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My role in our group this week (personas). October 29, 2009

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This week for personas task, I have drown a quick story board, sugguested some ideas for the plot, recorded Amna’s voice , create some props, and commented Steffen when he was editing. What I like was to work in different tasks to share my experiences and explore things I have never done it before.


Made up or Real?: Imagination versus Stereotype October 27, 2009

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Last week we have focused more in design thinking. Several methods have been explained under three stages of design thinking which are inspiration, idealization and implementation.

The first phase of design thinking is inspiration. “Misbrand”, “Analogous” and “Personas” were an activity and subjects we have practiced and learned. When a designer needs inspiration or solution, these though-provoking methods can be a tool to get new insights to drive an innovation.

Second stage is idealization, designers need to convey their idea by making prototypes. Tim Brown states that designers should built them as much as possible – the more they have generated their ideas, the better and varied solutions they will get.

If designers fail to pass a process of implementation, their products or services might not  get in the market because designers are unable to express their ideas to the organization or investors. One of a solutions we have learn is “Storytelling”: a simple and effective way to convey messages, events and emotions since a caveman was able to tell a journey of his life on the cave wall. Until this digital age, Storytelling can be any kind of media that suitable for a story and if they can find the perfect way to express, it can have a great impact to their design.

After finished this post, our team will use these kind of design thinking methods to solve and create our product. However, one question rising in my mind while I am writing this blog is about Personas which are created fictional characters aim to find out their specific needs. I quite curious that instead of using stereotypical users, what are these fictional character’s needs tell us? and why these extreme users are importance to the design thinking process?. In the next post after group meeting, I will try to find some answer for this question.

The winner is…. “Diversity” October 24, 2009

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What is a reason behind an unknown street dance group from Essex that beat Internet sensation, Susan Boyle and other dance acts to win Britain’s Got Talent title this year? The answer problably states on their name ” Diversity”.

Variation in age, status and nationality of the group might be one of the contribution to their success. Compare to another dance group which are relatively in the same age and Susan boyle’s same performce , Diversity are able to  exploit their difference in  physical by creating an outstanding performance to grabbing  audience’s heart and eventually won the title of Britain’s Got Talent.

Likewise, different perspective in group working can bring benefits to teamwork. By Sharing ideas which a member who is in a different background, team’s strength can be added with an idea that they lacked of. In my MACE company, we are a gourp of five nationalities, four of us have worked in creative industry before and on of us is currently working in business sector. In the meeting, other ideas have broadened my mind and given more  information when our team  have to make a decision or solving problem.

Yvette, the only one business person in our team always give us an idea of marketing, planning  and of course..benefits.

Steffen, under his face of calmness, he has lots of creative ideas and always come up on the right time.

Amna, she has a lot of connections, we have some useful advice from her business friend during a meeting.

Astrid, she gave us a positive and constructive comment that made the meeting went well.

Despite a technical problem, we have finished every tasks on time. But when compare to other groups in the class, we need to be more creative in the way of presentation. In the next task, I think our team needs prove that we are good at our team are passionate….I believe that we can do it.

Triangle diagram of a successful business October 21, 2009

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activity theory model

This model shows relationships of people, objects and activities in business activities. From creators, users, rules, roles and the network. Each element relate each others in both direct and indirect ways. It helps us to picture all of activities when a typical business is running. The diagram brings back some elements which we haven’t realized that it’s important to the business and it’s probably our weakness areas. Moreover, by changing the same pattern of users or categories, we might discover new innovations as we called “empathy methods”.

These are the results of my activity theory model last week.

Provider: me, a future entrepreneur

User: Commuter and local neighbor of mine.

Constraints: (5) Local regulations, limitation of space, timing of activities, opportunities and luck.

Community: (5)  Distributors, producers, staff of the business, government’s officer and promoter/advertiser.

Roles: (5) Business management skills, financial skills, marketing skills, vision of the leader and  Research & development.

Objects: (5) Advertisements, retail, online communities, vehicles and products.

User needs: (3) Emotional needs, functional needs and financial needs.

Total: 23

The results point to the fact that the “provider” part is the area that I haven’t realized its importance. Corrine stated that in order to have a successful business, not only customer’s satisfaction that need to be archived but “provider” also needs a satisfaction (how come we don’t have any profits or any satisfaction?) – I believe that a successful in business is comprises of users, provider, community and environment’s satisfaction, every elements need to be balanced.

The Activity Theory Model is one of a system analysis methods which is included in “the design thinking process”. It contains four stages of developing products which are:

1. Problem understanding (empathy, observation, research)

2. Problem selecting (framing the issue, putting the situation in context, looking for problem-solution pairs, identifying patterns, systems analysis)

3. Solution understanding (looking back at what you’ve done so far, what is the need that needs fulfilled? What will determine this project being successful? Sketching and visualising to communicate solutions.)

4. Solution selecting (Make your ideas tangible and prototype as many as you can quickly. Then build on the best ideas.)

All of these processes will be used for group activity assignment. I shall reflect them in the next post.

Our rivals for production/advertising agency business October 15, 2009

Posted by isaraobba in week three.
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Dentsu: is one of the largest advertising agency brands in the world. Dentsu now offers a range of services, all in-house, from traditional marketing and creative, to specialty disciplines such as sports marketing, entertainment rights, PR, digital contents, and a growing range of communications services.

