Ash at CIID

Ashwin Rajan's blog while at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design.

Posts Tagged ‘insights

Brainstorming Based On Insights From Interviews – Intel

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Continuing notes on the Intel-CIID industry project. The following are some of the user quotes from feedback obtained via remote online interviews, on the issue of sustainability by energy efficiency practices.

  • “Long term costs of managing residences …. now seem to equal or out-weight cost of acquisition”
  • “I think it (energy efficiency) is a good concept for the future. But, wondering how this issue effects my current life… ”
  • “We need to get used to ‘self-sufficiency.”
  • “A thinking generation could make this (sustainable energy efficiency) work.”
  • “Costs for water, public lighting, lifts (elevators), and washing clothes can be shared among (residential) communities.”
Concepts from brainstroming

Concepts from brainstroming

At this point, we had spent a few continuous days in near proximity of users, hearing them out. So we thought it was a good point to zoom out a bit and identify dominant patterns in the thinking of our users. The idea behind this was to move away from the exact thoughts as verbalized by users, and carry those concerns forward to ‘open up’ the domain of opportunity for design.


To do this, the team used the quotes and resulting insights collected as inspiration for a series of  brainstorming sessions. The sessions were driven and managed by CIID and Intel faculty Vinay Venkatraman and Jay Melican, and consisted of a series of exercises with different goals. Switching to a ‘studio’ mindset, members from across the project class circulated between teams and helped put up ideas on walls by the dozen (and this is such an effective way of capturing the skills and perspectives of members across the studio). We were looking for associations, hidden meanings, metaphors, anything – however literal, visual, conceptual or semantic – that would help us move from the realm of concrete concerns into the domain of inspired insight. Here are some images from the brainstorming sessions.


Written by Ashwin Rajan

May 16, 2009 at 11:43 am

Two Models of the Design Process

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Bill Verplank drew for us his comprehensive yet concise model of what constitutes the process of design, in his Open Lecture at CIID a few weeks ago. This is very comprehensive and scalable model for approaching just about the entire spectrum of interaction design challenges in particular.

Beginning with the ‘motivations’ for design, the model traces progressive development into creating ‘meanings’ for human beings via metaphors, on to defining the ‘modes’ of system behavior, and finally, making effective ‘mappings’ to the artifacts and controls that ultimately become tools of usage.

Amazing stuff!

Bill Verplank - the Design Process

A few weeks later, we had another model of the design process up on the wall – this time from Niels-Clausten Stuck. (Drawing from my notebook below). This model is comparatively much more generic than the earlier one, in that sense that it describes an effective approach to challenges across the design spectrum, from interaction and innovation to spaces, physical products and information.

Niels-Clausen Stuck - the Design Process

Niels traced the development of ‘user research data’ into informed ‘insights’, which in turn could be abstracted further to the level of ‘frameworks’ that define the opportunity/solution space for design. The dominant opportunities are then concretized into real-world solutions by developing a multitude of ‘concepts’, out of which are created select final ‘prototypes’ – the design solutions that live and perform in the hands of users.

This (second) model of the design process is also a great approach to looking at the focus areas and work of various types of global design/strategy/innovation consultancies – we CIID are learning from folks specializing in each or many of the different areas of the model. Yes, if I haven’t said it already – its great to be here!