Briefly share your experience going through Dialogue with Time. What were some of the feelings, thoughts, challenges and insights gained while role playing an elderly person?
Dialogue with Time is an interactive exhibition which allows visitors to understanding ageing with role-playing games and most importantly: a chance to communicate with a senior guide and understand how ageing process is on them. While role playing an elderly person, I understand worsening of physical health is a huge hindering in elderly lives. Elderly may have trembling and shaky hands, hearing loss, weaken bone structure, etc. Ageing, in my point of view, is trapping a soul in a weakened body. Elderly might want to run, hike and dance like the youth, but they cannot make it as body restrictions. Due to health condition, there is a higher need of financial support. Yet, if their children (or no child) are supporting them, they will need to work even at an old age. In an optimistic view of point, elderly lives is a period of time which an individual could fully enjoy and spend their time with their love ones, as they no longer have to take care of children and worry for work.
Drawing on your experience, can you think and list some of the benefits inherent in the design research technique of role playing?
“A Role Play is a type of prototyping or simulation technique that can help in quickly eliciting the user experience for a product or service from the target audience. ” Role-playing helps designer to get user insight and possibly data while putting himself/herself in a different perspective and context. This is when the designer put down stereotyping, pre-judgement and truly connect to the user’s (character’s) feelings and wear other’s shoes. Role-playing is beneficial as designer can quickly brainstorm ideas in user’s point of view and understand user’s difficulties when facing a certain scenario.
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?
Design thinking is a useful methodology to achieve creative problem solution. A very significant initial stage of design thinking is empathy. Empathy means perception taking and to connect your feeling with the targeted audience. Role-playing is useful as I can immerse into the character that I play, which allows me to view users and their behaviour in a closer perceptive and in the context of their lives. Through role-playing, I could relate to the character more psychologically by understanding what problems the group are facing. For example, in Dialogue with Time, I was given a chance to role-play as an elder and try to face daily task with a weakened physical. Before the experience, I know what is ageing and briefly know what kinds of daily problems elderly would face. Through the exhibit, I understand their problems in their perspective, instead of mine. I am not acting as a life saver when designing solution, but rare a ‘friend’ to solve friend’s problem, understanding their context, environment and feelings before trying to help them out. Some contexts would be: man try machine that creates sensation of Labour; ageing simulator suit, etc.