Research through design to me was the right approach for the project. It provided us with the opportunity to explore design areas that we would not have worked on if we talked to people from the real world (because of their safety and policy concerns, making them unaware of such possibilities we explored) whilst also allowing us to bridge our secondary research to practice. It guided us through solving practical challenges and communication issues of the artefact through a series of iterations of the prototype as well.
That being said, it did not provide the initial contextual understanding and hence we encountered the issue of trying to place it in the real world after making it. We should have started making it from the very beginning making of it and tested it several times.
Limitation of the Research
Despite our reaching out efforts we did not manage to talk to many people and did not find great cooperation but we managed to negate it slightly but investigating issues that all people including ourselves can answer. In reflection, we should have applied guerilla research tactics to collect data for our project.
We should have been more granular with our timeline and tasks to do. However, as neither of us had sufficient previous expertise in physical computing and fashion design was very hard to have a real understanding of the time needed to realise the prototype, furthermore, the lack of the needed resources on time took away from the time.
Going forward before making a project that is well beyond my and my teammates expertise, other than planning my time more specifically, I would also calculate the risks so that we do not end up falling short of the initial goal or at least have a plan B option, yet plan ambitiously again. It is the risk calculation that would have prevented a lot of the issues in my opinion.
I am genuinely sad that we did not manage to produce a critical piece that at least tackles either social or environmental justice themes. I think my natural practically-led approach once again came into the way and kept me away from rich learnings of experiencing working with social, cultural and environmental themes but I just recently started being more involved.
Overall, the FMP and the course gave me what I came for: I was stretched well beyond my comfort zone and my mind radically opened to exciting possibilities. It gave me the needed elements and a blueprint for how to develop it further.
From the projects I worked on, I gained confidence that I can envision anything, and learn the skills and craft needed to achieve it whilst creatively adjusting to the environment with its resources and involved people.
MA UX was truly the best experience I ever had!