Design, Develop, Create

Friday, 15 January 2016

Student Reflections from 2015

A selection of student quotes from 2015

"I was quickly drawn by the idea of documenting your learning by using a Blog. This was not a concept I had heard of before but I was drawn to it as a good idea as it allowed you to discuss topics of interest as well as post assignments for your lecturer to view." 
"Within the first lecture we discussed systems development with a particular emphasis on design. I had experience of Systems Development from modules I had taken in my undergraduate. What is a System?????, I was very rusty here for sure. " 
"My main take away from this module is the improvements I have made in my approach towards design and thinking laterally. In terms of my design approach I have learned that there really is no substitute to field work. Field work allows you to interpret a situation using all your senses and get a really clear picture of what is occurring in an environment."
"Getting right into this module from week one Allen sent us as a class to go and do field research on a specific topic. Research is a key part of this degree. I feel that doing hands-on research, dealing with consumers, allows me the opportunity to see [the impact of designs] like getting a greater understanding of a particular [system]."
"When I started the programme I was afraid that my lack of real world experience would hinder my ability to learn in this course, in fact I think this was the opposite, because I had come from a business background I was able to look at technology a different way to my colleagues who had already worked in large firm on technology projects."
"In this module I have expanded my knowledge of technology, this new information will help give me the dual focus on business and technology that I will need for my future career."
"one aspect that I noticed was that teams were an underlying subject every week. Whether we were talking about planning, design or development, it all centred on teams. To me, this link is the simple fact is that everything we have learned in this class is for application in the real world. The use of team examples from the Soul of a New Machine and the Iona cases highlighted real world aspects of team dynamics and how teams interacted."
"My favourite part of the course was when we started to learn about the trade-off between creativity and control. I think this was of real interest to me and it’s something that I have noticed in every college project that I have ever done. I would consider myself creative and I have always found it hard as a team leader to manage the balance between control, in terms of completing the objective, and creativity, producing something that is creative compared to other groups. Even this year I had struggled with this concept."
"I learned a lot form my blogging experience, firstly blogging is a habit it is not a natural phenomenon. The reason why I didn’t post more blogs was paralysis by analysis. I adopted a mind frame that everything I put up onto my blog had to be prefect and long. After reading the Pixar case in week 9, I realised I should take the adoption that Pixar have and to put my ideas and thoughts up on the blog and to let classmate, Allen and others, critique, review and add to my own ideas. Having adopted this new attitude after week 10’s class I decided to do my own quick and dirty experiment and when I posted this on my blog I felt that I finally had grasped the most effective way to use my blog, that is taking ideas expressed in class, giving the main points and then to build on those ideas, whether it be a quick experiment, case study or critique of what was talked about. This was when I started to understand the real value from my blog."
"Being a software engineer I am able to relate the learnings of this course with my previous industry experience." 
"Mock-up design exercise of sketching a text free search page gave us the insight with the tools like Balsamic which can be used to present the design of the system to the clients and to get a feedback from them. I really think it is a best practice to customise the idea and design in short time."
"During the class we designed basic websites using quick and rough sketches, and paper prototypes of our sites, with the goal being to design a sight that the user didn’t have to type commands into. We then used these prototypes to design composite versions using the Balsamic website. I would have considered doing a sketch to be are fairly useless tool in designing a product prior to this exercise, however having created the more realistic version using the paper prototype as a model I could see the value in it. They allow for quick iterations and changes which is key in defining what it is exactly that the user is looking for." 
"If I had to use one word that sticks as the main theme in this module its context, regardless of whether it’s a lifecycle, management system or any of the other frameworks for managing and developing software design, there is no one magic way of doing things. It depends on the context of the firm or project, whether that be in terms of the product, the customer, how dynamic the environment or any other variable."

