Saturday, December 5, 2009

Week 16 - Trajectories and Personas

Ok - the last chunk of reading - and hopefully an enjoyable set. Everyone should read the Crismond article and the Dorst/Lawson chapter on expertise that are already up on Blackboard. Crismond is speaking more to K-12 students, and the other chapter is speaking more to undergraduate and beyond. Read them from the perspective of trying to fill in some of the blanks from last week - about what changes as novices become experts. We had some hypotheses - how do these play out?

As for the last thing to read - you are to choose one of 2 chapters in Dorst/Lawson. One is speaking more to the "novice" (being a novice) end of the continuum, and one to the "professional end" (becoming a professional). Remember to tell each other which one you plan to read - and make sure that there are at least a couple people on each chapter. These are all easy reads :)

For our last class we're going to jump right into the idea of creating personas (there is an overview on Blackboard if you are interested). Personas are summaries of "typical" people - for us, typical design learners or designers. We'll work in pairs creating at least one persona of a typical learner or designer with a goal of using the persona as a way to synthesize what we understand about features of design knowing and learning - and then use the personas to imagine "if this person was in my classroom or workplace, what might I anticipate they would struggle with - and how might I help them learn or be a better designer?"

I should have the scanned pdf's of the last 2 chapters up on Blackboard soon - I have been having a problem with scanning them and should get it working soon.

12 comments:

AD said...

i'm going to read about being a professional

Kat said...

I am doing the novice

Kevin said...

novice for me

Bethany Fralick said...

Professional

Kevin said...

I thought Crismond did a good job detailing the general differences between novices and experts in Table 2. I would be particularly interested in what weights various experts would give to the different rows (strategies). For instance, if we could get our students to move from the novice column to the expert column for only three strategies, what skills should we focus on and how can we teach these skills? Furthermore, should we be teaching general design strategies in a separate course for undergraduates, incorporated into an existing introductory course in engineering, or just count on multiple faculty members incorporating and reiterating such strategies in each of their engineering courses?

Kat said...

I will stay to waht was the most "surprising" thing of the readings this week. I think what made me think the most (and still have not decided if i agree or not) was Dorst's idea to claim that "consumers are designers, because of the everyday choises they make". I know that market is ONE of the final users but am still struggling with whether we should follow the consumers' choices.. or if we should try to "train" them in making better choices that expert designers aprove for various reasons.

michihcim said...

Novices+1

tforin said...

professional

Laura said...

I also liked the table in Crismond that summarized the differences between novices and experts. We've been reading so much about these differences that it was nice to see it presented in such an organized way. I also liked some points in the Dorst Chapter 3. Particularly the Dreyfus and Dreyfus quote on the front that says if an expert is asked to recall rules they're using, they will usually state rules learned in school that aren't even applicable anymore. It makes sense to teach "rules" to novices in order to introduce them to design - but in actuality, these rules aren't necessarily going to be applicable or helpful in real design problems. This made me think - are there generic rules or ideas that could be taught and still be applicable to real-world design situations? Which sort of goes along with is there a way to "better" teach design? Or, maybe there is just a way to better phrase expertise that could be teachable?

AD said...

I am usually not a fan of these literature review sort of papers (Crismond), but this one has been very beneficial. It is nice to read through the citations and realize that we have read many of these papers and now they're organized in a much more accessible manner. This was a good way for me to organize 15 weeks of confusion.
One take away I will mention here is that I think to become an expert you need experience, but not necessarily in the fashion we might immediately think. Real-life practice is one thing, but when we do research and talk to peers, we are learning from the experience of others in order to bolster our own design capabilities. So watching a documentary about a failed bridge, or reading about some unexpected consequence of a design in a book, or exchanging stories with a peer, all build that experience.

tforin said...

I'm a little confused on the Personas article. I'm having trouble trying to find the use for the program. Can you account for all the users of your design? I liked how they used anti-personas as well as normal personas to help with their design, but aren't all these already present in the mind of a designer?

X said...

Yes - designers should have this in their minds already - but do they?

The purpose of personas is to make explicit assumptions designers have about the people they are designing for. In other words - help make tacit knowledge explicit :)