Category Archives: Assignment Week 7 + 8

Assignment Week 7 and 8 (part 2 and part 3)

Find 3 examples of a product/project that you think are good examples of thoughtfully designed user experience. Be prepared to support your choices.

The examples stated below are ones which are present in local context. They are products and services which I feel have contribute to a positive personal experience thus far:) I feel that how thoughtfully designed a product/ project is could be rather subjective as we all have our different needs and preferences.

Example 1:

Facebook Messenger

Features of Facebook Messenger:

Personal uses:

  • keep in touch with close friends
  • send documents



Reasons for why it is more thoughtfully designed:

  • easily accessible (available on different operating systems, and laptop/ phone)
  • more expressive than usual messaging services like Whatsapp and Telegram – through their “stickers”(which are also updated now and then)
  • makes for a more interesting conversation
  • more privacy (does not require the phone number)
  • not affected by the change in number/ phone, easy to connect to friends overseas
  • simple and clean colours, easy to learn functions

Example 2:

Ion mall toilets at Orchard Road



Reasons for why it is more thoughtfully designed:

  • consistently maintained. and also has many cubicles which lessens the wait
  • many added features (such as seat sanitisers/ paper napkins/ automated soap dispenser/ tap which are fuss-free)
  • combines all these functions with interior design (such as warm lighting and neutral colours)- to create a more peaceful environment, a momentary sense of calm amidst the shopping frenzy
  • contributes to a better shopping/ working experience
  • “Of the three shopping malls, ION Orchard is rated best for its overall design and concept such as a dressing table for the ladies and well-groomed restroom cleaners who are service-orientated. Orchard Central is rated best for providing restroom facilities for the physically disabled while 313@somerset is rated best for baby-nursing facilities.”  (


Example 3:

Toastbox (bugis junction) pager for food collection


The image on the left is from a different restaurant but it is the exact shape used in Toastbox’s outlet at Bugis. The usual pager/ buzzer used to notify customers to collect their food is depicted on the right.

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Reasons for why it is more thoughtfully designed:

  • smaller and less intrusive
  • lighter and easier to hold
  • the red lights blink a longer while before the pager actually vibrates – less shock
  • less intense buzzing, but enough to be noticeable


Image references:

Facebook Messenger:

Toastbox Pager:–toast-box-golden-lava-french_t2c96d1d7.jpg


Start to work on final project proposals – prepare three ideas for a screen-based experience that you’d like to create (it can be speculative). Prepare a slide show to illustrate your ideas. The ideas can be based on any of the field trips done so far or can be something completely new.

Idea 1: The Public Whiteboard

  • inspired by the demonstration booths at stores, the pen testing areas in a stationary store
  • instead of using phones while waiting, this board allows more interaction between strangers around, without the intimidating need to talk (since we are a relatively introverted lot)
  • instinctively want to write/ draw/ see what others have written
  • not permanent (“whitewashed”after it is full) and can also be translucent?
  • public exchange of ideas, expression of thoughts, publicly
  • also inspired by the message wall in a Taipei paper museum where people leave notes in exchange for another and also “thebandofdoodlers“group (but the ordinary public cannot participate, only as spectators)
  • also referenced from the experience of drawing on condensation on glass walls
  • can freely collaborate and continue a story or an artwork/doodle
  • Limitations: fragility, abuse, vulgarity, hygiene:depends on location?



Idea 2: Virtual cage

  • a cube with six screens, with each depicting a part of the cage: like in reality
  • can design your own cage/ tank for any small animal and observe their interactions. Mimics real life but encourages creativity
  • allows the users to develop responsibility (taking care of the animals)
  • incorporates a hint of fantasy: e.g. hamster can walk on all sides of the cage. Shaking a tank causes a tornado. Can install updates to further enhance the programme, to refresh the experiences. Can observe this little pet wherever you may be
  • reminiscent of tamagotchi.
  • “thinking inside the box”- size and shape does not constrain us.



Idea 3: Smart Fridge

  • fully transparent doors allow users to write notes and to point out any item’s expiry date- less food wastage, perhaps a reminder once near expiry (fridge can detect: similar to Samsung’s smart fridge)
  • or to label if an item belongs to a specific person
  • leaving a message, writing a recipe or menu
  • transparent (can see straight away what items are in the fridge: no need waste money and time opening the fridge)



Image reference:

Assignment Week 7 and 8 (part 1 and part 4)

Response to: Designing for the digital age by Kim Goodwin, Chapter 1

It was at first confounding to be suddenly introduced to a plethora of terms which are not exactly profound, yet placed in an unfamiliar context. Terms such as “principles”, “patterns”, etc are given a more concise and specific definition, focussing more on the design process. I find these very useful and easy to understand after the author systematically listed out and categorised each step of the process. The vocabulary used became more meaningful.

It is also heartening and reassuring to know that the framework provided is an open guide where other approaches can be supplementary. It does not seek to constrain the creative mind authoritatively and this approach encourages a more conducive environment which I feel designers (or people in general) would appreciate.

With so many approaches available, I do agree with the author’s company about having goal-achievement as the main direction. She goes on to provide a breakdown (e.g. research, modelling, requirement and so on) of the methodology they apply in design and stressing that it is a versatile approach. I also appreciate the simpler words used to elaborate her points.

Question 1: It also makes me wonder if all these keywords and terms being used should always be defined by designers during their work with clients?

All these makes me curious about what methodologies other design companies apply and whether they are also successful. It was also interesting that the author placed as much emphasis on the types of people involved, how their work ethic and attitude play a key role in the design process. And as stated in the reading, a considerable amount of time is already required to implement a good design practice.

If the people involved are highly important—

Question 2:  Is there a sure way to cultivate a conducive work environment? Will this in turn help in the process of implementing a better design practice?

Reflection about “Future World”


Watching children interact with the exhibits and observing people spending a few seconds in front taking a picture and then walking off gives the impression that “Future World” is merely an exhibit for pure entertainment. Or perhaps it is under-appreciated due to the lack of a proper guide for the general public. The lights and colours were distracting at first and it made me ponder about the purpose of each exhibit. On further reading about the concept of Teamlab as well as having a friendly guide during our visit, I could understand the purpose a little more. They also stemmed from the pictorial representation of traditional Japanese arts and was very much inspired by nature.

Initially, it seemed ironic that all the nature (flowers, fish, etc) were trapped by the flat screens and walls. It seemed to emulate nature but still possessed a two-dimensional quality. Contrast this with the real vastness and ever-changing (and interactive) nature out there for everyone to enjoy and embrace. After knowing about the underlying concept of the exhibits, I found it meaningful the digital media was utilised to help reconnect users to nature, and also be a point of interaction between strangers and friends. Could this spur people to re-immerse themselves back in nature, to be more experimental and not be limited by the barriers of screens? Stated in the Teamlab website is this- “by creating an interactive relationship between the viewer and the artwork, viewers become an intrinsic part of the artworks.” I agree that being inside the digital media itself is a new and wonderful experience! 


Crystal Universe: