Mira Kirvesmaki

Design with heart

Critical reflection

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As a continuation from my previous post where I looked at what I’ve learned it is now time to take a moment and look back on the journey that got me here.

My project has been very much people centered from the beginning. The starting point was to take a topic and explore it through engaging with people and through that find an insight or problem around which a concept could be developed. After some initial exploration I decided on good deeds and the connection between people that can ensue from doing good deeds as my broad topic to explore. I conducted several interviews, experiments and an observation as well as did some desk research into the topic. One of my favourite parts of the process was when I had gathered all of these materials together and was able to then dissect them and pull them apart to reveal several insights. I then took these insights and brainstormed and ideated around them actually generating several feasible concepts. I shifted through these ideas using SWOT analysis and dot voting to determine which one fitted my needs and wishes best. The really scary part of the process was not having the concept until halfway through the project. This was by design, it was the process I wanted to follow, but I still wasn’t fully prepared for the pressure that came from that uncertainty.

After arriving at a concept I started testing out the possible design solutions for it. I went through several prototypes and especially found the experience prototype I conducted extremely useful. The feedback I got from it had a huge influence on the final design decisions made and the direction the project took. Along the way I had to make some hard decisions that shaped the project as from the beginning I had wanted to design something quite compact and in a way simple. This was so that I would actually have the space to craft it and to have the possibility to go through the full design process, without having to skip stages because of time constraints.

The final stages of the project were more to do with the design and technology aspects of the project. I experienced several hick-ups with the technology. I decided to implement the project as a web based application as the skills associated with that were more attuned to what I wanted to learn. From the beginning I was gearing the project towards an iPhone application as it was a clear gap in my portfolio. The final product, Bound, allows a small circle of loved ones to connect to each other. The main insight that led me to this concept was that in order to do a good deed you first need to become aware that there is a need for one in the first place. And more often than not we aren’t actually aware how our loved ones are doing, especially if not living under the same roof. Bound was conceived to combat this and allows people to share how their day went with others as well as respectively see how their loved ones are doing.

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