Post 9—Thoughts on on collaborative mapping & brainstorming

As discussed in post 8 I created a problem statement which then informed a collaborative brainstorming session for a design response to the issue of online privacy and data collection. Throughout the course of the class my problem statement began evolving with input from other group members—that was a good indication that it needed to be strengthened and refined to assist my progress.

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Strengths 

Collaborative brainstorming is very useful because it allows you to loosen up your ideas. I found that as a group of four we could approach my problem space from very different angles yet still find something to agree on. We allowed ourselves to get a bit silly and lost during this process and discuss/write down ludicrous design responses (e.g. a speedboat driving around Sydney harbour covered in hashtags). Looking at our ideas from the outside it might seem like a waste of time but it got me to think outside the box of an “app” which is the generic idea that comes to mind for any design response. Our group also had a member from another social issue so it was refreshing to hear her thoughts on how my problem statement could be addressed. It was really good to start working in a specific problem space and speculating on design outcomes, in previous sessions I found that certain parts of the mind mapping exercise became dry and demotivating because they were so heavily research based.

Weaknesses

Reflecting on not just this weeks class, but also previous sessions there felt like a lack of guidance from tutors—mostly due to the large class sizes and time constraints. It would have helped shape our problem statements more accurately if we could have engaged in small discussions with tutors. Despite moving into some specificity I left feeling overwhelmed at the possibilities that we had just discussed as a group. As the whole subject has felt quite vague so I believe it is crucial to debrief—when possible—before moving too far ahead in a misleading direction. It would’ve been handy to revisit everyones initial ideas as a group once they had developed it further and create another map with even more specificity. It would’ve been more beneficial to my time if I had put more consideration into framing our group discussion around service design, a generative system or a visualisation rather than just blurting out anything that came to mind. I had to revisit the map and turn all the silly ideas into something more sensible. None the less it was an experience which has helped to inform my research process.

by Samson Ossedryver

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