(6) a thoughtful designer

Reading: CH 1 from Jonas Löwgren and Erik Stolterman, Thoughtful Interaction Design

This chapter explores the qualities of being a thoughtful designer. A thoughtful designer is one who tackles the challenge of design with utmost care and concern and be reflective of the actions of the entire design process, or design knowledge construction.

One interesting point mentioned is that the design outcomes are mostly consequences of mistakes or lack of knowledge, and that the process of design and outcome can never be perfect. I feel that this is true as the whole process of design is rather complex and as designers, we may not be necessarily equipped with the required knowledge of smaller aspects within the whole structure of design. Point of reflection enables us as designers to reflect upon the entire process and probe further to tackle the unforeseen issues with better solutions, previously unknown to us. A good design as written in the chapter may not be reflected in any particular designs, but the courage to challenge constraints and one’s ability to grow.

As the chapter moves towards digital technology of which digital artefacts “without qualities” results. The challenge of digital technology is that the advancement of technology is evolving at a pace too rapid for reflection. It is mentioned that reflection is still essential as the designer upholds the ‘power to create’. I feel that this is true as the rapid advancement of technology has lead to a shortened shelf-life of digital artefacts, and that it will be rapidly become obsolete, replaced and forgotten. Mobile phones come to mind, with the permutations of countless models rapidly replaced within such a short timeframe. However, reflections have been evident too, such as creating a ‘newer version’ or through ‘updates’.

I have also learnt the scale and magnitude of a designer as responsibility is a core trait of a good designer. Whatever we design can have a bigger impact, and we have to be held responsible for what we design. The skills for design thinking is important to be integrated in our core, as designer. Interaction design is too becoming an integral part in design, and we too as designers have to integrate it into our design process, as well as look for methods and techniques to think about and reflect. I feel that design thinking as a process is nothing new as our journey as designers will have used some methods, but the core traits of being responsible is important to be instilled within us as designer.

Q1. The idea of a good design challenges the designer based on the process of critical thinking, but how much of the final design outcome plays a part in the judgement for good design?

Q2. In today’s advancement of technology, how much more of a digital artefact can be pushed to be utilised in today’s context?


Author: Heng Tong Foo

in pursuit of happiness.

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