UNTAPPING YOUR IMAGINATION WITH USER EXPERIENCE

1g0a7505By Daniel Koublachvili, Bachelor of Advertising and Media

I have to say Sam Court’s UX course has started the Macleay year on a high! Instead of the traditional classroom setup, Sam invited us to have our lessons at The White Agency, helping to give us exposure to industry professionals like himself as he talked through all the nitty-gritty components in UX Design. ALSO Ping-Pong ladies and gentlemen, Ping-Pong!

I’ve always wanted to learn about UX Design and honestly had no idea what it really was and what goes into – I just assumed it was the concept of graphic design. Oh how very wrong of me, it’s much more than that.

Sam started by essentially teaching us how to think about UX Design. A great example is a technique called crazy 8s, which is a process that makes you create eight unique ideas in the space of five minutes. Not only that but you share your ideas to the class, and they take what ideas they like from you and you take what ideas you like from them. 

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The White Agency

It’s cool because you evolve from the core of your idea and merge with other people’s ideas – #appropriation at it’s finest. You go and go, keeping it all really simple and visual by sketching (low-fi). I didn’t realise how well this process would originally work, but it’s kind of like stretching before a work out – you find your mind warming up to creativity and then BAM! Here comes all that creativity you had locked inside.

Taking the thinking process further in regards to UX really truly amazed me. We got asked a simple question that stated; think of how many ways you could use this paperclip. Seems simple enough just write down how many ways you could use this paperclip. Now, depending on how many answers you came up with shows your ability of divergent thinking. The result with this test is that a pre-school kid will score a higher result in the test versus a high school student, due to a child being able to use his imagination to his absolute will.

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Advertising student Nathan Sarmiento and Sam Court

What does this have to do with UX? Well because a high school student becomes more educated he will know the uses of a paperclip, and simply state it’s uses, but a child thinks of endless boundaries. So in regards to UX you want to be able to do both, be a divergent thinker and a convergent thinker all in one.

You start with your ideas and think about a problem, make the longest list of all of your ideas using your imagination to your hearts content then push the boundaries of what’s there and say “what’s not”? Then simply converge these ideas, narrow them down to its purest solution and address the problem you are trying to solve. So to address my earlier statement, no it’s not like graphic design.

We were stunned when hearing that we were Sam’s first class, it feels honestly feels like the man has been teaching for years. There is still more to come from this class seeing as the trimester isn’t over. I can’t wait to present my final assessments with the rest of class and show off all that creative thinking.

Daniel is currently studying the Bachelor of Advertising and Media. The User Experience class is taught by Sam Court, Head of Experience Design at The White Agency.

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