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User Experience Theory and Practice

Overview

  • Type: Elective
  • Goal: Getting an understanding of user experience theory and applying different methods for empathic design.
  • Final grade: 8
  • Competencies: DRP | US

Key learning points

1. Applying the empathic handover approach.
2. Extension of user methods.
3. Role of empathy in design.

Explanation

The aim of this elective was to research and design for the topics mourning and dementia. In particular, we were required to apply the empathic handover approach, which meant that we switched topics and team members halfway the elective. During the first half we tried to emphasize with the topic of mourning by a qualitative study. After the empathic handover workshop, I switched to the topic of dementia and with the new team we created the concept ‘A little bird told me’, which allows to capture the characteristics of a demented person by means of audio, in order to save the cherished memories of a loved one.

Reflection

For this elective all the students were required to participate in the emphatic handover approach, which was entirely new to me. I really liked the concept of transferring obtained information from one team to another by means of synthesizing and emphasizing them by a workshop instead of just communicating it via a report. Preparing the workshop materials and participating in the workshop was inspirational, as it allowed me to quickly get into the right mindset and become sensitive to the topic of dementia.


The methods we used for obtaining the third and second person perspective, such as literature review and conducting interviews were already familiar for me. However, moving from the second to the first perspective by means of the empathic handover workshop and evaluating the resulting concept by means of co constructing stories were a valuable addition to my wallet of skills.


This elective made me very aware of the fact that getting too involved with a topic can also counteract in your rational view on it, especially with delicate topics such as mourning and dementia. As I experienced that the topic of mourning required a lot of my mental energy, I made the deliberate choice to volunteer for switching topics to dementia. Therefore, I learned to guard my own boundaries when working on a delicate topic and react accordingly.