Referral Report



To enrich visitor’s experience in Southampton City Art Gallery, I chose 3 IDEO methods to make a research of visitors in the gallery. They are Secondary Research, Survey & Questionnaires, and Behavioral Mapping.

Firstly, I used the “secondary research” method to start my research. I got some basic information on this gallery from their website. For example, opening time, address, activities, and current exhibitions.

When I went to this gallery, I visited it by myself at first. I had a general sense of this gallery from some aspect like the space layout of the gallery, equipment & facilities and navigation system. I found there is a very popular exhibition hold on recently: the zebra exhibition. I am guessing may be lots of visitors are coming for this. Then I used the “Behavioral Mapping” method by starting observing visitors’ behavior. From their visiting routine to their movement, I draw a simple behavior map after that. I found that most of the visitors will take a photo of zebras. And some of the visitors were really enjoyed with exhibits. There is another type of visitors who come with friends. I think there are more than one type of visitors in this gallery.

Then I start doing “Survey & Questionnaires”. I have done 30 questionnaires which collected users’ background in the gallery. When visitors finished the questionnaires, I always made a short interview with them. And I found lots of things I can’t know by observing. After interviewing them, I got visitors’ true feeling, thinking, motivation, needs and pain points. Then I understand which type of users they are. It can be divided into four types of visitors: who only come for zebras; who enjoyed with art, who work with art and tourists. This is very helpful for my persona and user experience map.

Finally, I organized these research data and use it to make four personas and a user experience map.


questionnaires & behavior mapping

take photo with zebra

watching exhibits

leaflets in the gallery

workshop in the corner





WEEK32-Final Report

There are 4 briefs in this design 2 module. I have completed 2 group works and 2 individual works in this semester. After finished a series of practice-led research work in this semester, I understand this design 2 module is a preparation for final project. Although I felt difficult in this semester, but l really learnt new knowledge from each task.

Digital cities

In this section, I followed 5C Model to start this task and made a data wall, zine, story board and a 1-min film. Firstly, by making the zine, I learnt how to organize information and generate content of our research. Secondly, I learnt about critical design theory. I understood that design is not only about making thing beautiful, it is about doubt and challenging assumptions, generating questions, making problems and framing problems sometimes. (Dunne & Raby, 2013) I understood why we were asked to poke our system. I think it is about let us to imaging how our system could be in most evil way and to help us design better. After that, we showed our critical thinking in the last film task.

Data visualization

In this section, I made two installations and a poster about data visualization. I learned a lot in this stage. One thing is collaboration. After reading Tim Brown’s T-Shape Theory: “empathy allows people to imagine the problem from another perspective to stand in somebody else’s shows”, l learned how to collaborate and communicate better with my group. Having reflected on this, I listened and considered my partner’s ideas when we were in discussion. I gave my thoughts which build on their ideas after that. I think it is really helpful for a team work. Another thing is about data visualization. After made two installation of data visualization, I learned data visualization is not about how beautiful it looks like or only present data in a visual way, instead, it is about can they quickly and clearly communicate with people and whether audiences are able to understand the information easily. Having reflected on this, I tried to make my poster as simple as possible and have a story to tell.

Collect: project mapping

In this section, my task is to collect materials to start my final project. This is the first stage in 5C Model theory and I think this is really an important stage for the whole project. I started research from some aspects. (eg. Journal, article, news, design website, design project…) I also used some research methods to do a primary research. Research methods helped me find problem and paper articles can support my question. But I think I have not done enough research. I need to use more research methods to do the research.

Comprehend: remix research magazine

In this section, I have made a research magazine by comprehending materials that I collected. Although I have done a small zine in brief 1, it was still a little hard for me to start because of the big topic and plenty of materials. However, after I made a page plan and started to review materials, I found this step can help me to sort out my thoughts and review my thinking process. After editing this magazine, I understand it is necessary to generate a content and make it easy to communicate with audiences. I think this learning will help me to continue editing this magazine better in the future.


Overall, in this semester, I followed practice-led research theory and I learned a lot by doing these 4 briefs. I think what I learned in this semester will be very useful for my future work, for example: critical thinking, data visualization, collaboration and research methods. I also will follow 5C Model theory in my future project. In addition, I still have something to do in the near future. I think I need to do more research of my final project by using kinds of research methods from Co-Creative method cards. I also need to start making some test experiments to develop my final project.




Critical Design FAQ: Anthony Dunne & Fiona Raby [online] Available at:  [Accessed 28 January 2016]

IDEO CEO Tim Brown: T-Shaped Stars: The Backbone of IDEO’s Collaborative Culture [online] Available at:™s-collaborative-culture/ [Accessed 4 March 2016]

Manovich L (2010) What is Visualization? [online] Available at:[Accessed 5 March 2016]




In this brief 4, my task is to organize, analyse and reflect (Comprehend) on the research material in my Collect Box (Brief 3) and develop a magazine that communicates my research and findings in an engaging way to a wider audience. To complete this task, I started with reading all materials again and selected some materials which I would put into my magazine. Then I made a page plan and comprehend a content of “recycling in China” from my research.


