DESIGN. Tuuli Mattelmäki - PDF

DESIGN Tuuli Mattelmäki Tuuli Mattelmäki (1965) works as a researcher and project manager at the University of Art and Design Helsinki. During her research she has worked in several projects for developing

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DESIGN Tuuli Mattelmäki Tuuli Mattelmäki (1965) works as a researcher and project manager at the University of Art and Design Helsinki. During her research she has worked in several projects for developing tools and processes for user-centred product concept design. Being educated as an industrial designer she has applied her design thinking skills in enhancing innovative approaches that are inspired by the richness of human experiences and everyday practices. Her research with design probes has inspired students and organisations to apply the approach in various projects. She has been actively involved in several user study cases and collaborations with the partner companies. Her publications include articles about probes, empathic design and design for user experience. Design probes DESIGN Tuuli Mattelmäki University of Art and Design Helsinki Publication Series of the University of Art and Design Helsinki A 69 Tuuli Mattelmäki All photographs by the author(s) and UIAH project team members unless stated otherwise. All photographs published with permission. Graphic Design: Kalle Järvenpää Paper: Munken Pure g /m2 and 300 g /m2. Font Family: Melior LT Std. ISBN (printed book) ISBN (electronic book) ISSN Gummerus Printing Printed in Vaajakoski, Finland, 2006 ontents Acknowledgements 7 1 Instructions: Apply! 11 2 Changes in the field of design Designerly ways of thinking Towards design for user experience Recognising opportunities Methods in user-centred design Reflective designer tracking experiences 36 3 Probes seeking human life Characteristics of design probes Cultural probes Probes taking alternative routes Empathy probes The reasons of probing Probes and user-centred design 62 4 Step by step of applying probes Tuning in Reaching out to the target group Designing the probes A follow-up of the probe material in an interview Interpretations and results The probing process 96 5 Conclusions after the probing Presentation of the articles Design for brawling Exploringemotional issues for concept design Empathy probes VÄINÖ taking user centred steps with probes Probes : Studying experiences for design empathy Observing and probing Mobile probes Applying probes from inspirational notes to collaborative insights 187 References 213 7 cknowledgements Curiosity and interest in design, people and stories were the drivers of this research. I have gathered clues, I have looked for insights, created stories and imagined real and virtual worlds. To be honest, becoming a researcher and making a doctoral dissertation was not a career I had envisioned. It only started to tickle my thoughts as I got a job as a research assistant and entered the small but stimulating Smart products research group in the Department of Product and Strategic Design at the University of Art and Design Helsinki. This, almost an accidental event, started a growing interest in interaction, experience and user centred design. This research was carried out mainly in edesign and Luotain projects. I am grateful to the Academy of Finland and Tekes, Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, Design2005 programme as well as the participating companies for enabling my work. I also want to thank the EU European Social Fund Article 6 and Innovative Measures for being able to continue the work in project. I want to thank especially Turkka Keinonen, whose supervision has guided me through the challenge of turning various interests and experiments into an academic dissertation. I also wish to express my gratitude to Elizabeth Sanders and Pekka Isomursu for reviewing my manuscript. Thanks also to Ilpo Koskinen for valuable discussions and Sara Routarinne for meaningful comments. 8 I have been supported by a whole network of people, colleagues, company partners and people who have participated in the probes studies, to whom I want to express enormous thanks. It has been a pleasure to work with Katja Battarbee, Anu Kankainen, Salu Ylirisku, Katja Soini, Kirsikka Vaajakallio, Vesa Jääskö, Sami Hulkko, Renita Niemi and Riitta Nieminen-Sundell. They have all supported me in my research efforts and provided material for this book. Warm thanks to Helena Rantala, Pertti Puolakanaho, Milvi Soosalu, Hannu Koskela, Heikki Salo, Juhani Salovaara and many others for being open to experimenting and enabling company collaborations. The students should also be thanked for their enthusiasm in applying the probes in various projects. Warm thanks for collaboration and pictures for this book are also due to Bill Gaver, Stephan Wensveen, Bosse Westerlund and Xiaoming Quiang. I am also grateful to Aili Kämäräinen and Rod McConchie for their effort in translating the manuscript and Sanna Tyyri-Pohjonen and Kalle Järvenpää for finishing the publication with style. Finally, I want to thank my husband, my family and friends for being there, especially Liina and Roosa. 11 Instructions: The mental image conjured up by the word probe may take our thoughts into space, the depths of the oceans, or into the human body, to places not accessible to researchers. These probes are equipped with instruments selected to help answer research questions. This book will deal with probes that are based on selfdocumentation and among the approaches applied to user-centred design. These probes investigate the phenomena to be studied and the individual users, at the same time picking up signals useful for future work. The design community has been inspired about probes, applying them both to experimental studies and business projects. Their use has been discussed in several publications, but a detailed consideration of the subject has not yet appeared. This book describes what the probes are, as well as for what purpose and in what way they can be employed. One of their developers, William Gaver (2001), writes that he is sceptical about a formal definition of the method, fearing that it will lose its profundity, heart and authenticity. This book OPPOSITE. Toys allow playful exploring : In mobile clinical collaboration case the workshop participants applied toys for creating scenarios. (Battarbee et al. 2005) will demonstrate the use of probes by illustrative examples, while attempting to maintain the authenticity of the original idea. The book sums up the probing experience, describing several case studies in which probes have been applied. Since the probes are an ap- 12 proach to be applied in an experimental spirit, the instruction for using this book is Apply it! The University of Art and Design Helsinki started probing in connection with the edesign project of 1999, financed by the Academy of Finland. This project considered emotions and user experience in terms of interaction and product design. One of its objectives was to investigate what the holistic methods for examination of the interaction between the user and the product could be like which would incorporate the needs of the designer as well. In this context, the designer meant someone involved in creative design. The employment of probes and the inquiry into them has continued in the four-year Luotain Project, financed by the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation TEKES Design2005 programme and the participating companies. In this project, considerations have been directed further by the topics of user-centred concept design and of formulating the user experience, as well as close collaboration with companies. The research looking into probes has dealt with several domains. Firstly, the work started from the supposition that user study reports by other experts do not necessarily meet the designer s creative thinking. How should interaction and product design through empathic approaches be supported? Secondly, the expansion of user-centred design from usability towards user experience has presented new challenges. Will probes facilitate investigating people s daily experience, as well as their emotions and incentives, in order to back up the concept design? Thirdly, the probe procedure was originally artistic and design-oriented, and was developed in an experimental research project. How can probes be applied to the R&D environment and an industrial context? Fourthly, it has also been necessary to sort out what probes really are and how to go about them in order to teach, develop and evaluate the approach. This book has two objectives. Firstly, it is addressed to researchers, students and professionals interested in user-centred design who would like more information on probes and their applications. This book is meant to offer both research findings, and descriptions and illustrations to inspire the reader. Secondly, this is an introduction of the doctoral dissertation, summing up observations and analyses from the author s academic publications, as well as experience gained during the research. The process of writing this book, like any planning work intended to meet various requirements, has demanded compromises. In spite of the progress to a finished book not having been quite straightforward, the reader will hopefully have a clear and practical map of the ways of probing. As for the disposition of this book, Chapter 2 offers a rough outline of the field of design in general, and user-centred design in particular, where the probes have been developed. Chapter 3 deals with the probes, their development and uses. Chapter 1 Chapter 4 is a gradual exposition of the process, with the aim of instructing the reader in applying probes through the best practices and illustrative examples. The concluding chapter is a summation of the issues discussed, and an outline of the trend in probing. 13 Instructions : 15 in the field of design The idea and practice of design are changing. Products have changed and assumed new meanings. These changes have been caused by aspects such as experiential views of the products to be designed. The objects of design are not merely products applying modern technologies, but experiences and industrial strategies as well. Richard Buchanan (2001) establishes four places of exploring a product and its significance. Firstly, the range of products of graphic design traditionally consists of symbols and communication. Secondly, the object of product design has traditionally been material things. Up to the middle of the 20th century, the design of objects was restricted to the external factors of form, function, material, production and use. Next, objects as an element of people s social and cultural environment attracted attention. The design is addressed to action, the products to be designed no longer being tangible. The third, the interaction design, OPPOSITE. Workshop participant, usability specialist-industrial designer, is visualising a design idea and its relationships with various aspects of mobile clinical collaboration. (Battarbee et al 2005) as a new domain of design in Buchanan s outline, is focused on the interaction between people and technology, regarded as something broader than the product user relation. Products are not merely physical objects, but experiences, functions and services as well. Furthermore, they will have to be useful, usable 16 and desirable. The fourth area, new as well, is environmental design dealing with models of thought and human systems. These systems are not necessarily material solutions either, but bodies of integrated knowledge and physical objects, as well as living, working, playing and learning environments. Although people understand the influence these have on their lives, they find it hard to see these systems as wholes, which is why design is employed to create ideas or thoughts to make them understand it and help them act. Precisely these ideas and thoughts are the product of environmental design in Buchanan s view. Alain Findeli and Rabah Bousbaki (2005) discuss the same field with respect to design theories and their evolution. The first half of the 20th century, the subject of discussion and theory has been a material object or product. Design was then regarded and will be regarded as applied aesthetics. Design applied theories of both art and science. After World War II, it was increasingly regarded as rational data processing, which was to be understood and analysed by means of scientific models. A new trend has recently been observed, a growing interest in the actors of the design process and user experience as a holistic phenomenon. As the concept of product broadens and the demands on understanding the context rise, more knowledge of various fields is called for, to be associated with the object of design and to be worked out further. Buchanan (2001) regards the mission of design in this situation as binding a comprehensive network with the elements of producer, product, community of users, goals and expectations, as well as the scientific, social and cultural environment. This situation results from the detachment of conventional science from practice through theory, fragmentation and specialisation. Design has been given the role of linking and integrating research findings for new solutions explaining practice and working as a social agent in other words (Findeli & Bousbaki 2005). Buchanan s vision invites the practice of design to join forces with theoretical knowledge. Competence in practice cannot necessarily be associated with books and words, as in conventional theoretical knowledge, and it is not required either, because daily working life appreciates designerly ways of knowing, thinking and acting (p. 55 Cross 2001). The following is an examination of aspects of the changes in design from four perspectives : the designer and the thing to be designed on the one hand, and the practices of concept design and user-centred design on the other. 