One of the most fun and challenging exercise we did in the Digital Development Workshop was designing a concept for a smart watch app.
For this, I used jQuery to create navigation between screens and TweenLite for animation.
Quick sketches for ideation:
Touch Interaction Prototype
(Open in touch-based devices for best experience)
He is teaching an intercession at our school and gave a talk at Morningstar few days ago. He talked about the shift in design field: going from 'design for ownership' to 'design for interaction' to currently, 'design for conversation.' It's not about making products or services in black boxes and expecting people to love them at the grand reveal, but rather a two way communication for constant iteration and improvement of the 'living, breathing services.'
He pointed out the importance of CRM- that we need to know our consumers. And in doing so, knowing the identities of people and their context are essential to offer relevant products. Like Zachary Paradis of Sapient has stressed in our Experience Modeling class, acknowledging that these identities and behaviors are not static and multifaceted would also be important.
Hugh Dubberly's talk made me revisit my career objective: I want to work at the intersection of Research, User Experience Design and Service Design to create seamlessly interconnected services, leveraging data that gives us 'thick descriptions' about people. (I will translate that into a non-ID jargon language of course..)
The way he divided personal data into categories of Civic, Finance, Work, Interests, Wellbeing and Social was intriguing (I wonder how he came up with the framework) and that CRM gives way to VRM (Vendor Relationship Management) was a new concept.
As life cycles or legacies of platforms become shorter and more competitive, it will be harder to play monopoly and networked platforms that allow ecosystems to flourish together will survive..
Though I have not dealt with massive amount of consumer data to evolve businesses, I empathized with a question from audience that "it's easy to get a lot of information about people now, but still hard to figure out and offer relevant content."
It's hard to believe that this is my last semester at ID and I will be graduating in 2 months..!
I already know I will miss it a lot and on the other hand, it's exciting to think about my next steps.
When I debated over which classes to register in my first year at ID, some said it will get easier in the second year and I will not have many classes to choose from since my interest area will be focused. Why did I still have so many things I want to do? It was still hard to choose, but I did find my interest shifting from 'theories, methods & conceptual' mode to 'making, design outcomes & implementation' mode. I was focused on how to translate our thinking and processes to real world offerings. I also leaned towards taking more Adjunct Faculties' courses who are teaching us the latest tools and methods from their own practices in industry.
Digital Development Workshop is my favorite class this semester, in which we learn variety of digital prototyping tools to bring our design concepts to life (or.. into live pixels.) It was so helpful to learn best practices for basics such as information flows, wireframing and interactive prototype from Erik Klimczak, who's learned them first hand through many mistakes and a ton of iterations. Now we are getting our feet wet in coding, and I love how he prepared our mindset by saying-
"Just think of [learning code] like getting punched in the face for the ﬁrst time. Once it happens, you realize it’s not that bad."
I am for the first time getting over the fear of experimenting with code, and believe it will help me be a better designer. By understanding and playing nice with the developers, my design will be more thoughtful and the integrity of concepts will have better chance to be carried out through development.
On May 12, 2010, the very second tweet I ever posted said: "Anthropology might be the key to turn my path to design research." This was around the time I found the Yahoo group named 'Anthrodesign'- (yes, and it's still very active.) If you're interested in anthropology and design, it's worth a visit. They now have a website with a blog which gives you a glimpse of events like Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference (EPIC) and Meetups around the world.
The reason why I start the post with Anthrodesign Yahoo group is because going to EPIC was a total throwback for me to the time I discovered design research and strategy as a career. I remember discovering DRC in 2010 which sounded too good to be true and being utterly devastated because I couldn't afford the ticket and couldn't volunteer to see the talks unless I'm a student at ID. All I could do was to stalk a group of anthropologists on Anthrodesign group and meet them at a post-conference drinks at a dive bar in Old Town. Only one lady turned up, but talking with her, I became fascinated with what an anthropologist does, and thus... my second tweet to the world. (Coincidentally, it's almost time for DRC 2013, and I'm lucky to be attending my 4th conference organized by ID.)
Three years later, I was surrounded by the group of 300+ extremely interesting and intellectual culture & design geeks - and all the more nerve wracking was that I had the privilege to present a paper about our project from Anijo's Communication Workshop! Human API as a Research Source in Healthcare, is a paper about a project sponsored by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to find new ways to motivate and support healthy life of cancer survivors after the completion of critical treatments.
