Week 7 Reading Response: Jonas Löwgren and Erik Stolterman, Thoughtful Interaction Design

This chapter talks about the design process of a ‘thoughtful designer’ and how they could essentially change the society in many different ways. It talks specifically about digital artefact, which they narrowed down to those that relates directly to humans. More than once, the author mentioned that designers should be responsible for their design. Indeed, it is important that a designer fulfils their clients’ requirements when tackling design problems, however, they should not forget about the bigger picture and context of the problem too. At times, designer have to take into consideration of many societal factors while designing a practical and user centric product. The designer will have to incorporate their design process with the various social norms and context in their design, only when these factors are recognised and inculcated in the final product, will the product be well-accepted and useful to the targeted users.

Thoughtfully designed user experience:

  1. Whole Foods Market online ordering
Credits: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/f/f3/Whole_Foods_Market_logo.svg/1200px-Whole_Foods_Market_logo.svg.png

While on my exchange, I came across many online shopping services. Out of the many online services that I had experienced, Whole Foods online grocery shopping experience left a deep impression on me. I decided to categorise this as an example of thoughtfully designed user experience as it went beyond providing the usual click and purchase shopping service just like any other companies. After the grocery list was submitted, it allows communication between the customer and their shopper. At times when a certain product was out of stock, customers would be notified immediately and given a choice to replace the product with their competitor brands. This was something I had not seen in any other online shopping portal such as RedMart or Walmart. This feature provided a personal service effect for the user. Online shoppers are able to personally make decisions on unforeseen situations in their grocery shopping even when they are not physically present at the shop.


2. Lyft

Credits: https://2ecyvk3piszv4e6gv2yz9867-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/How-lyft-works.jpg

Lyft is a 3rd party application to similar to Grab and Uber. Users are able to order a ride on the interface using their smartphones. Its main features are more or less similar to their competitors, however, they had an additional function to tip the driver. Although this might be a redundant feature in countries such as Singapore where tipping is not common, it is very practical for Lyft which is rampant in the United States. United States takes giving gratuity as a form of appreciation to those that serve them in any type of service. It is customary to tip even taxi drivers who send you to your destination. However, drivers under Uber won’t get tipped so frequently, as passengers usually pay their fare by card based on the sole distance they travelled. With Lyft, drivers’ benefit are taken care of, passengers can tip a standard sum of money to exceptional drivers on top of their distance fare. Although this may not seem to benefit the passengers directly, it actually motivates drivers under Lyft to improve their service during the trip. Certain drivers even go to the distance of putting snacks on the car for their passengers to snack on during the journey. All in all, the trip become more comfortable and pleasant for the passenger and the drivers are willing to provide better service for incentives. This improves the journey experience under Lyft for both the drivers and the users.

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