Participatory Design Workshop

Initial Questions
The workshop started with questioning the participant’s experience with the cultural probe packages. They were asked which activities they like the most. They did the probes when it was most convenient for them when they find time during their day. General consensus between the two participants was that they enjoyed doing the activities in the probe package to take their mind off their situation and daily routines. They found the activities to be insightful.

The participants had diverse purposes and goals for doing yoga. For our two participants, one is attending prenatal yoga, and the other is attending postnatal yoga. One participant was doing yoga to relax and was also involved in other fitness programs like aqua fitness classes. However, the notion was that yoga classes was more for relaxing rather than fitness. The other participant who has given birth had her baby through a C-section. She is attending the ‘Mommy and Me’ yoga class to strengthen the abdominal tissues and gain back the strength and aid in the post-surgery trauma. The postnatal yoga class also has social aspects to it with new mothers joining the classes to talk to other moms about different issues they are going through.

Yoga Preparation
In the next stage the participants were asked to tell the group about their preparation needed prior to leaving for yoga class. One participant responded that there is no special preparation needed and that bringing a yoga mat is not even necessary as the yoga studio already provides them. However, usually for hygienic reasons, they preferred to bring and use their own personal yoga mats.

We asked one participant to show her bag contents and it consisted of a towel, water bottle, cell phone and wallet. The participant shared that packing and preparation is not much of an issue and that the bigger issue is to get there on time. The other participant responded that she is more particular about packing her stuff a day before as she already has a baby and she has to put together all the kid’s stuff like diapers and other items as well as just her own things. She also mentioned that she gets hungry after the class so she makes sure to pack some snacks in the bag.

The prenatal yoga participant uses the same bag for gym and yoga class. She has to stuff all her belongings in the bag and forces the bag to close when there is too much stuff. She wishes that there was an expandable bag. She keeps switching her stuff from her regular bag to the exercise bag and this frequently results in forgetting her keys and wallet in one of the two bags, and she occasionally forgets to take a water bottle along. She also expressed her satisfaction with her current bag’s handle configurations with being able to carry using her hand, carrying over-the-shoulder and wishing for the option of an over-the-shoulder strap for a larger bag.

Current Bag Usage
The postnatal yoga participant shared with us the bag she is using for both her baby’s stuff and her yoga stuff. It is a black Lululemon bag with shoulder straps and there was a place for sliding the yoga mat in it as well which she was not aware of. She was carrying a waterproof small bag inside the bag to keep used diapers and wet clothes of her baby so that it does not make everything in her bag dirty. She described and showed us her use of the bag in conjunction with the stroller, her Lululemon bag is placed in the bottom basket and her personal bag was hanging on the handle of the stroller using the bag’s shoulder strap. There was also an additional hook on the stroller handle to attach an additional bag.

The participant shared her contents of her Lululemon bag with the team. One significant feature of the bag was labelled pockets which both participants found quite interesting as she usually forgets things when rushing out for the yoga class and remarked how it would be quite useful as a quick memory aid for checking if anything is missing.

Bag Wish List
The participants were later on asked to describe their dream bag.
They responded with the following features:

  • Lightweight [for the women to be able to carry the bag]
  • Should be expandable and can be compact. Sometimes you need more or less space. [users expressed the need for as much space as possible]
  • Labelled sections to serve as reminder for the stuff. Like keys, phone, chocolate/snack [this was compared to one of the user’s existing bag, this allowed them to easily see if something was missing]
  • A detachable waterproof section so that it can be washed [very important for storing wet clothes or dirty diapers]
  • There should some time/watch display on the bag. An alarm to serve as a reminder.
  • Multiple options to close the bag from the top. Zippers are definitely not wanted as it is difficult to open and close on the go. [something like a pull cord would facilitate easy access]
  • The surface of the bag should be wipeable to keep it easy to clean and be of a darker color so that dirty spots are less visible. [this is a functional need in order to easily clean the bag]
  • Materials should be durable to sustain a longer product lifespan.
  • There should be separate sections each for the wet and dry stuff. Also another section for water bottles would be useful. [separation of compartments allows the user to better organize things]
  • Even in the wet section, they want wet towels not touching flip flops (when they go to the aqua fitness class) and other dirty items.
  • As many compartments as possible
  • Hand carry + shoulder bag handles, shoulder straps [important, specifically requested by the participants as they wanted every possible option to carry the bag how they feel like: carrying by hand, over the shoulder, or slung over the body/shoulder]