At the beginning, I was try to put everything I found on my magazine. I found some materials doesn’t have any meaning actually when I was editing my magazine. Then I started analysing and thinking what story I want to communicate? I decided go back to do more research to support my project and help me identify a small topic. After this research and analysing all the materials I decided to put 3 part (primary research, secondary research and analysis) on my magazine to shape my project. At the same time, I generated my research question.


The whole process of making this magazine actually is a chance for me to organize and analyse my research which really helped me to reviewing my thinking process of my final project. I believe this magazine will be very useful for me in the near future. I picked up some important information which is able to present the process of how I get to my research question. Besides, I put analysis and comments to explain what I have learnt from these materials, how these materials inspired me and why I put them here. I think this magazine can be a guide book which I can refer back quickly.


Firstly, I will continue to put my research and development into the magazine. To reflect on learning by doing theory, I will try to tell my story better and make an efficient communication with audience through my magazine. Secondly, I will use more innovation methods to research my project and making a clear and visible analysis. Then put these to my magazine. I think it will shape my project better. Last thing, I think I need to redesign my navigation of my magazine. I will consider the story and try to present a clear navigation and direction which can easily and clearly communicate with audiences.




In this brief 3, my task is to collect a range of material which relevant to the subject area I chosen for my final project. I decided to choose smart city as my subject area. I reviewed lectures and relevant resources of smart city which I learned in last semester. I was interested in the area of waste management schemes. Waste management is really a big problem in China. A social important fact is that resources become depleted and compared with the perfect recycling system in UK, I decided to research on Chinese waste management. I started with a draft research question “how to encourage people to recycle in China”. I started primary research with a small topic “household waste (old useless stuff)”. I made questionnaires, interviewed some people and made photo & collect board. In the secondary research stage, I collected many materials by reading academic papers, journals, articles, news and finding some design projects by other designers.


In the primary research stage, I took photo of rubbish bins on the street and communities at first. I found the rubbish bins on street are lack of recycling signs. Besides, people lack of awareness of garbage classification. Then I made an investigation about household waste by using questionnaires and interviews. I also asked my friends to take photo of their household waste for me. I found some of people like keeping things at home, some of them just directly throw old stuff away. Most of these people want to deal with these old stuff to reuse or recycle, but they don’t know how and where they can deal with. These findings let me thinking how can I help them to improve these problems. As a result, I found many materials in the secondary research stage.


I think collect box is a good way to make me start my final project. It is about collection in “5C Model”. At first, I am not very clear about my direction, so I researched different area in big topic “waste and recycle”. Although these stuff not all relevant to my final project, but I get some inspiration from that. Some of these stuff also help me thinking and generating questions. For example, I visited an exhibition named “Xuzhen Supermarket” in Shanghai. This exhibition displayed kinds of daily necessities with well packaged in a store. But all these stuff are empty inside. This project aims to trigger the discussion on daily consumption culture. This made me thinking in today’s society the behavior of excessive packaging which promoted people’s consumption but also caused great waste.



In the future, I have lots of thing to do with my final project. Firstly, I will do more research to make my research question specific. I will use more research methods from Co-Creation and IDEO cards to do more research and help me to identify what problem I want to solve. Secondly, I need to do more experiments to test my thoughts and help me identify my target user for my project. Before I do the further research, I will make a brainstorming to generate some ideas about small areas within my topic. I think it will help me to research more efficient. At the same time, I will follow the 5C Model and “learning by doing” theory to manage my design process. Moreover, I will do analysis about the materials I found. Analysis is a very important stage which can help me sort out thoughts, generate new ideas and find insights. At last, the most important thing is that I need to identify the communication problem in my topic and figure out what message I want to communicate.


Below is a collect box checklist about my final project research. I have collected 15 items of my project by following the collect box guide.

  1. Write a draft research question
  1. Start a sketchbook
  1. Pick a design research method
  1. Speak to a human / Do some observational research /Interview in context
  1. Find a newspaper article
  1. Academic journal article
  1. Design websites: design projects / designers
  1. Design companies
  1. Found photograph(s) / Image(s)
  1. A film / Animation / Gif / Video
  1. Visit an exhibition in London or elsewhere
  1. An artist and art work
  1. Learn something
  1. Revisit a lecture
  1. Revisit a workshop



In this 4-week project, I finished two group projects and one individual task that is about data visualization. In the first part, I with my group collected, recorded and organized the data of “clothing” and presented them in a 3-D installation. The second part is about e-waste data visualization. in this part, my group presented the benefits of collecting phones over ten years in Australia and named “Old phoned = More trees”. In the last part, I found a new data-set about e-waste and made a 2-D data visualization poster of it.

