The Struggle is in the Details

(Week 2)

This week our our coursework began to feel deeper and more demanding. We started conducting interviews for our research projects, had over 2,000 shapes to draw, and put together a presentation on some heady material on ethics in design. While the work is challenging and takes time to complete, I can clearly see that my education is all about what I put into it. It is entirely possible to do what is asked, but to do it well is to struggle for a long time in a mire of details.

While conducting interviews at Buzz Mill with my team, coordinating times to go out and do the research took a lot of effort, and there was no guarantee that our target users would even be present, much less want to speak to us. After conducting some interviews and seeing a need for improvement in our approach, we are still refining our focus statement and our scripts. We could just go out and try to interview people on the fly with what we have, but my team really wants to dig in with good questions and we know it is important for later parts of the design process that our interviewees are given similar stimuli, so that they are speaking about similar topics. We had a scare when, after one evening at a Buzz Mill event, we though we had lost all of our audio recordings due to an improper setting on the app we were using. While we were all lamenting the loss of our best data yet, we figured out that it had been uploaded to a cloud location and was saved. **Pheeew!** We will be doubling up our audio recorders and checking settings (as originally instructed by Jon and Matt) from now on!

My presentation for our theory class was also bogged down by not understanding some digital tools. So far, I have felt confident and engaged with the theory material. However, the presentation required a simple graph, and I had never any design toolkit other than Photoshop. So a few simple lines and words took me awhile to put together using Sketch for the first time. I felt the simple graph was a great way to start understanding how to use Sketch, but I will definitely need to give myself a few hours with the software for the next assignment.

Ultimately, I feel good about the work I did this past week, but I wish I had spent more time on most everything. I think most assignments so far have been straight-forward, but actually doing the work unveils new blunders, queries, and unforeseen obstacles.