Design Probes (grade this one please :)

This week we discussed design probes. I had never heard of design probes before but I really thought the concept was interesting.

We had to document everything we did in a 24 hour period. We then had a powerpoint where we would upload pictures of our actions and demonstrate our moods. This had to be anonymous because we would do an activity in class where our fellow classmates would review some of our probes and then decide on a design we would like.

My probe was picked and a different learning community evaluated it. From my activities that I did that day and my likes they described me perfectly. They described my personality to a T and decided that I would like a design that incorporated my dog (they were right).

I thought it was very interesting that they could pretty accurately describe me just from a relatively small amount of information. It made me think that the whole design probing concept is pretty simple but actually doing it makes it more difficult.

There are steps in how to complete a design probe.

1. Preparation and designing the probe

2. Collection of user data with probe

3. Probes interpretation (with design team)

4. User interviews with probes

5. Communications of user data with probes for design interpretations

Design probes are crucial for empathic design. I believe using design probes are necessary when trying to use empathic design. I think designing empathically by using design probes is a good idea but they should do certain types of people and then use their results so that multiple people can benefit from that design. As people we have a lot in common so by creating a personal design for a certain type of people I believe it could meet multiple peoples needs.

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