Reading Response 2: Jan Chipchase, Hidden In Plain Sight Chap 5- Calibrating your cultural compass

Reading this chapter reminded me that a successful design in one context may be a failure in another. A good design solution is one that meets the needs of the people in that particular context or region not one that was previously used in other context and does not fit in the contextual situation of the current target audience. With frequent travels in the recent years, I came to understand these concepts better. Take for example, methods used to encourage recycling in the US, can be vastly different from Taiwan but they are successful in bringing up recycling rates in their respective countries. Yet, we cannot force feed these methods into Singapore context, resulting in constant low recycling rates in our nation despite decade long recycling programmes.

To tackle such problems, Chipchase suggest design researchers to observe and immerse themselves in the daily lives of the targeted audience. Only when thorough analysis had been done, will designers be able to grasp the nuances of a possible design solution for the selected group of users and only then will there be a chance that a good design solution will be found.



  1. Are there specific traits to be observed in people that could bring out information on the society norms and personal habits.
  2. Once the data are collected, how will it be analysed to deduce a list of conclusion based on the given context?

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