Prototyping in empathic design process

Just stepping into the user’s life is not enough to create any innovative design. However, it should have to attached with user’s personal experience along with emotions. According to Kansei engineering concept or methodology, consumer’s psychological feelings (e.g. Emotions) are blended with product’s design or creativity. The main purpose of product design is to create a desire to buy the same product again and again. Don Norman in his TED talk ( emphasized that design is something that make people happy. To evident that he has given an example, asking a group of people to solve a particular problem. But none of them were not able to solve the problem at the first time. Next, he has given the same problem to the second group, but before he given the question to the group he said that he is having a box of candy and asking whether they like it. It made them happy and motivate, later they solved the problem.

Another key approach reveals through articles is “prototyping”. It is one of the methods/tools used by many designers to develop products and services. It is a representation of a final product (output) used to communicate to the others including a sketch or a model. I have used prototyping knowledge into an in class exercise. I have developed a gardener jacket for older individuals who are perceiving as challenge for them to walk around to pick up tools, even bending and picking up tools at the higher level or lower level. It is a wearable jacket made up of plastic foams with having multiple pockets along with a hoody.

GERT suit activity is also a good example to stepping into older individuals’ life and experienced their difficulties in moving, walking, bending and similar other movements. As an older individual, we identify that the main issue faced by them is having unbalanced in moving around. We did different experiments to understand their behavior, as an example reaching objects in a shelf assuming that an older individual is in a shopping environment. We realized that picking up something from a higher level and lower level are much more difficult than picking something in the eye level. Pick something at lower level is more affects to the back and knees of the older individuals. It was really tired, heavy and elbows were hurting and painful for the person. By wearing the GERT suit, we were tried to get up from a sitting position and realized that getting up is easier than sitting down. The earmuff activity gave the experience of older individuals’ difficulties in hearing. On the other hand, six different goggles provided real world experience of older individuals in visualizing things.

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