UCD Charrette

Design is a total new learning experience for me. I used to look designers as people who have strong senses toward art and aesthetics. I was never good at anything related to art, so I never thought I could get the chance to learn about design. But I did it in Charrette, and I actually enjoyed it. What we did in Charrette was to design a car display that can fit the need of our targeted user. Our group faced the oddest user of all time — — a duck. We believe that there is a duck secretly owns a car that is designed by humans, but the display of its car has to be designed to fit the need of ducks. It was tremendously difficult to come up ideas at first because probably no one has never thought what a duck needs for a car display. However, ideas come out as the conversation between group members went along. Since a duck does not have hands to interact with the display, we made the system mostly operated by voice. Also, we add some “useful” functions in it such as certain lakes that ducks usually hang out at and examination of weather to see if it is a great time to seek for foods.

I actually have some questions about design itself. Sometimes I do have a lot of ideas and thoughts, but I am bad at drawing. So it is usually hard for me to describe my ideas in words without drawing or expressing it. Are we able to learn ways to express ourselves or is there any other technique other than drawing to present our ideas clearer?

Although this project seems to make no sense, I enjoyed every aspect of it because I enjoyed confronting new ideas. I believe the reason that a revolutionary invention is revolutionary is because no one in the past has ever thought about it, and our project is a great example to help us to think outside the box. Furthermore, the project makes me realize the importance of knowledge toward the users. It was difficult to come up what a duck needs was because we were not familiar with ducks. But as we exchanged our knowledge of ducks, we were able to throw out ideas.

In my perspective, I think Charrette can be applied in any place. I am thinking about a baseball team’s post game meeting. The meeting requires the manager, coaches, and the players to discuss what they did bad and what they can do better in the next game. Participants are able to throw ideas and problems into the discussion, and everyone can solve them together as a group. Nevertheless, I suggest that this can only be used to a more informal meeting or a shorter meeting because it is a relatively fast-paced and limited time acticity.

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