Interim retrospective

Looking back across my CRJ entries since starting the course I am frankly confused and enlightened, just not in equal measure. Enlightened because I now have an insight into very powerful methods to help with my creative practice but confused because they are being applied in real time so it feels as though the entirety is a state of enlightened, breakneck Fluxus!

A book I have been focussing on for my reading week is ‘Reflective Practice’ by Gillie Bolton and Russell Delderfield.

It has been a great guide to evaluating my written journals and moving forward, shall be a good reference point that I shall no doubt go back to again and again for reference.

The book provided me with a view of what the common blocks were when it came to creative reflection.

The following resonated.

Not knowing how to create a dynamic creative narrative

Fearing incompetence, fearing ridicule

Lack of motivation

All of these points resonated with me as things that I had felt prior to starting to learn about the art of critical reflection.

Mike Cohn, one of the founders of the Scrum Alliance, suggests the “stop, start, and continue” (2016) method to gauge retrospective and plan a forward motion. I have listed here the things that I have concluded from the sprint 1 period to date.

Start

I shall be reading a chapter of a book from each reading list book every week and shaping the knowledge gained into a methodology that I shall apply to my professional work.

Checking in on daily progress more often if working in a team, especially in rapid ideation stages

Stop

Using merely technical skills to meet Trello tasks set indiscriminately

Assuming that my ideas are relayed through the medium of writing solely

Continue

To work on my weekly journal when I have fresh knowledge in my mind.

Looking at the timeline for the 6-week rapid ideation set out in the forum graphic below, and assessing where I was… well before the start of reading week, I would say that I had designed a solid concept based on the chosen theme and applied the tools that had been taught week by week… Just in a way that may be a little nonlinear and by no means mastered in their application.

The knowledge of the reflective domain has been a great breakthrough for me, I would say that in the past week I have noticed huge discrepancies in my interpersonal skills compared to the pace of the prototyping that we have achieved in our team.

I am a little confused at how we made such a polished presentation of what we have so far when in my heart of hearts, I am a little perplexed at the user journey that the App is providing.

I have been totally honest with my colleague on this and we are aware of energy and communicative discrepancies.

Using this newfound knowledge regarding reflective domains allowed me to see that my Interpersonal domain needed work, even in a team of two. Deciding concepts from the initial idea stage was easy at first but I soon felt the pressures of splitting tasks into timed achievable milestones quite the challenge.

Trello itself didn’t create a linear path nor help with the to and fro required to decipher the user journey, compared to say, using methods such as paper prototyping.

My prototyping in the paper realm was a stark insight into how much I needed to strip back to the core; the concept of the seeds app that I was working on for the assignment.

It was the fact that user testing solo, was difficult to convey to digital platforms.

Thankfully my team member had some great input and allocated a lot of tasks on Trello based on her perception of my basic initial concept text.

Paper prototyping solo but conveying to a colleague digitally proved difficult.
Photo by Meritt Thomas on Unsplash

Full steam ahead?!

Upon creating a show and tell of the app, featuring a walkthrough of its user journey to youtube for the class to review and critique. My colleague was hugely (and rightly so) concerned about my editing and interpretation of her designs in Figma.

We spoke at length after she saw my design changes and my walkthrough video.

Alas, our initial talks still weren’t productive in terms of rapid prototyping progression.

You see we had been both working on the same Figma file and we had varying ideas of what this mystical user journey even was! That was never going to end well.

Truthfully I just hadn’t spoken enough to gauge the very basic outcomes that we wanted from the user experience before the digital prototyping morphed from wireframes and paper prototyping to a sleeker visual design.

Upon reflecting on what to do in order to address these issues that erupted in the team, I replied with a list of my instantaneous questions, I then walked and reflected on where we were in the grand scheme of things this week.

Another more agreeable discussion and productive (reductive) talk after my questions were put to my colleague happened later in the day, and this helped us make a lot more progress with regards to rapid ideation and created a clearer vision to plough on with.

A S.M.A.R.T plan of action applied to the reductive changes needed to get our app back on track would look something like this:

Specific: To reforge the user journey in Figma reapplying my colleague’s initial designs

Measurable: To speak daily about what has been changed and to re-record the walkthrough video

Attainable: By having had my colleague agree on a deadline we have all hands on deck

Relevant: At this stage of the rapid ideation we have whittled down the relevant issues from a large list we had prior to the discussion, I shall take the confusing aspects of the design off of the Trello board.

Time based: We have agreed that by the middle of next week we shall be back on track

I think that without my learning about creative reflection journalling skills and the reflective domains in which to break down issues and thinking, I would have felt lost and panicked as to what to do when faced with the loggerheads situation this week.

Had I worked on the rapid prototype solo from the start and not been involved in a team dynamic, I may have missed some essential reflections on my own working methods.

References

Bolton, G., 2014. Reflective Practice. Sage Publications.