Week 1 Updates #Designerfromscratch

Week 1 Updates: #Designerfromscratch


Time spent studying the course: 2h 52m

Course completion: 8%, Lesson 1 and 2.

Course Stats 9-5-2019
Course Stats 9-5-2019

Key takeaway

Design thinking is a methodology which can be used to solve complex problems.

The core of design thinking is about empathizing with the target audience. The target audience can be you or anyone else.

Design thinking is also about challenging your assumptions, questioning them and thinking of solutions that might not have appeared before applying it.

Design thinking helps us spend more time in the problem space rather than simply jumping into the solution.

Course roadmap update

I didn’t know that IDF releases lessons every week and I have to wait for 1 day for the next lesson and this way the roadmap has to be changed.

Now, the idea is to complete the human-centered design course which I have left somewhere at 82%. So, will do that tomorrow.

How was the first day?

I am glad that I was able to comfortably put more than 2h without getting distracted and that’s probably because of the first-day enthusiasm.

I hope that I would be able to continue the momentum as today but whatever happens, will be updated right here. So, stay tuned in.


Time spent studying the course: 2h 55m

Course completion: Submitted all the assignments and reviewed submissions of fellow students.

Coursera Course 10-05-2019

So, learning and studying were a little sporadic today. Couldn’t focus on things in one go.

So, today I revisited and completed the assignment of the coursera course by Scott Klemmer named Human Centered Design.

I interviewed my friend Ashish for the assignment and completed two storyboards which were due for the assignment.

As I have mentioned that I had already finished 76% of the course, just some readings and assignments were left, so finished it.

I also revisited my course notes and here are the key takeaways that I can draw from that.

Key Takeaways

Prototypes are questions and in design, you are encouraged to ask a lot of them.

As stated in the course,

The prototype enables designers to test their hypothesis and the rights of a prototype are:


  • Should not be required to complete.
  • Should be easy to change.
  • Gets to retire.

I also, figured out that good design is not a job, it’s a responsibility.

While revisiting, I had a chance to go through the things that need to be taken care of, in the time of need finding.

The key takeaway in that is,

“You can observe a lot just by watching.”

Also, see this:

  • Pay attention to all the artifacts.
  • Look for workarounds and hacks.
  • “Errors” are a goldmine.

And while interviewing avoid asking leading or close-ended questions.

Storyboarding is one other thing which is used to convey the idea or to give context to the solution.

Though, “the wizard of oz” technique didn’t appeal me much.

And the key highlight of the course was Heuristic Evaluation. This technique is supremely powerful to test your solutions for usability and other issues.

It was developed by Jacob Nielsen and it has some 10 heuristics based on which you can avoid some common mistakes on your solution.

You can find the 10 heuristics here and this article will give you a fair understanding of how it should be conducted, practically.

So, yeah. That’s it for the day and the IDF course Lesson 2 will get unlocked tomorrow. So, will be continuing with that from tomorrow.


Time spent studying the course: 47m

Course completion: 9%, Lesson 2.1 and 2.2

Course stats 12-05-2019
Course stats 12-05-2019

So, I couldn’t do much today as I went to a design event which was organized by IDF Bangalore in association with Thoughtspot. It was about designing for data and AI.

I have already written the blog post for that and will share the link once the proofreading is done.

The key highlights of today’s learning are as follows:

Key Takeaways

There are different models for implementing design thing but the one that is being taught in the IDF course follows the following.

 Empathise -> Define -> Ideate -> Prototype -> Test 

It is done in a non-linear fashion.

I am not getting into the details and definitions of each one of these but one thing that needs to be understood is this:

The design thinking process is iterative and focused on collaboration between designers and users.

Also, in the empathizing stage, do consider extreme users. Though they might be few in numbers but they can provide excellent insights that other users may simply be unprepared to disclose.

And yeah, that’s pretty much it.

I’ll try to finish Lesson 2 tomorrow. Let’s see if I can do it or not.


Time spent studying the course: 1h 33m

Course completion: 17%, Lesson 2 complete.

Course stats 13-05-2019

So, this entire lesson was about different stages of the design process in details.

They gave guidelines and best practices for each stage and that was insightful.

They also had sections where things were mentioned about various activities that can be conducted in order to deduce results from each of the stages.

Since the next lesson will be available in 5 days, what I am thinking is to apply all of the learnings so far in a project and put it out there. That way, it will be beneficial and time will be utilized more effectively.

Also, I have to redo one of the assignments of the human-centered design course from coursera as I did not get the minimum marks to go through. So, that thing is also in the pipeline.

So, the action items are:

  1. Redo the assignment.
  2. Pick up a design challenge and apply design thinking.

And yeah, that’s pretty much it.


Time spent: 24m

The only thing that I did was to redo the assignment of the coursera course and no such design learning today.

I am guilty that I am not able to keep up the pace but will surely try to get back on track.


Time Spent: 1h 31m + 1h 36m (Not entirely design focused)

So, today was one hell of a productive day. I wonder how much difference waking up early can make in your life.

Anyway, so here is what I was able to accomplish:

So, I decided to pick up the E-learning platform challenge from uplabs and apply design thinking on that.

The first stage is empathizing and I went through the course material again to decide on the action items and here are those:

  1. Photo and video – user based stories
  2. Personal photo and video journals
  3. Interviews.
    i) One on one interviews
    ii) Survey form
  4. Bodystorming.

So, these will be activities I’ll be conducting in the next two days before I’ll move on to the define phase.

I am documenting the entire process of going through this challenge and I’ll update that as a case study.

Here is one interesting read that I found about interviewing users, go have a look.


Time Spent: 3h 22m 

So, I clocked in one of the most productive days in the week and here is what I was able to accomplish:

  1. Prepared questionnaire for interviews
  2. Took two one on one interviews
  3. Made a survey form and floated it around. As of writing this, it has garnered 9 responses.

And now some good news that I have already shared on LinkedIn.

  1. The coursera course got finished and I received the certificate as well. Just in case if grade matters, it is 92.7%.
  2. My blog post got published in interaction design foundation medium publication. Check here.

Talking about the action items for tomorrow which also marks the beginning of a new week, here is what I have thought to do:

  1. Asking some users to do photo and video journaling.
  2. Will try to conduct one more user interview.
  3. Maximizing participation in the survey form.

Once that is done, the idea is to draw some insights from the collected data.

And yeah, that’s pretty much it.

See you in the next blog post.

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