20Figure 1. Personal data: Clothing (First version)
Figure 2. Final installation

4142Figure 3. E-Waste data visualization “Old phones = More trees”


Part 1: Personal Data

At the beginning, I was little confused with data because I had no sense about what data should we present and in what way. In the process of collecting, organizing and analysing our data, I understood we need to choose one data-set and make it have a story to tell and could communicate with viewers effectively. But the first version was not so successful. It was a little messy and there were some original data on the installation which have no meaning for communicating our data. After that we made a change of our data visualization. The second version is more simple and orderly that audiences can easily get the point “which colour is the most popular people wearing in winter”.

Part 2: E-Waste/Media Materiality

In this project, we also struggled with data at the beginning. We spent many times to find an interesting data-set. Finally, I found a data-set about collecting phones in Australia and we decided to visualize the benefits of collecting mobile phones over ten years in Australia. After doing the first part in this brief, I understand data visualization need to quickly and simply communicate complex information to a public audience unfamiliar with the topic. Besides, with following the theory of learning by doing, we made a model to test before we start installation. It really showed some problem which might be happened in the real installation. After discussed with my team members, we found a solution with our data visualization.


Figure 4. Details and process of “Clothing” data visualization



Figure 5. Model of e-waste installation




Figure 6. Details and process of e-waste data visualization


According to Tim Brown’s T-Shape Theory, “empathy allows people to imagine the problem from another perspective to stand in somebody else’s shows.” This really helps me in my group collaboration. Having reflected on this, I listened and considered my partner’s ideas when we were in discussion. And I gave my thoughts which build on their ideas after that. I think it is really helpful for a team work. For example, in these two group project, every step all was determined after discussion with my group. Although each of us think differently, but after much communication and discussion we successfully completed the project.

In this data visualization section, I tried to use design skills to present data in a visual way and make it beautiful at the beginning. I was wrong with data visualization. After this brief 2 project, I learnt that data visualization is not only to visually present data, but also through visualized data to help people understand and acquire information quickly and efficiently. So at the e-waste part, my partners and I tried our best to make data simple and clear for audiences to understand. We considered our data and choose corridor as our installation place which is aims to make data and audience have an interaction. In our installation, people can walk through it and be navigated by lines to reach each year’s data. I think this is really an interesting way to show our data to the audiences.


For this e-waste project, although I am very happy with our data visualization installation, but I received some feedback from audiences who think our data is a little hard to compare. I think maybe next time I need to do more test before I finish a project. And I will be focus on how to organize data and visualize them more clear and easy to understand in future. At the same time, I will avoid unnecessary elements and decoration in a data visualization project.

For the collaboration part, I understand the importance of communication. I learnt to be a listener and how to make an effective communication. According to Richard Sennett’s view, when you start with “It seems to me…” will be better to make an open communication than start “I think…” or “I believe…” to demand for a response in a discussion. I think it will be very helpful and useful in my future collaboration. I will try my best to be a good listener and a communicator.


IDEO CEO Tim Brown: T-Shaped Stars: The Backbone of IDEO’s Collaborative Culture [online] Available at:™s-collaborative-culture/ [Accessed 4 March 2016]

Richard Sennett on “Together” [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 March 2016]

Manovich L (2010) What is Visualization? Available from:[Accessed 5 March 2016].


The task in this semester 2 is learning by doing and practicing in group works. After some team works, I understood the value of collaboration in a group work. And this week I have read an interview with IDEO CEO Tim Brown about collaborative culture and an article called “Richard Sennett on ‘Together’”. Based on these article and practice, I summarized some points about what I learned from collaboration.

Firstly, I understood that communication is the first most important thing in a group. Every person is different individuals and they have different ideas. So in a group, people need to build empathy and make decisions by communication. In my group work, communication really helps me to work with others. The most impressive thing is brainstorming with my team members. When I in the brainstorm process, we came out lots of ideas and we change and improve ideas by discussion and debate. This process really could inspire me and give me insight.

The second thing is that individual skills is also an important thing in a group. According to Tim Brown, if someone in a group who really don’t have a depth of skills and they really struggle, they will not get respect from the group. In my group works, every person all do their best for the team work. Each of us is responsible for our own part. This made us successfully finished our group assignments.

Moreover, how you speak to your team member is also a thing need to be noticed. If you start “I think…” or “I believe…” to demand for a response, it will be like a confrontational. However, in a group discussion, you need to make an open communication and invite participation to make a good teamwork. So that if you start with “It seems to me…” will be better. The fact is that each member in a group need to build collaboration rather than confrontation.

In my team collaboration, communication is both challenge and benefit. At first, communication is challenge for me, because each member has different thoughts. But after some discussion, I found communication is very important. We change ideas and improve ideas through communication. That is why I say it also challenge and benefit.


Figure 1. Brief 1 collaboration


Figure 2. Brief 2 collaboration


IDEO CEO Tim Brown: T-Shaped Stars: The Backbone of IDEO’s Collaborative Culture [online] Available at:™s-collaborative-culture/ [Accessed 4 March 2016]

Richard Sennett on “Together” [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 March 2016]