Saturday, August 31, 2013

DD+D Performance Testing Workshop for DFA

DD+D had the pleasure of returning to Northwestern University's Design for America (DFA) to present our Design Empathy and Performance Testing workshop this summer.

DFA's Summer Studio had three teams this year.

DFA Design Briefs:
Team 1 - Dementia /Community Partner - Mather LifeWays
Students aim to seek how to ease the emotional difficulties families face while caring for family
members with dementia, and how design could reduce the frustration and other problems in
caring for individuals with dementia.
Design Question -How can we improve interactions between people with dementia and their family

Team 2 - Literacy /Community Partner -Evanston Public Library
Students aim to  help preschool children in low-income neighborhoods find ways to increase their literacy level.
Design Question - How can we encourage elementary school children to maintain interest in reading over
the summer?

Team 3 - Homelessness/ Community Partner - StandUp for Kids
Students aim to help homeless and at-risk youth in urban areas.

DD+D , three weeks ago,presented our Design Empathy workshop to prep designers for the research phase. We returned this week  for the Performance Testing workshop after the teams had developed their first prototypes. The teams had not yet presented their solutions to their community clients.

Team Solutions 1st round:

Dementia Team - is working on a way to help patients find the "three things" that
make them happy.
Homeless Team - is working on pockets/ wearable items to hide ids/ credit cards to
keep them from being stolen.
Literacy Team - has a variety of games/ activities to learn vocab when eating or
in the car.

Designer's  Feedback on Performance Testing Workshop :

"The workshop made me reevaluate our prototypes in order that our product might best be used by the primary and secondary users."

"Writing personas is one thing-But having to live it out is a lot more useful in understanding
 how our solutions fit in lives."

"Thanks for the hard questions."

"The workshop helped break down different phases of both the problem & solution."

"It helped to step into a role to see if the conversation we are trying to facilitate felt "right" or plausible."

"Got us to look at distribution, interactions and motivations of our users- where we can integrate and change behavior."
"Acting = fun+ interactive - more helpful to see and think about process rather than to hear a presentation."

"Taking a step into the shoes of a user offered a lot of good feedback that would go unregulated otherwise."

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