JWT: the fourth largest marketing communications network in the world, has nearly 10,000 employees in more than 200 offices in over 90 countries, serving over 1,200 clients. Their services including: creative, digital,,full service, global interactive market research,marketing planning research, specialized communications, strategic communications, Total branding solutions across all communication trendspotting.

Siam Studios is a full service digital media agency specialising in post-production, animation, graphics, special FX, design, web development and corporate AV.

Davey Inc: a production company with editing facilities specialising in commercials, virals, music videos and corporate films.

Between The Eyes : Film production, music video production and commercials production. Also corporate film production and film production for emerging media and new media.

Weekly vocabulary: Empathic research methods, guinea pig and finger toothbrush. October 5, 2009

Posted by isaraobba in week two.

Last week on MACE class I have learned two new words and tried to invent a new word/product.

Empathic research methods: is the way to understand how users’ feelings by observing and being experienced (a guinea pig) by ourselves through various approaches of the activity. By learning, seeing, asking and trying, this human-centered method provides designer a deeper understanding of the users and learn what are their motivations in order to uncover hidden needs ( Voss and Zomerdijk, 2007 ).

In the workshop, we were assigned to be an interviewer/observer for tooth brushing activity. As a guinea pig, Amna asked me to brush my teeth and having an interview at the same time. Some of the questions were about frequency and duration of brushing, brand conscious,  demanding of multifunctional task of toothbrush. It was difficult to answer the questions while having a toothpaste in my mouth but I felt good to express my using habit to the interviewer. As a researcher, when I first saw Matteo not having any toothbrush and toothpaste. I hadn’t got a clue how to start an interview. But when I saw him using his index finger for tooth brushing. Without having any questions, I had come up with an idea of “finger toothbrush“. We were very excited with this idea and discussed whether it could be our real business which might made us to be a millionnaire!. HOWEVER, we were not the Columbus of finger toothbrush,  this product’s already in the market!…..I have to say the same with Matt…DAMN!

Apart from not becoming a millionaire, I feel that an empathy tools we had experienced in the workshop helped me to discover latent needs of users. For my next billionaire project, I would use the empathy methods as one of my research tools rather than having only a quantitative research to rely on because these kind of qualitative methods provide valuable insights. Moreover, as we move into the twenty first century, culturally and geographically diverse  resulted into an increasing of market fragmentation. These changes have forced designers to realize the important of human centered methods to understanding a fragmented market (Silver, 2008). Therefore, this could be an important tool of research and design for my creative industry business in the future.


Reflections 25/09/09 October 1, 2009

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What i have learned from last week’s class was how to squeeze your unique idea within the time limit. A common problem we have faced was most of us stuck with the same preconceptions when we were assigned to write down many items which compound of round object. As a result, only 3% of our ideas in our sketches were unique. The solution we were given was to remove our preconceptions, traditional initial ideas which we usually come up and try to think creatively in different ways or from its basic function. For an example in the class, if sunglasses are a product that can protect our eyes from UV, it doesn’t have to be glasses. It could be anything that could protect your eyes such as lotion or contact lens. In addition, success in a creative group work is gathering many ideas as much as possible, only one agreement from a group take too much time through a process of arguing compare to taking quick ideas from everyone from a group. This process takes less time and has many ideas; therefore, it could be the way to solve the problem of “idea constipation”.

These boots are made for prototyping October 1, 2009

Posted by isaraobba in shoe experiment.
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Customizing and recycling

Shoe with pockets and tags to display photos/images, add your personality.

Tag-Boots: the way to display you favourite pictures 'at your pace'.

Recycled white rubber boots which you can customise with graffitti using markers.

Pimp your boots with white recycled rubber and canvas.

These boots are made for shopping… October 1, 2009

Posted by isaraobba in week one.
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It is true that shoes are made for walking, but for some girls, having elegant high heel shoes is sometimes important than their comfortable when walking.For some boys, only “Nike” that they want. People  varies in satisfaction,When companies start to produce a product, they commonly use feedback from people to develop their products. For me, it was the first time in MACE’s class that me and my colleague: Ben, Mag and Gin, have to create a prototype of shoes which based on some of sampler’s need. We have discussed for the question and we have the final questions below:

Why did you wear these shoes today?

What do you like/dislike about them?

How much walking do you do?

Do you choose shoes for style or function?

We have asked these question to 11 students, 10 were girls, the only one man in our survey wore “Vans”. He was quite proud  of his shoes as he use it everyday, he said it looks cool and also comfortable – perfect for him because it answer both function and style.

A man witn Vans.


For girls, most of them go for style as the most important criteria when buying shoes. Moreover, comfort and practical use were the reason that they have worn. However, one of them has something differ from others. Karen likes her boots because its style. She had added feathers and beads to her boots to make them look like “Pocahontas”. Despite the fact that its thin soles and Primark’s brand, its style overweight these drawbacks and had made her worn them on that day.

Karen’s Boots

Pocahontas Boots

What I have learned from this task is…firstly, challenging in working with multinational students and working in group. Communication within a group would be easy if the members come from the same ethnic background. But this difficulty is worth to cope with because globalization is crucial and it might be useful to me in future business. Secondly, using verbal survey is the way to get more information and details from respondents than using paper or online questionnaires if an interviewer knows how to approach them and use an open question.

For a better survey next time,a group should have someone who are good at approaching people, nice and friendly character would be an ideal for a good interviewer. Moreover, they should record a conversation to get more accurate details.

Hello world! September 17, 2009

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