Lego Series Play Workshop

As user experience design continues to be identified in almost all fields of media, technology, and architecture; it’s an investment to understand how this field works and the different ways users can be reached from other perspectives. Apps, formally referred to as applications, are used daily to help users achieve a sense of satisfaction depending on the app utilized. For example, they can simply help with setting reminders or keeping us close with loved ones. One aspect that most users aren’t familiar with, is the many ways apps are created from the ground up. According to Norman information and the beginning of design comes from the brain, “One of the challenges, that the brain does not work at all like a computer, also provides us with an opportunity: the possibility of new modes of interaction that allow us to take advantage of the complementary talents of humans and machines.” (Norman, 2008).  Lego Series Play is a collaborative problem solving methods used for designing apps, buildings, and other areas of design. Lego Series Play is a design software that is used to help designers build with empathy, focus on user needs, fix problems, and allow opportunities for new designs. While attending this hands on event there were moments when I the designer felt a deep connection with my build and how the director was able to make myself achieve a deeper emotion and connection through my design. 

To gain more of an understanding of what we were doing in this workshop Heidi Brant gave each student a pack of legos. Each pack had the same set of legos found within them. Her first instructions were to use the legos and build a bridge with only rule: to make sure that our hand would be able to go under the bridge we built. We then had to modify our bridge based on how we were feeling at that exact moment. Whether we were happy, curious, or intrigued by what was happening that day. On top of the last modification we had to modify the bridge again based on a division in life that we felt. Whether if it was being homesick, losing a friend, or losing a loved one. This allowed the designers to work and create with empathy to focus on users needs to fix problems and allow for opportunities of new designs. Based off of all the design modifications we did, we now had to collectively work as a group to create an app. We were given a blue base to build on using legos to describe what the app will do and what features it will have. “Wireframing: Sketch your project’s form and interface without focusing much, if at all, on content. Wireframes provides a good sense of how people may interact with your project, and they don’t require any programming. Additionally, there are also opportunities to talk about scope and feature creep (before the project is too far along)” (Jentery Sayers). Lego series play is a different type of wireframing and prototyping. It Isn’t technical, it’s a more physical approach, such as a sketch but instead you are building it out. You have a different visual representation or your app that you are making. For our last build there was a more focused approach into a specific setting for user experience design. Each group was given a task card, our group had to redesign the experience of air travel with small children. We first individually came up with our own ideas on what we could do to improve air travel and we all had a similar approaches. We thought about the aggravation that flyers get when a baby would cry or a child kicking the back seat. We came up with an approach of creating a daycare area for kids, where they would be watched and monitored by flight attendants. Inside of this daycare, children would be able to use different interactive play fields where they can pretend to be flying the plane that they are on at that time and view what’s happening from outside. These designs came from our own personal experiences, all focused around designing with empathy. This was my first time sitting in on a workshop for User Experience design. This opportunity gave me something that I myself as a designer will look forward to gaining  more knowledge about this technique in my future design making. My takeaways from this workshop was designing comes from experience, what yourself and others have gone through. The Negatives that can come out of Lego Series Play can be designing for people who lack a sense of visual, how can you create surrounding their needs visually. I hope that through this workshop we learned how to deal with multisensory designs and better UX designing for blind, and deaf users. Lego Series Designing is on a kindergarten level in the USA compared to places in Asia and Europe. It’s fairly new so I’m curious to see where it goes in terms of influencing design in the US especially major cities.