Role of probes package in empathic design process

From the first lecture I have learnt that Empathic design can be viewed from both user and designer perspectives. By continuing that, this week lecture helped me to identify user and designer roles in practical, mainly through designing probes packages. More often, how to design a personalized product based on an individual’s probes package and then generalized it into different group of individuals. Doing my own Probes package, I realized that empathic design knowledge and theories can be applied into day to day life and even every person’s life. I have self-documented my activities and preferences into a probes package by considering me as a user. Perceiving me as a designer, I have come up with a design idea just looking at another person’s probes package (a student in the class). The given probes package highlighted some key aspects of the individual’s life including interests, behaviors and habits. However, by stepping into user’s life through follow up interviews, I realized that the solution we provided was slightly different with true expectations of the user. Therefore, it is essential to step into user’s life before make any design solutions in turns it will enhance the quality of individual’s life and creativity of the designers. Reading some research articles evident that probes package contains information about the user, their life, preferences, and expectations. As a result, probes packages used as a tool to frame and facilitate the design solutions required for users. Design slam is also a good opportunity to apply empathic design knowledge into practical scenario. By identifying challenges faced by individuals in the society and providing innovative design solutions for them is the main purpose of developing these design slams. With my partner, I have stepped into a life of an older individual who is suffering from macular degeneration. We developed a design with RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) reader attached to the cellphone in order to overcome the trouble seeing signs and reading labels specific to grocery store environment. I am planning to use this practical knowledge into my final project. By stepping into the life of an individual who is having diabetic (injecting insulin), we will come up with a design solution for him by looking at his probes package. Then we will interview him to collect more information about his life, emotions and expectations.

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