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After graduating from my bachelor university in China and studying at TU/e for two years, I have gradually shifted my identity from a digital interaction designer to an interactive system designer.
In my previous electives, I learned different theories and design approaches that helped me do research and design more reasonable and structured. I learned to design with complex sensors (leap motion, sensor components) and softwares (processing, Arduino), together with traditional design skills to design interactive products located within a smart home or in public, with the purpose of solving daily problems or communicating information (energy consumption, environmental impact, working status of a system, etc).
In these projects, I was able to learn and apply knowledges during the process, for example, interaction design framework from Bellotti, embodied cognition, rich interaction, and data visualization. As most of them are introducing new technologies to the user, I always followed a user-centered design approach, but also fully understood how the system itself should work. I am also familiar with research through design approach to conduct a field research, and methods to analyze both quantitative and qualitative data.
In the current project, I am using a reflective transformative design process, which is good to use when I need to design for the unknown future, and will probably be the approach that I will use since I am really interested in the IoT and future home topics. Within this project, I also use tools like role playing to involve users in the design process, making sure the project doesn’t go far from the real users. I am also trying to bring the theories to some part of my project if applicable.
In the future, I would like to make use of what I learned in the two years and continue working within IoT, or information technology industries as an interaction designer with a wide perspective of the user, system, and academic theories.
User Experience Design
IoT System Design
Data Visualization Design
User Centered Design
Research Through Design
Reflective Transformative Design Process
We have witnessed a large variety of technologies emerging in the past few years, and some of them have already replaced traditional products to make our life more convenient, or joyful. As mobile phones have been developed really advanced, mobile applications are the most influential things in our life, however, the digital world could not live without the actual physical world, where users are already familiar with. Thus, it is important to make the digital and physical, the actual objects and the cloud system, and all these technologies to live together with each other smoothly. For example, an IoT system, containing a series of objects working connectedly along with the internet and perhaps the cloud server, needs to perform collaboration and have the intelligence to react to emergency or unset situations instead of creating chaos.
As mentioned above, the new world full of technologies only emerges to daily life in recent years, requiring a higher bar for users to enter in than the traditional world that users are already living in. It’s not possible to let users know every detail of technology principles behind the products they buy. This often makes users, especially the elderly, confused about how to use them. Moreover, with the complex technologies, users are often confronted with multiple choices where they couldn’t easily make a decision. Although sometimes the technology performs learning intelligence towards human’s behaviors, they only work according to the algorithm, which definitely can’t understand other emotional or unpredictable needs of users. Therefore, the role of technology, is never going to replace human, but work as a companion to live with human and make them understand each other.
The reality is full of complexity and uncertainty that programming is not likely to achieve. People are also never like the personas that designers created for designing certain products and they are mostly have their own strategies to deal with their lives. It is a constant problem towards multi-user preference in daily life while designers are also struggling with this issue. With this concern, design is meant to provide flexible solutions for multiple users involved in addition to the functions it should have, but not creating a break point for them while using it. After the advanced technology appears, people are more and more far away from each other, which is not how they are supposed to be. So in the future, technology or design is not something standing between person and person, but involve them in a mixed reality.
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