Frankly, the paper writing process was quite an adventure for me since this was my first time submitting to a conference, and what's most important when writing? Knowing your audience - and let's be fair, I don't know a thing about anthropology though I'm fascinated by it.... Thanks to tremendous help and patience from Martin Ortlieb @uxprivacy and Anijo Mathew @anijomathew, I was able to face the challenge and learn a whole lot about documenting a design and research project as an academic paper- but that's a whole another blog post... The bottom line is, it's important to to define and keep your stance while getting feedback from various reviewers. It will force you to reorganize, question and defend every part of your work while building a story worth reading - not to mention the number of edits, and edits, yet more edits of endless drafts. Just like design, you break it down, to build it back up again.
Watching other presenters, I felt increasingly fortunate to have been selected as one of the 29 papers in this year's conference. The topics, methods and insights in the papers were diverse and resonated with the problems we face as designers, researchers or strategists, trying to solve messy problems in the fast changing world. The depth and intensity at which anthropologists study a question is mind blowing. And how cool is that I get to hear Danny Miller's talk in person while reading his book in a class back at ID..!
There were lots of discussion around:
The best thing about EPIC was that it's an intimate, close-knit community of people who are genuinely curious and passionate about applying ethnographic techniques and social sciences theory to industrial, software, service, social and other types of design. I'd normally get tired of 'networking' at a conference, but the conversations at EPIC were not pretentious and rather inspiring and memorable.
Thanks ID + EPIC for an amazing experience and learning! I would definitely recommend the next year's conference which will be held in NYC.
A agreed on a gchat with Wojciech that my summer internship made me realize there are many things I want to work on myself. For me, it's not just about UX, research, or design, but more as a person. What kind of person do I want to be? That's probably my utmost realization that I had from the few months in NYC.
New York City is full of diversity- I wonder if any place could be more diverse in every sense possible. In such environment, your identity and center of self becomes that much more important. You can be anything, and that's why it could be harder to just be yourself. Am I a designer? Or a strategist? A researcher? All of them.. and maybe none of them. If I were something, what does that mean? It's good to have time to reflect and think about what I have been so preoccupied doing.
The more I learn something, I realize how much I don't know. And that's OK. I just need to not act like I know everything. I think a lot about humility lately. I was a very shy, careful and patient child. Now I sometimes find myself getting worked up and impatient with little things that I don't agree with. I thought I was a good at team work, I need more work. I thought I was humble, I need a lot of work. I also take interest in new things very quickly and get very absorbed, but really need to work on not dismissing things too easily when they become familiar. I need to dig deeper. Being a good listener and a person worth listening to is much harder than I thought. I would like to be one even if I need to work on it a lot.
These are just a few things I capture tonight, but I would like to reflect more and put down my thoughts in some form more often. At least knowing what I want to work on will help me set new starting points. I am also fortunate to be surrounded by people to learn from. My aim is seeking focus rather than expansion and being a wholesome person before any "job title."
This week, I have been taking an Intercession class called 'New Business Bootcamp' taught by Colleen & Tal from Jump Associates. It's been really nice to change up the pace in the middle of the semester and kind of wake up to rev up my empathy, creativity, and execution engine.
As much as I enjoy the content of turning a user-centered idea into viable business concept, there were some intriguing rituals and diagnostics we went through. First thing we do in the morning is a Scrum, or a standing meeting, which starts with a sign that uses our kinesthetic, auditory, and visual senses. For example, our sign for Tuesday was saying "zip-zip-bang" while doing karate chops with each hands and a clap for each cues (now I feel funny trying to describe this multi-sensory action only using words- totally flattening the experience, ha.)
We also did two types of diagnostics which helps to develop a language for better assessing and communicating with others. Some interesting results were:
- I always considered myself as a 'visual person,' but my Learning Modality Indicator says I am most Kinesthetic (43), then Auditory (46), and less Visual (55). I do prefer images vs. pure reading, but you could think of both as different types of Visual modalities.
- It made me acknowledge that when I'm curious about something, I do like to actively participate in something and immerse myself in a culture, new subject, people, and environment to 'feel it out.'
- I also get a lot more ideas when I'm in a group discussion, a panel discussion, conferences, etc. where I listen & talk to many people, bouncing off ideas. There are those moments when all these things you want to say pop up and you're itching to say them before the flow of conversation turns the corner to another topic! It's like playing tennis, right?
- Thinking Style Indicator tells me that I'm 'Abstract Random,' which I wasn't so surprised. When we read the paper, 'The Writing Problems of Visual Thinkers,' by Gerald Grow in Writing Workshop class last semester, I was so relieved that I'm not the only person in the world that doesn't think sequentially and start telling a story from the middle, the end, or maybe in a winding fashion.
- One thing about myself that Kwame & I agreed while talking yesterday though, is that I tend to lean back on my Abstract Random tendencies when there are other people in my team that are just as/ more abstract and random. However, if other team members are really Concrete and Sequential, I start poking them with my abstract-randomness and throw around wild ideas.
