Reflection – Dialogue in the dark

Briefly share your experience going through Dialogue in the Dark. What were some of the feelings, thoughts, challenges and insights gained while role playing a blind person?

This is my first time being to a place with 99% darkness. When I first entered the place, there were a lot of things going on my mind such as will I bump into the wall, what happen if I lose the person in front of me and many more. I was overthinking. But after few minutes of walking, I decided to let it go and just rely on whatever I touch and hear. The mindset is an important factor in helping me overcome the fear. 

After going through Dialogue in the Dark, my perspective have been shifted. We, as visual people, rely a lot on our visuals. Example, when we see a place from far, we can already know what is that place and what is happening there. Just with our visuals! But for people like Uncle Gary, who has been blind for years, has to analyse every single thing that he touches, hears and feels. Then he can conclude where he is and what is happening around him.

Hence, I feel that we take the small little things for granted around us. By playing a role of a blind person, it makes me realize that there are more than just visuals in our daily life. 

Drawing on your experience, can you think and list some of the benefits inherent in the design research technique of role playing?

  • Experience of user

By observing or putting ourselves in the user’s shoe, we are able to understand the challenges faced by the user. 

  • Talk, listen and understand the users and people around

People have their own point of view in certain things. By listening and understand to their concern, we can find the root cause of the issue. 

Can you think of some contexts where role-playing can be useful to help discover and define design challenges or contribute to the development of design solutions?

During research, role playing can help to understand the target audience better and hence getting more insights to defining the design challenge / issues that we want to tackle. 

During prototyping, role-playing can be useful to know whether the designs work for the users or not.