2.1 Designerly ways of thinking One of the roles of industrial design has traditionally been consideration for the users perspective, and their protection in the design process (see Ahola 1978, Chapter 2 Dreyfuss 1974). Beside aesthetic quality, feasibility and usability, we expect the designer to understand the whole of the user experience. (Buchanan 2001, Fulton Suri 2003b, etc.). In recent years, the practice of user-centred design, education and research into it has started applying and developing approaches particularly suited to design thinking and making. The objective has been to encourage the designers empathy, to connect knowledge and inspiration, to facilitate or support teamwork ; hatching out ideas, communicating and making decisions. There have been attempts to analyse design and designerly thinking by means of process models, but the functional quality of mechanical models has been challenged. Rational models of problem-solving do not work, because we do not come across clearly formed design problems in real life (Schön 1983). Horst Rittel and Melvin Webber (1984) talk about wicked problems of design, without a pre-defined shape, because the design problem and its solution are interlinked. As we try to grasp the problem, we also analyse the alternative solutions, but there is no way of ultimately knowing whether every possible solution has been discovered. It is also possible that there is no solution. The decision is made on other criteria since these ill-defined problems have no right or final solution. In some cases, the quality of the solution chosen cannot be tested, because its introduction changes the world. For the same reason, a wicked problem cannot be solved by experimenting with it, the introduction of a solution being an irreversible move. A badly planned motorway cannot be magicked away. It is however possible to get some feedback on the appropriateness of the idea in research and development by visualisation and experimentation with a prototype. The problem can be explained from various angles, and the choice of these influences the solution. Buchanan (1992) adds that the explanation is also affected by the designers personal view of the substance of the solution. The design procedure is solution-oriented. Although designers analyse the world in order to shape it, they also wish to understand the present situation, but this understanding is an instrument of change. In looking for solutions, designers examine the situation and the range of solutions, which adds to understanding. The designers explore in three ways (p. 145 Schön 1983) : Firstly, exploratory experiment is the probing, the playful activity by which we get a feel for things. It succeeds when it leads to the discovery of something there. Secondly, the designers can act in a more determined manner because they want to have something happen. It actually happening is however not certain. Thirdly, designers can offer hypotheses through which the presented solutions are assessed, and the number of alternatives is reduced. Various alternative answers are tried in the design process by asking what if? (Schön 1983). The design work moves back and forth between detail and the whole. 17 in the field of design 18 Fig. 1. When planning a new kind of bathroom, the designers collected pictures of water. These pictures opened an interesting world of shapes, colours and materials that had hardly anything to do with bathrooms that they knew. The model for their design solutions was the diversity of the surfaces shaped by water, such as rocks with soft shapes, sandy shores and shapely pieces of wood worn out by water (Aromaa & Suomela 2003). The situation is worked out, it responds, it is considered again, and new moves are made. Typically, the possible solutions are reduced by external constraints such as laws (Lawson 1990). The self-imposed constraints also affect the area of solutions. These constraints can be practical and flexible for problem-solving (Gedenryd 1998). Self-imposed constraints can be changed and circumvented, which is why a skilled designers should know how to look for new ways to circumvent and moderate the constraints. Kees Dorst and Nigel Cross (2001) write about the problem space and solution space between which the design work moves, bridging the gap between them. Framing the problem and solution spaces seems to be crucial for creative design. Cross s findings (2004) also suggest that skilled designers move rapidly to early guesses about solutions, using these as a means of examining and defining the problem-solution area as a whole. Designers who use a lot of time for information gathering and problem definition did not do so well in producing solutions. Creativity and intuition are important in design work (Cross 1995). Typical characteristics of creativity are flexibility, avoidance of routine solutions, and the requirement of personal interpretation. Designers accept that their knowledge is not complete or sufficient. It must be interpreted and new things have to be add- Chapter 2 ed to it in order to achieve the desired result (Cross 1995). The creative process is typically about looking for something not known before it is found. Design is the ability to imagine that-which-does-not-yet-exist, to make it appear in a concrete form as a new, purposeful addition to the real world (p. 10 Nelson and Stolterman 2003). Design draws on rational thinking, but is not merely a rationalized, logical process. It is a process that includes imagination, intuition, feeling and emotion as well (p. 124 Nelson and Stolterman 2003). Creativity is the ability to see and associate familiar things in a new way. Design moves flexibly from one subject sphere to another, shaping old things by relating them to something new (de Bono 1970). Research and experiment extract examples, pictures, objects and action from previous experience. While looking for similarities, differences are also sought. Something familiar can act as a metaphor and help understand or describe what is not known yet (Schön 1983). In creative thinking, information is used because of the movement of thought caused by it, not necessaril
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