Blog 6

Week 8

In Week 8, we wrapped up talking about Biomimicry and discussed empathetic design. We talked about what to compost and how to be more sustainable in Stillwater. On Thursday, we discussed the differences between empathetic and sympathetic and talked about how we could use empathetic design to our benefit in our field of work.

Business Canvas Model

From the Business Canvas Model discussion and exercise, I learned that each individual can propose a completely different business idea with the same proposition. It was so interesting to listen to each learning communities idea and see how different it was from the next learning community’s. Even the ones with the same nonprofit had completely different ideas and I thought that was really cool. I could use this in the future by actually following through with our idea and turning it into a business. We had an innovative and creative idea, which I think would actually help raise awareness and help the non-profit we chose, which was the World Wildlife Fund. Also, since we were given a time limit to create this proposal, it gave me practice for working under pressure and creating a business model in a short period of time. This is also something that could help me in the future.

Empathetic Design

Paul Bennett’s TED Talk, Design is in the Details, talked about bringing the “big” and “small” together. The first example he used was a patient in a hospital bed. His team stepped into the life of a patient to create design ideas. Looking at the situation from the point of view of the person out is a great way to use design and this example proved that. They realized it wasn’t about the huge things; they needed to change the small things to make the experience more enjoyable. They attached bicycle mirrors to the hospital bed so they could see the nurse that was wheeling their hospital bed. This was a small gesture that created human interaction, and improved the environment. The nurses also decorated the ceiling and added white boards to the rooms to write encouraging messages. These small things completely changed the atmosphere of the hospital room. Later on in the video, Paul discussed the book they wrote which touched on all kinds of thoughtless things that people do that have large intention and possibilities. This definitely brought the idea of changing small things to my attention. Finally, Paul discussed how he had to completely transfer to the user’s world to design a water pump and how it excelled when they did that. Overall, this TED talk discussed how small is the new big and how to step in the user’s shoes to design a product. It makes things more meaningful and successful.

If I were given the opportunity to design for someone and help improve his or her shopping experience, I would design for older individuals like my grandma. As she gets older, she has a more difficult time shopping, which is sad because it used to be something she really enjoys. She struggles to bend down and pick up things and shop for long periods of time. I would design a store for the older individual that focuses on the physical aspects of shopping. The stores shelving would be between knee and eye level so the act of bending down or reaching up could be reduced. I would also place seating throughout the store, so the customers could take a break, sit down, and enjoy their shopping day. I believe this would also get the customer to stay longer and shop more if they had the opportunity to rest. Finally, I would make sure the environment was relaxing and pleasing to the elderly so they could enjoy their time and become loyal to the store.

Overall, this week helped me get a better grasp on designing and how to do it for other people.

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