Of course, these are just tools to communicate your tendencies/ preferences in order to facilitate group work, but it was fun to talk about the similarities and differences that create tension and harmony.
See the photo for my Personality Map: it illustrates my Strengths ("you can count on me for...,") Opportunities ("help me be better at...,") Passion ("what I like outside my career,") and Peaks & Valleys ("when I'm most alert & sleepy.")
"Zip-zip-bang" now! :)
When heading home after a long day, you just want that someone who can tell you all your hard work today was worth every while, and that you will feel a step closer to your dream when you wake up the next morning. It was one of those nights for me, when I wanted someone to listen to how a series of small happenings strung together made my day perplexing, yet intriguing.
Recently, I have started working as a TA for an Interprofessional Projects Program (IPRO) at IIT main campus, helping guide a team of undergraduate students from various disciplines through a basic innovation process to solve real-world problems. It's been really fun to work with the geeky, techy college students majoring in things like Computer Science, Physics, Civil Engineering, and IT Management. They have such different perspective from designer crowd that I'm used to and are quite knowledgeable and interested in areas that I have no grasp on. I'm always drawn by truly interdisciplinary collaboration and working with non-designers to introduce creative processes. IPRO feels like an extension of my India Immersion Program in that sense, only with an audience that has an attention span of 5 minutes at best. When I see the students' mind drifting off and looking bored, it really triggers something in me to try harder. I also imagine how sad my teachers must have been when I was dozing off in their class. I truly feel the importance of using Ethos, Logos, Pathos whenever I talk to the students. IPRO's turned into my public speaking practice to convince the students of my credibility, show my logic, and gain rapport. I also realize how important it is to have charisma, humor, and wit to keep them focused. It's one thing to be a smart ass yourself, and another to be a great teacher who can actually make students excited about a project. I have to say, it feels awesome when you see those eyes twinkle time to time.
I really like seeing the great potentials in the students' eyes too. If I could use my creativity to innovate anything in the world, wouldn't it be coolest to turns these curious minds into the 'greatest fill-in-the-blank's' in the world? Maybe that's my ultimate medium of creation.. From playing with crayons, paints, clay, wood, glass, metals, plastics, softwares, insights, strategies, all the way to.. people!
Yes, I'd someday love to be a teacher that help people to grow their own dreams, and not forcing my beliefs and interests in them. I'd like to think about how people could benefit from the experience of learning together. That leads me to my recent fascination in 'Learning Creative Learning.' The open platform course offered by MIT Media Lab has been a transformative discourse, particularly in the sense that they really embody their own belief into practice: learning should be playing, a fun and explorative process. It's not enough for me to just prepare information to dump onto the students. I want to make this IPRO a playground for them to toy with funky ideas while solving a real-world problem!
As designers say, "there's no such thing as a final product anymore and everything we create is a prototype for the next version of iteration." That seems to resonate well with how I look at life and career as well- thus the name of my blog. It's a spanking new 2013 and this blogging will be one of the many new things I try this year. I thought I'd always be an extrovert who lives to collect interesting experiences, someone who enjoys the exotic and unusual, hungry for something new and exciting. Now, I am exactly three weeks into my India Immersion Program and I am feeling about three folds more intense cultural, social, and professional shock than when I first went to junior high school in the States as a painfully shy girl with awkward Korean textbook English.
The four weeks of working with Godrej is a true transcultural design, organizational culture change, as well as an interdisciplinary collaboration. And on top of the working experience in the heart of Mumbai's industry, team Godrej has gone over and beyond to expose us to abundant collection of local scenes that I'd not have access to if I were to travel alone in India.
For the past 3 weeks, I've felt from the confusion of reading Indian cultural cues to be polite and mindful while effectively communicating opinions about our project, adjust to the role of teaching the design methods and process to non-designers, manage expectations when we have limited time for a vaguely defined project with ambitious goals. As far as this type of transcultural environment, I realized the key is to make the team feel good and motivated no matter how frustrated or stuck we may feel at times. Also, even if one tries to predict the group dynamic taking into account their skill set, personality, and background, 1+2+4 is not always 7. I think it's more like making cocktails- you never know how it will taste until you mix it and take a sip.
After a memorably beautiful New Year's Eve party on Godrej family's rooftop and a delightful first day of 2013, I am hopeful to be my positive self again tomorrow to gear into preparing our second presentation. One of the interesting conversations that arose over dinner with Jamie and Kyle tonight was that we all had one thing in common- we like to be the 2nd person in the team that supports the 'leader of the pack' while still having the room to be quirky and playful with our ideas. If I can make everyone feel confident, accomplished, and not to take themselves to seriously under the pressure tomorrow, I will consider myself successful in my role. Yes, things always look a little brighter when you have a good laugh with your team!