It’s mad to think that we’ve already completed two briefs on our Masters course. I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on some of the main things that Ive learned on this module, and how they will shape the work I do in future – both on this Masters but also in my future career as a designer.
One big lesson for me has been around the idea of storytelling, and using technology not simply functionally but as a device to build conversation around and even simply to have fun with. Admittedly, I have struggled with it, both from the perspective that I sometimes haven’t been quite sure why I am actually doing this and also not knowing what I’m even doing in general. However, it’s added something to my arsenal. I want to create functional products that solve problems for my user, but I also want to do them in a fun and meaningful way. This brief has given me a perfect opportunity to practise the latter part of product designing.
Leading on from this idea of fun and playfulness, the conditions of this brief have fostered a mindset that moves away from a lot of the work I’ve previously done. I usually tend to put the user first in a project, completing interviews and working with research methods to identify needs and wants. However, desk research has been my main go-to method for understanding my own work in this project, and consequently it’s given me a bit more free reign to let go and kind of realise what I want to get out of a project – not just what the user wants.
One critical lesson this module has taught me is the essence of time and agile making. I’m a very slow person by nature. I generally dislike getting my hands dirty, yet when I do something, I let it take up all my time, in what is an immersive and sometimes laborious process. But having come back from MozFest at the weekend with a whole product needing to be made, I had to act fast, and I loved it. Usually, with such a tight deadline, the world will collapse around me and it will all go terribly, however the creation of this product has actually been a total joy, and I believe I’ve happily towed the line between speed and quality. What I realised most, however, is that a year ago, doing this would’ve taken me at least a week, as opposed to 3 full days work. I’m feeling more confident and in control from brief to brief.
Finally, this project has given me a really great insight into the world of creative technology. I feel that instead of my usual approach with problem solving, I am beginning to problem find – an important yet slight variation on my usual ways. This project has given me the courage to approach a problem or even vague idea and quickly find a compelling hook to catch onto. Because of the speed of this process – from utter cluelessness to carefully considered design solution – I want to dip my foot in the water more and experience more of the world of creative technology.