Semester Two – Assignment Three

In our first assignment we were asked to snoop, then we were asked to influence through image, now we’ve to stalk observe people but there’s a twist to it, we have to put ourselves out with our comfort zone.  To help us understand design we have to look at designed things – objects and areas and see how people use them. Our project and we do have to accept it, is to pick one of the following three places to visit where we would feel uneasy, a little bit lost,  and observe how we and others use the place

  • bingo hall
  • football match
  • casino

All three are new to me – the casino would be the least daunting as I feel I can dress appropriately and blend in, bingo is the next on the list as I wouldn’t be afraid to feel too out of place here but football matches terrify me.  The reasons are

  • the crowds as Im only 5 ft,
  • aggression,
  • swearing ( I rarely swear and at home my husband and daughters never swear),
  • I know nothing about football,
  • I don’t know where or how you buy the tickets,
  • I don’t know any football songs (do you have to sing?)
  • I don’t know what to do when you get to the football ground or once inside the area/stadium don’t even know what that bits called.
  • I expect I have to wear warm clothes and colours that blend with anything

So far Ive looked on line and theres a match next Saturday at Dunfermline (nearest to home) and because I need to take someone with me thats the first time I can go but thats fine, so far I’ve found out there are two areas you can go to, the “main stand” and “other stand” but that still doesn’t mean anything to me – yet!  Its very expensive to go to a match too £16.00 or £10.00 concession Im hoping that my Dundee Uni card will give me discount, perhaps Ill be the one to use design to make football more interesting and I don’t mean printed floral strips or the latest yarn for socks!

To help us understand how to research and observe for design research I’ve been studying SERVICE DESIGN TOOLS. These are an amazing set of research tools “Communication Methods Supporting Design Processes” originally  an idea by Roberta Tassi for her thesis and  developed further by density design and DARC.  The tools are there to be used by all design researchers not necessarily service designers.  Amongst them are three tools which I’ve already used in previous assignments, especially assignment one when we looked at the Tipping Point, post it notes and mind maps donned the studio walls and were a way of getting us as new students to interact with each other.

Mind mapping and brain storming is the first thing I do when Im given a new brief it helps  to explore the subject and some amazing ideas come from this and they are brilliant to refer to through out the length of the project. Mood boards too are a big part of the textile designers presentation, so we can tell the story of our inspiration to development through to context. Below is an example of my semester one Natural Pattern boards.

Service Design Tools also includes the Customer Journey Map  similar to one I looked at in a previous post in semester one (here it was called a blue print) which notes the sequence of events and interaction that the customer comes upon whilst using a service, it notes the physical evidence; the touchpoints and the part the customers cannot see – what goes on behind the scenes (known as below the line of visibility) within a service being offered by a company – in my case it was the NHS.  The Customer Journey Map touch points can be human, physical and or virtual  – through observing, it looks at all areas of the customer experience. Here’s an example of a train journey and looks far more interactive than the blueprint used in my previous post. The use of ‘post its’ and photographs, notes, pictures and mapping make it look easier to understand too.  These will be good tools in my observation assignments.


Service Design Tools also include “The Mock Up” this can either be a model, an illustration or a collage as a way of describing your idea. Photomontages are created with photographs perhaps magazine cut outs, then at the next stage the process becomes contextual and the final stage represents the main points of the project brief, this is very similar to how we work in our sketchbooks when researching our main subject.

The Context Panorama is a way of brainstorming with pictures – starting off simply the pictures stimulate creativity and are presented on a board with text helping to firmly set the image and your ideas, supporting Barthes’ thoughts that text sets the image clearly.


If it the first time you have come across Service Design there are some question and answers from the brilliant team of Lauren and Sarah at SNOOK

One thought on “Semester Two – Assignment Three

  1. Pingback: Salvage Ethnography « Judy Scott Designs

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