It was really hard focusing on the lectures today with my ears ringing and my eyes so sore. Ridiculous right? I mean, who gets sick just before summer starts? Arriving late to the studio was not a good start also but I was told after that the lectures started late, so that played accordingly to my account.
Today we learnt about two methods that drives to our first convergent phase of the process; personas and empathy mapping. Using the data we have collected from our interviews, observations (and role-plays) we were asked to bring to life one specific cluster of ferry patrons through one fictional character. The cluster of ferry patrons that we pick has to be one that we feel will give us the most opportunity to stage a design intervention. The cluster of ferry patrons we chose were tourists.
We felt that designing for tourists will be designing for all. Most commuters use the ferry terminal in auto pilot and would only care about the functional side of things. This would not really give us much opportunity to create and enhance a better experience as the ferry terminal is only a place that they pass through to get from one place to another. On the other hand, tourists are more likely to linger, and we feel that the ferry terminal is rather inadequate to entertain the tourists in their waiting periods before their ferries arrive for their chosen destinations. Enhancing the ferry experience for tourists particularly, would allow the commuters to maybe slow down and take notice of the actual place and would want to have more to do with the place rather than just a ‘pass-through’ and it may even encourage the general public to use it for more than just travel purposes ie, enjoying the sun by the water during lunch breaks.
We brought to life our cluster of ferry patrons through one fictional character that we felt was most representative of the general population of tourists and humanised him complete with even his interests and values. We all know that tourists are all kinds of people with only being foreign to a place, and customs and culture of the place they are visiting, (and possibly cannot understand English very well) are the things they have in common- so we as a group had agreed mutually that it is better for us to explore the word tourists as a whole and not focus on that one fictional character we had made who had distinct interests and values that of course do not entail that all other tourists share.
What helped us generalize our chosen cluster of ferry patrons is the next method we were taught which was ’empathy mapping’. We wrote down the things that tourists might say, feel, do and think while they are at the ferry terminal. This method helped us to better understand our target audience for this design intervention.
These two methods proved to be helpful in narrowing down our target audience and although, again like most things if not all, with this workshop, it was done within a time limit, it got the point across.
I felt that it was very helpful, the reiteration of the meaning of ‘designing an experience’, via our guest speaker Emma Knight’s presentation. We were asked to design a vase twice, the first- just as is and the second time we were asked to create an experience for the user and draw on the emotions and thoughts that we want the users to feel as they look at the flowers within the said vase. This quick exercise made clear to me, the importance of drawing on the emotions of the users to create a unique design intervention.
I went home early today with the hope of getting better quickly as it would not be in my best interest to fall behind in this project and also in my technology projects. My group mates and I parted with our own individual tasks planned and delegated. I am personally satisfied so far at our team efforts and dynamics as I feel that we are up to date with our portfolio. Barriers have been broken down and we are conversing more socially now which I feel is important for any team. Being comfortable and being socially connected is better for creativity, we only need to keep in check with being on track with our work and I feel that this is not a problem. All three of us adhere to our ten guiding principles, and we take responsibility in reminding each other to keep on topic as it is one of our tendencies to talk off tangent.
I look forward even more to working with my group members, now that the formal barriers have been bulldozed.