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Visual Design Thinking

Project Description

In a recent module of technology, engineering and design (TED), students served as a design consultant to our Innovation Diploma cohort working a design brief for Delta. One priority was to redesign a customer service kiosk for Delta. Because we generally knew the outcome – an instigation – our goal was to generate new forms and functions based on needs. We used visual design thinking techniques to generate and analyze ideas. Techniques used were:

  1. Gesture Sketching – meant to reinforce that majority idea can be communicated in even a 5 second sketch.
  2. Typologies – Using only the most basic form of a kiosk – a rectangular screen – students sketched dozens of ideas in only a few minutes. This technique was meant to emphasize form. We explored prompts like “What does an inviting kiosk look like?” or “What is a kiosk that would ‘wow’ people.
  3. Precedent Study – Students did a comprehensive study of different kiosks that currently exist across a range of industries and used another typology technique to classify them by form (eg. color, screen size, etc) and function (eg. transactional, informational, etc). This helped us determine which elements designers manipulate and which stay relatively the same.
  4. Interface Sketching – in this activity students sketched a kiosk concept on top of a picture of a real area in the airport. The feedback informed student designers that “if the kiosk is located here, then it needs X functionality, but if it was located there it might need Y functionality.”
  5. Photoshop Modeling – Using feedback from the interface sketch, increased the resolution of their idea by photoshopping a kiosk concept into a real airport setting.
  6. Technical Sketch – Finally, narrowed ideas and crafted technical sketches with multiple views, dimensions and key features that would serve as a blueprint for fabrication.

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