • The design challenge ‘I want people to be able to focus on what is of true relevance for them’ ‘instead of losing time on irrelevant actions’, is similar to the previous one, but there is another ‘Why’ underlying it.
  • By taking this ethical position you automatically take on the full responsibility for the effect you want to realize for the end-user through the design you are going to conceive.
  • Do you want to make a better world? Do you want to make a more justified world? Do you want to support people in their egocentric demands? Do you want to make a commercial success for the company you work for? It’s endless, and there is no wrong or right.
  • The notion of what you want people to do, feel, experience, and how you want them to behave, gives a clear understanding of the problem you want to solve.
  • The next question is: what qualities and properties afford the design challenge? If you want people to feel they are in control, the object should be structured, insightful, non-complex in its qualities and perhaps lightweight, easy to pick-up or handle in its properties.

Week 3: Defining a design challenge > Assignment 3: Defining a design challenge > Tips for peer review

  • Giving feedback is not the easiest task You want to motivate other students to learn about their work, rather than bringing them down.
  • ” “Therefore we would like to offer you some tips in providing constructive feedback.
  • “I think your assignment is BAD?” “BAD but why?” “Written language can be interpreted completely different than you might expect.
  • Therefore be sure to choose you words and sentences carefully “BAD?” “Hmmm typing I think your assignment. contains some unfortunate decisions, because in the first part.]”The Sandwich method could help you to structure your feedback in a positive way.

Week 3: Defining a design challenge > 3d Reflecting on your work > Benchmark video week 3

  • Phrasing the problem definition, the design challenge, and the list of requirements.
  • Yeah I agree, I think he said something about… He wants to eat healthy, in the morning, but he doesnt.
  • Who has the problem? Okay, so Jeroen, he probably represents a bigger group of people who have a similar problem with this morning ritual right? Yes.
  • Clarifying what the problem is might be the most challenging part of the problem definition.
  • The user he doesn’t really take time to prepare a healthy breakfast right? No he doesn’t.
  • Is that the problem? I think it is more, I think he feels this responsibility towards his work, that he doesn’t take time in the morning, he wants to be efficient, because he feels responsible.
  • After the problem definition is clear the design challenge can be defined.
  • Alright! I think we have captured the problem definition, I think it is time to formulate the design challenge.
  • Formulating a meaningful and inspiring design challenge can be one of the most difficult tasks within a design process.
  • Okay so… “I want efficiency-seekers, to focus more on themselves in their morning ritual because, an intimate and healthy morning ritual supports being efficient and productive during the day.
  • While writing down the list of requirements, make sure to check the answers to your problem definition.
  • Maybe, the interaction with the users morning ritual should be experienced as intimate? yeah, like we said in the challenge.

Week 3: Defining a design challenge > 3d Reflecting on your work > Benchmark video Design expert

  • So how does Philips define their design challenges? Well actually Philips is huge obviously, we’re a very big company and there is many kinds of design challenges that we need to cater for.
  • Where are the opportunities, where new needs arise of these people, where does the environment of these people actually change? We let ourselves be informed by these needs of people, by how the environment is actually shaping and also our business requirements they are a very important factor in defining the design challenge.
  • Because in the end all the different disciplines that are involved in a design program, so we have our design disciplines, engineering disciplines, our marketing, our sales disciplines, and quite often actually in these days also we have our end users involved in the design process.
  • So not just a marketing part and an engineering part of your design challenge, it needs to be consolidated into one big thing and this is what we refer to as a preferred scenario of use.
  • Okay so like I explained, Philips is a very big company, and there’s many diverse design challenges and maybe it’s good to think of a couple of these examples.
  • A service proposition so on top of all of your hue use, you can buy additional services that make it even more fun, more engaging and even more meaningful to use hue.
  • So this is on one end of the spectrum on the other end of the spectrum we are also very active in healthcare, and Philips Healthcare has very complex propositions with regards, for example, to diagnoses and clinical decision support.
  • So we see that our propositions are very diverse and contain many different elements, but quite often at least contain both hardware, software and services.
  • So when we are actually setting our design challenge and listing our requirements, it is very important to not just focus on documentation; Word-files and PowerPoint-files that try to capture everything in text.
  • Because text is quite ambiguous, all the disciplines that are involved in a design program so designers, engineers, marketeers, salespeople, but more and more also are actual end-users, they are involved in our design processes.
  • So that is why we are actually establishing our design challenges and listing our requirements in future scenarios.
  • I think, when you set your design challenge it is always very good to basically reflect upon how you set your design challenge with relevant peers, experts, maybe your colleagues, maybe the fellow students that you are working with, and basically see if they agree in the way that you’ve set your design challenge.
  • We do this all the time, when we set a design challenge, we basically interact with different stakeholders from different disciplines and just validate whether it makes sense, or does not make sense.
  • Whatever you do, your design challenge will always have and remain a level of uncertainty.
  • So it is good to start actually designing the propositions and materialize your idea.
  • If you have an initial prototype, and initial sketch, maybe a fully workable demo, those are great moments in time to actually engage with the end-users and let them basically reflect upon what you did and see if it is truly meaningful for them and if they would be willing to take up that proposition in their daily lives.
  • There is many business requirements, how can we actually make money off this? There is many requirements coming from our marketing and sale organizations, how do we want to place this proposition within a shop or within a web environment? And there are also many requirements that actually are just due to the way we are organized.
  • For example how do we need to collaborate with the different disciplines in our company? Where do we hand over from design to engineering and to marketing? And I think all of those things are part of a very holistic and good design challenge.

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