IDP 116 was a break from he traditional style of a course at Smith. It was nice to enter into a refreshing environment each day. Going through the design thinking process over the course of a week pushed me to reflect on my decision making processes and made me think more creatively and originally. I’ve learned that I tend to lean toward practical, easy choices instead of ideas that are more over the top. By taking risks this week through ideation, I allowed myself to let loose with the ideas that I developed. Ultimately, my partner and I did choose to work with a practical idea to prototype, but in future situations, I would feel more open to taking risks after having this time to reflect over the process.
My experience in this class had me thinking back to a previous time when I worked with design thinking at a student leaders summit back in March. While I was there, we went through the steps of design thinking, but I never quite understood where the steps were coming from or why we would do these crazy games before ideation. Though this class, not only did I have the opportunity to return to the process to develop a product, but I was able to see how and why people do things during the process.
At Smith, this class will help me to continue to be creative and think about the human element of what I am doing along the way. It is sort of hard to see the human part of a project when I am simply trying to do well in a course or impress the professor. This course instead demanded me to produce something that considered the actual user that also worked and was practical. In the future, I hope to continue to work at the intersection of working well for people and performing the task at hand.
Every day, I looked forward to this class because it was not in a traditional classroom where the students sat in desks in some kind of row formation. Instead, the group seating and the shelves of different materials in the middle gave the room a creative and collaborative feel. The white boards on the wall made me feel excited each day because they would be filled with the ideas of yesterday and we would add directly to them. I liked that I did not feel judged for my ideas or contributions in the class because even the most ridiculous idea could still be put through the design thinking process and developed into a product.
I wish that the class would have been a bit more open to picking different problems besides just learning challenges. I think it would have been particularly fun to focus in a problem of someone else in the class and work from there. This way if any questions came up throughout the process, the user would be right in the room and it would be easy to access information.
Overall, IDP 116 was a great experience, and I hope to take the semester long course during my time here at Smith!