Prototype Response
When presented with the prototype sketches, the roller wheels were not appreciated at all and created a rather interesting negative reaction. The participants presented that it is difficult to handle the bag on stairs and she would rather carry the bag completely instead of having the option to drag it on the wheels and then carry it when approaching the stairs. The wheels and bar elicits the image of a carry-on suitcase.

The participants did like our attempt at trying to design an easier to open bag with the design of magnetic clasps or velcro straps to facilitate quick opening and closing.

Findings Summary
One interesting finding was that while making the decision to buy a bag, they had to see if the men would carry the bag or not. If the bag is too feminine looking then the men refuse to carry the bag. The Lululemon bag that the participant showed us a perfect example of how it can be dark and black to make the bag less conspicuous.

They want a bag with long straps and multiple handle options. The bag should have a shoulder strap and carrying handles so that the weight of a heavy bag can be split between the shoulder and the hands.

For storage considerations, the participants preferred options for expansion and an option for a compact configuration.

The desirable option for the opening would be a pull-cord opening which can be tightened to close the bag which is secure but is convenient to easily open the bag and have the access to things when on the go.

The detachable waterproof compartment seems like an obvious feature to add for convenience of separating wet or dirty items.

The participants expressed their wish for adding as many compartments as possible because as they put it, if the compartment exists, they will find a use for it.

The wheels and bar for the dragging functionality in our prototype created an extreme reaction regarding the imagery of a carry-on luggage and should be removed moving towards our next prototype.

Participatory Design Workshop – Poster [pdf]

Participatory Design Workshop – Report [pdf]

Participatory Workshop – Part 1 –

Participatory Workshop – Part 2 –

Participatory Workshop – Part 3 –

Participatory Workshop Summarized –


Initial Rationale

We have decided to focus our design intervention on the scenario of preparing for a yoga class. This situation addresses the common issues we discovered of having to lean down and stressing the women to struggle with a process which is meant as a preparation for going to an activity that is meant to relax and release stress. We also want to address the issue of making the process of going to yoga be relaxing even before getting there.

There are also other implications from the assignments in previous weeks especially the journey frameworks and informances that lead us to this. In addressing this problem, it may also lead into other design applications dealing with mobility as well as relieving and preventing back pain.

Journey Frameworks

Journey Frameworks
These frameworks allows the team to think about how each actor/agent is thinking within a given context. They also allow us to analyze situations and posit possible design interventions with the problems that arise. We feel that these two frameworks explain the more pressing issues of back pain which is also the primary driving force in why this target group attends yoga.

Journey Framework - Sleep

Journey Framework – Sleep [pdf]

Journey Framework - Yoga

Journey Framework – Yoga [pdf]

Journey Framework – Sleep [pdf]
Journey Framework – Yoga [pdf]


Our informances and scenarios gave our team specific insight into possible situations that could create problems for our target group and may hold possible design spaces for us to address. It showed us very specific situations where a problem exists for the pregnant women, but also possible implications on other agents within the household such as husbands.

InformancesInformances [pdf]

Informances Description [pdf]

Situation 1
[Original –]
The purpose of this situation is to understand how the responsibilities of our personas can create a significant burden of work. Due to their role in the household, the persona can experience an overload of chores and limited time to do so. We portray this with the persona trying to finish tasks in a hectic environment to achieve this goal in any efficient time possible.This informance suggests possible opportunities in time or task management.