"To begin I thought about the first exercise we’ve had, which was how to define a system. That was a tricky question for me. From what I’ve learned before, I’ve tried to come up with a quick and generic definition, such as ‘something that receives an income and delivers an outcome’. This for me was something standard, from what I could see in my graduation and in my work experience. However, when we discussed each individual’s definitions, it was interesting to see that most of the class had the same view around what a system was, drawing a box with inputs and outputs. Then we had one better definition: A combination of resources (Money, technology, software, hardware, people, norms), providing incomes and outcomes that benefits providers and users, linking these two parts, in order to enhance the quality of life." 
"Afterwards, we have started to discuss the essence of design. What is important to an user? This is a really interesting theme for me, because as a costumer, I think that a lot of products and services that we consume today are designed under the producer’s point of view and his preferences. I feel like there’s a gap between what the producer think that his client wants and that the client actually wants. This gap is very troublesome, as it might endanger a whole business, since the consumers might no longer use a product and opt for the competition. It’s important to know that It’s not just about engineering the product, the user experience has to be paired down, in order to get to know as much as possible about the whole experience. We’ll be worried about the whole construct around the product, not just its physical appearance."

"If there is one observation I would make it is this – I never realised that system development was all about people – now I do." 
"I didn’t like going out on the streets for that IDEO mini project but got a lot out of it. My view of design was that it started with the specification, a clear list of what the system should do, so the emphasis the whole picture, I think freed me from an engineering myopia." 
"The IONA case and the Pixar case confirmed that it is about selecting the organisational structure, design and implementation "mythologies" from as social perspective that allows good systems to be built by those people. " 
"I now get the power of the prototype as a platform to grow and link into usability. What struck me most about the general use of this approach (mock-up tools) is that despite the dominance of the PMI model as a way of reducing risk, it is in fact this little prototyping tool that reduces the risk and cost in an uncertain endeavour."
"As an experienced person in ICT industry as a software developer, I have experienced many of the concepts that were covered by the module in work but not knew the importance and significance of this concepts. But now I Know how to relate those concepts to the working environment and the importance of the concepts in the industry. And I have learned a lot of new concepts and management tools that can be used in work." 
"The overall learning from this module has helped me understand concepts of design, delivery, creativity, product life cycles, project management and use of various management tools like planning poker and activity checklist. It was not just learning the concepts, but it was experiencing the application of these various concepts through class activities, teamwork, research work and how to use these concepts in solving the real time project management issues in the ICT-based development organisation."
"We were asked to maintain a blog or a website through which Allen could easily monitor our progress. I think it’s success was moderate as people were not too prompt in uploading the work except a few as till the time of submission I encountered two to three blogs which were completely empty. Allen was prompt in checking our work and I received regular feedbacks from him which in turn ignited my eagerness to update the blog in a timely manner."

"We had to make our own blog and post our class learnings on it. I pretty much liked this idea, as at the end of module you have all your notes collected in a single place. I used to create my own blog. I would say, I did not updated my blog regularly, but had all my notes written in papers which helped me to post my learnings twice every month. I did put in information like- First research work using IDEO method cards, weekly reading points, case studies, my project proposal, summary of the book-“Soul of a New Machine” and most of the weekly exercises. Maintaining a blog did make me realize the importance of and ease of cumulating our own learning stuff in a single place and others can also utilize it for their reference."
"This course focussed both on the techniques of development side of the ICT projects as well as the management techniques. The techniques of development ranged from conventional approaches to agile and lean methods. The management techniques involved understanding of lifecycles and frameworks for development. It also taught how to work efficiently in teams and how to inculcate innovative ideas in the teams. We have developed a better understanding of how a system works, how to analyse it and look for developments in the same." 
"The exercises involved ranged from Individual to Group Ones. The group exercises also fostered teambuilding. Some of the exercises were: Sketching a Text Free Engine, Building a spaghetti cantilever bridge, planning poker, Sutton’s creative strategies, Lego construction and design exercise." 
"I learnt about the various processes and practices involved in software design and delivery. In a professional ICT environment, I will be aware of the various lifecycles and frameworks that are involved in software development lifecycles. I hope to be able to be identify and critically evaluate processes, activities and practices necessary for design and development. The knowledge that I gained from this course will help me to act to industry situations where analysing and adapting methods for development will be required."