Week 01 : Discovery & Synthesis

Reading response assignment for ‘Designing for Usability’ class at Parsons School of Design, Spring 2021.

William Gaver’s “Cultural Probes”

The case studies of experimental probes document the study of their understanding of the elderly in different European cities, using different designs as research tools. The cultural exploration experiment replaces advanced technology by sending accessible and familiar materials such as postcards, maps, disposable cameras, and media diaries to the participants, making them more accessible. The research methods and practices, especially the fact that the results are different for each location where the data is collected, were fascinated.

“Geographic and cultural distances were more specific problems for this project. We designed the materials to be posted separately, both to acknowledge our distance and to emphasize our ongoing lives in other countries (thus, we used our names in the addresses, as opposed to an institutional title like “The Presence Project”). We also tried to design the materials to be as visual as possible, to some extent bypassing language barriers.”

How the designers encouraged feedback on the difficult work of the kit and redesigned the kit for each regional group, and the ‘probe’ engaged participants in the dialogue and cultural reflection essential to a community-building project were inspired me in general.

It was also very impressive to think about the intergenerational gaps that design implies and to encourage provocative dialogue about design. I think it’s a significant part to break the stereotypes about older people and look forward to new design opportunities. As mentioned in the article, seniors represent a lifetime of experience and knowledge of the community. From this point, it can provide valuable information to the younger generations of the community, and a new aspect of the community that they haven’t thought of: the social and natural history of the community that they haven’t seen right now is also a good way to appreciate.

Nielsen Normal Group’s “When to Use Which User-Experience Research Methods”

I have been working and studying in the field of graphic & media design for about 10 years. After completing my second bachelor’s degree in London, my role in my first job was as a web designer, and no one told me about the usability, user experience, and user identity for web design. Everyone seemed to start working like that, so I just focused on completing the work silently. However, while I was working, the thought that I got more and more was that although I was overflowing with interest in this field, it was necessary to study users. However, I didn’t have time to study in this field in particular, so I think this class will be a time for me to study users properly.

I think this reading is especially good for people who are new to UX like me. However, depending on the kind of results, it has helped me greatly in understanding what can be possible at every stage of the user research process. We believe these methods become structures and skeletons that allow designers to make the most of user research. It is still difficult to understand exactly every step as it touches my skin, but I look forward to trying to understand these structures through the class.

MFA Design & Technology. UX/UI Design. Social Design. Usability. Creative Film-making.