The Design Process: Empathy Phase, Part II

    Fellows are engrossed in a detailed study of each phase of the Design Cycle.  Students deepened their understanding of the empathy stage through studying and practicing the art of interviewing.

    Blog post by Connor Holland, ’19

    Over the past few weeks, the EDI Fellows have been tackling the interview portion of the design process. During this time, each fellow was tasked with interviewing 1-2 students and/or faculty members to gain a further understanding of how to improve the systems they were working on. The Ingresses and Egresses team, which consists of Kevin, Patrick, and Sebastian, chose to interview a wide array of people from the community about the entryways around the Norfolk Academy. The Refectory Team, which consists of Frances, Nathan, and Connor, interviewed a teacher, as well as one student from each division (Lower, Middle, and Upper). Having conducted these interviews, they gained a better understanding of how people felt about the traffic flow in Norfolk Academy’s hectic lunch room.

    The interviewees were chosen by the fellows in order to gain a perspective from each age group, as people of different ages often have various patience levels. This is important to ensure that any potential solutions will benefit all users as opposed to just the age group of the designer. Then, each fellow created a list of questions to bring up during their discussions. These were based primarily on understanding how the faulty systems affected the people using them and their emotions. Through these conversations, most of the interviewers found that people have varying amounts of passion about the same subject. While some had strong opinions, others simply didn’t seem to care or be overly affected by any of the issues. With this process completed, the fellows will now turn their attention to the problem definition phase. This will force them to narrow in on a specific problem that they would like to tackle.

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