Can you be a part time designer?

Over the last number of weeks I can’t help but feel that the design element of this masters is harder than it may have seemed at first. Human Centred Design requires its practitioners to talk to a lot of different people and get as broad a perspective as possible. Now, as someone who is new to the subject I will agree that this makes absolute sense, but in reality I have found it a lot more difficult to do than I had imagined. Its not that I wasn’t able to pluck up the courage to talk to someone but rather that you need to dedicate a significant amount of time into getting the range of opinions needed; getting out on the streets and getting into peoples lives; Immersing oneself in the problems that you are looking to solve.

Balancing a career, relationship/family, assignments and a masters is something that has been very difficult to do. Adding in social research into that mix and set the rules so that you have to talk to strangers seems to be something that pushes busy people over the edge. I get the sense from talking to the rest of my class that they too have similar problems. Nevertheless, we have been asked to do it and will pursue it as much as possible. Though it seems the irony of asking time-poor people to find time to go out and talk to other time-poor people was almost intentional.

Nevertheless I tried. I tried to use existing channels of friends, networks, and colleagues to collate as much information as I could into how people manage their time. Collating as much information as I could on general themes and statements people made onto post-its and spent hours rearranging them, gathering similar themes together and looking for problem themes.

Having done this is seemed that there three main areas coming out for me:

  1. How can you get people to better understand the value of their time.
  2. How can you promote a better email management system for people working from home?
  3. How do you get single people households to eat better and not waste food?

Looking at these three areas I think that the best option for me is to look at option 1. How can you get poeple to better understand the value of their time.

Now lets see what comes out when I flair on that one.