Jun 8, 2015

Posted by in Field visit day 1 | 0 Comments

Day 4: Highlights

-By Nirali Kansara and Mansi Singh



  • Conducted an activity: Observe , Engage and Try

o   Made a group of 2 people each- one was researcher and another one was subject.

o   Researcher had to ask different questions  to the subject about his/her  footwear.

o   Then ntresearcher observe the subject walk around in it.

o   Then researcher try the subject’s footwear.

o   Different perceptions came forward.

o   Idea was to tell that while designing a product accommodate the user’s need in the design.

  • Innovation: It begins with listening.(Listening with the whole being)

o   Research : Searching for some insights.

o   Understand:  Have a beginner’s mind to question and understand.

o   Improve:  Be open to change and modify one’s idea.



  • Razor Story: U.S. market  designed a razor for Indian men. They designed the product taking into consideration the following criteria:

o   Indian men have thicker hair .

o   Shave less frequency.

o   More concerned about not cutting themselves.

o   Would like an affordable solution.

  •   But the product didn’t do well. So people from U.S. came to India to understand the situation. When we get to natural settings (the real situation), it gives us better insights.
  • After visiting India, they came to see different scenarios like, man sitting on floor barefoot shaving in dim light. There was scarcity of  electricity and  water in many areas. This gave them better understanding and thus designed Gillette razor.
  • “ People don’t pay for technology. They pay for the solutions to their problems or for something they enjoy” –Dean Kamen.
  • Observations Challenge Assumptions: Natural setting give information about:

o   What people actually do (versus what they say)

o   What they filter out in interviews

o   What they themselves are unaware of.

So one has to be sensitive to see what people don’t say or are unaware of.

  • Observations Challenge Existing Theories: “ We figured that before we went ahead and applied technology to work, we had better have a clear understanding of exactly how people do things.”- John Seeley Brown.
  • Observations Lead To Insights: To have an insight of a situation, one need to have a clear , deep and meaningful perception into a particular design situation. For example, designing of playback headphone tape.


  • Example of how a design can change cultural life of a community: 1993 earthquakes in Latur led to redesigning of the village.

o   Houses follow the ‘grid’ patterns, very different from the ‘cluster’ seen in most villages.

o   ‘In our old village, the market place was at the heart of village. Our social customs compel people to come and meet and greet. Now, people have grown apart’, said one of the residents.

o   People who live in these buildings can’t use traditional chulhas to cook food because it blackens the wall with soot.

o   Hardly any space to keep agricultural supplement.

o   Thus, cultural life was people  was affected drastically.

  • Don’t Jump The Rungs!!! : Forming judgements in the initial stage can lead to wrong design. The sequence of approach can lead to different outcomes. The following sequence gives better insights-

o   Observations

o   Inference/Interpretation



  • The Product Ecosystem: While designing a product, following things are important for frugal innovation-

o   Settings

o   Is the product used for other things?

o   Multiple life cycle of the product


  • Ethical Concerns:

o   Informed Consent (trust)

o   Privacy(respect)

o   Harm (safety)

o   Exploitation(intent)



o   Requires longer and deeper engagement to understand what is the  meaningful thing they want.

o   Priority Needs: Even if the problems we focus on are not the priority needs of the user but still make a difference (positive) on their lives, it’s worth doing.

o   To understand the user and its needs, it is important to build rapport and trust (requires time).

o   Always be transparent to the user. They should be aware of why we are doing it. At the same time, we should covey that our purpose is not just to know about their problems   but to even learn from them.

o   Beauty , poverty and happiness can co-exist.





  • Generative Research :  To inspire new ideas and provide context for existing ones. It is basically discovering problem and begin forming a rough sketch of the direction in which one is willing to work. It include literature review of existing solutions and also thinking from a new perspective.


  • Human Centred Design Tool Kit :







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