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Integ121exercises | Exercise Observation

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Designers Notice Things

  • Reading from Glimmer, page 21
  • Driving through Phillipsburg

A Bad Observational Example:

  • There was a guy. He did some stuff with some things. It was quick.

A Better Observational Example

  • This woman was carrying coffee when she approached the door. She moved the coffee to her left hand so she could grab the door handle with her right hand. She stepped back as she pulled the handle, and turned to walk around the now open door. The coffee entered first, and she held the door back with her right hand as she passed through. When she let go of the door, she switched the coffee back to her right hand. She sipped the lid of the cup to drink a bit of splashed coffee.

Necessary Detail? Or when isn't it?

  • woman
  • carrying coffee
  • pull door
  • hand switch
  • back step
  • hand switch
  • sipped spill
  • ...

Unnecessary Detail? Or could it be?

  • dress colour
  • coffee brand
  • shoe style
  • ...

Another Designerly Observation

They replaced the three main entrance doors on Environment 1. They appeared uniformly clean until the first real snowfall, then I noticed that there were grey streaks on the hinge sides of the two right-hand doors. I wondered how the marks got there. A manufacturing process? Something to do with the installation of the hinges? But why would it only affect the two right-hand doors? While pondering, my question was answered by a man who walked up the stairs, opened the left-hand door, and kicked the salty slush from his boots against the lower stile of the adjacent, centre door—something that must happen to the centre and right-hand doors whenever someone uses the left-hand or centre door. I began to wonder about the effect of salty slush on the shiny new hinges, then started to understand why they needed to replace the old doors in the first place, and will eventually need to replace them again.

Your Assignment -- Observe Something

  • Observe and document with as much detail as is necessary:
    • Who -- I saw six people
    • What -- unloading boxes from a car trunk
    • When -- last Friday around 4:35
    • Where -- at the bus stop by South Campus Hall.
    • How -- They were passing them from person to person
    • Why -- so they wouldn't have to keep stepping into the slush.

Questions?

Author: -- pdmckone@uwaterloo.ca - 21 Dec 2009 %SLIDYEND%