Panel Report — Ideation & User Research

During our second panel presentation, I had the privilege of listening to Jake Fleisher talk about his job as a professional UX designer and how ideation is incorporated into his professional career. I also had a privilege of listening to Katie Derthick, a PhD student in the HCDE graduate program talk about her dissertation research which is focused on meditation, mindfulness, and Buddhism. From these two speakers, I was able to connect the bridge between what we have been doing in our studio the past couple of weeks and how that transfer overs into the professional fields.

Take Aways: Ideation:

From Jake Fleisher’s speech about his job as a UX designer, I was able to learn how all these building blocks of: brainstorming, sketching, categorizing, narrowing, synthesizing all result into a feasible idea that eventually becomes a prototype and then, finally to a product for the public. He also left a lot of great advices for up and incoming UX designers like us by telling us to not be afraid to draw and to create voraciously. He also told us not to create anything by accident and every iteration we have of our product must have a purpose.

One aspect from Jake’s speech that stood out to me was how important sketching really is when it comes to ideation. Sketching is a very powerful tool which enables you to have your idea be one step closer to reality. Also, sketching is another great way of showing others your ideas without having to use words to explain your ideas. As a designer, and a creator it is a crucial skill to know how to sketch your ideas and let the sketches do the explaining.

Take Aways: User Research

Katie Derthick’s speech about her dissertation research on meditation, mindfulness, and Buddhism was very unique and I really enjoyed listening to what she had to say. I was very speechless when she was telling us about how technology and society mutually shapes each other. And more importantly, as a creator and a designer, how our perspective really affects the things we design. It was a deep concept of design that I never realized until she mentioned it and I was blown away by the truth that there are several factors that affect how we design our products.

One aspect from Katie’s dissertation that really stood out to me was her usage of UX methodology for her research. She had a whole bunch of post-its on her walls with blue tapes connecting the similar ideas and it was interesting to see an unconventional technique be used for a dissertation research. It was a very unique approach as she the things she learned in HCDE to more effective collect data and bridge a connection from her data.

Improvement on my own projects:

I was truly able to learn a lot from these two speakers. With that being said, I would try to incorporate their ideas and improve on my own projects by: practicing sketching more and using sketching as my way of expressing my thoughts in order to get into the mindset of using sketches in order to communicate my ideas. And specifically for user research, I would try to be open minded as much as possible during my observations and not allow my assumptions take over, and not enable my views affect the way I come up with designs as this can be a flaw.

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