UCD Charrette

In the last week’s studio, we experienced an intense period of design activity, a charrette, where we walked through essential components of a user-centered design, and were asked to innovate a certain type of vehicles for a certain group of users. Our group got amazon deliverymen with skateboards. In order to accomplish the goal, we first brainstormed deliverymen’s needs and wants when using skateboard: fastest route possible, on time arrival, and safety. Focusing on these objectives, the solution we decided upon was a skateboard with auto control and adjustments as the deliveryman would have to concentrate on balancing the packages and himself. The skateboard would allow the deliveryman to set up the destination and optimal arrival time before getting on board, the weight of himself and the package in order to balance, and the terrain type for the adjustments of the base.

During the process of user-centered design, I realized that all the user’s needs I came up with, in this case, the deliveryman, were all purely based on my perspective. In other words, I am putting my knowledge about that career into the design instead of their own voice. And I won’t be able to get feedback from the users as it’s merely a stimulation, which hinders me from summarizing the pros and cons of our design and elaborating it. Therefore, I am interested in exploring more of the user’s side in the future and would like to hear feedback from them to help me elevate my design.

And what I like about this project is that we get to experience the fast pace design process where we have to brainstorm ideas, visualize them and keep improving them through discussion. It makes my mind more active and changes my perspective about the products I encounter every day. When I look at a product now, I would spontaneously think about who the target consumers are, and how user-friendly the product is.

I could see this user-centered designed concept widely used in all kinds of design area, since the modern world has such diversified consumers. But it’s better to apply this method at designing for specific groups of people, such as mothers, firefighters, teachers, where we could sum up their basic needs and focus on satisfying their needs in the most way since the design is done without a research. And the great thing about the charrette is that, because of the intensity it creates due to the time limit, the whole group would be strongly united and all the members would be fearless about expressing ideas as we would just say what first came into our minds. Therefore, it would definitely help when working on a group project. It exerts connection between the members and everyone is benefited at the end, not only by the creativity of others, but also by the communication with others.

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