This informance was about understanding mobility issues as well as health issues regarding heavy lifting and multi-tasking.
Note: We re-filmed this informance so that we experience it ourselves and understand the situation of our personas and target group participants

Situation 2 –
As pregnant women, our personas have a tendency to develop back pains due to the pregnancy.This situation is used to imagine the behaviour of what a persona would do if she was overcome with pain. Possible design directions could address overcoming the pain, preventing pain, and anything to help with tasks around the house while taking some time to rest.
This informance helped us understand the situation of pregnant women and the amount of work that needs to be done around the house. It also allows us to empathize with the role of husbands in trying to help out but being unable to do so. The strongest insight we took out of this was to try and reduce the stress on a pregnant woman either through addressing issues of back pain relief or prevention as well as improving mobility.

Situation 3 –
[Original –]

Since our target group is a prenatal yoga group, we decided that this was a good situation to play out as it is a weekly activity that may involve preparation and effort. As going to the studio to practice yoga should be a relaxing and stress-free activity, we wished to address the journey from the starting point of having to pack and see if there are any particular steps that could help make the experience of yoga even easier.
This informance helped us understand the process in engaging in the context of preparing and packing for yoga. It allowed us to feel for how our personas have to deal with carrying things haphazardly if the bag is not designed properly to store everything.
Note: We re-filmed this informance so that we experience it ourselves and understand the situation of our personas and target group participants

Situation 4 –

Sleeping is an activity that is rare for new mothers. As such, helping pregnant women get as much sleep as they can seems like an important problem to address. We want to understand what possible disturbances can arise that interrupt sleep patterns of our personas. This is likely with the onset of back pain that may cause discomfort, we wish to explore design possibilities of helping to alleviate back pain during rest and sleep.
This informance allowed us to empathize for the pregnant woman and her inability to get a resful sleep. On the other side, we also got to feel for the husband who may be disturbed by the woman’s constant unrest and movement.


Our personas have very different backgrounds. In doing so, it allowed our team to perceive what type of commonalities and differences that could exist amongst users in our target group. Our initial persona definitions were a little vague and prevented us from identifying how each persona would behave in a given scenario.

Personas - ChantalPersonas – Chantal [pdf]

Personas - Grace BeckerPersonas – Grace Becker [pdf]

Persona Comparison

Persona ComparisonPersona Comparison [pdf]

Foundation Sheet - ChantalFoundation Sheet – Chantal [pdf]

Foundation Sheet - GraceFoundation Sheet – Grace [pdf]

Affinity Diagrams
The affinity diagrams we developed from our cultural probes helped us shape the priorities and values of our personas. It aided us in understanding the mindset of the women in our target group.

Affinity Diagram

Affinity Diagram

Affinity Diagram

Affinity Diagram

Affinity Diagram

Affinity Diagram

Affinity Diagram

Affinity Diagram


Personas – Chantal [pdf]
Personas – Grace [pdf]
Foundation Sheet – Chantal [pdf]
Foundation Sheet – Grace [pdf]
Persona Comparison [pdf]

Cultural Probe Data Analysis

Our cultural probes analysis gave us insight on values and priorities from our target group. It also shaped our team’s knowledge on understanding how cultural probes can be quite difficult to interpret.

An assumption we had was that all the members of this group were pregnant but this premise was dispelled when we found out that one of the participants in our test study had already given birth. This gives us an idea of the implications of yoga as an exercise to address issues of health, specifically back pain and how to relieve it.
Cultural Probe Analysis

Cultural Probe Analysis [pdf]

Pre-Interview Summary

Post-Pickup Interview Summary

Interview Summary [pdf]

Raw Data – Interview Notes:
Initial Interview Notes [pdf]
Post Interview Questionnaire Notes [pdf]

Raw Data – Cultural Probes:
RawJournal-P [pdf]
RawJournal-S [pdf]
RawJournal-T [pdf]
RawJournal-Z [pdf]

Cultural Probe Results [pdf]

Cultural Probes

Our cultural probes mainly consisted of an activity book. Although most of the activity books were filled in, we would have changed some of the activities such as the one asking what a certain icon meant as it resulted in one word answers. Another one that we would have changed would be the Media Grid activity mainly because the results were too ambiguous to give any meaningful result.

We would have liked to receive more responses for the ‘Take a Picture’ activity, but one participant was having technical difficulties in doing so.

Cultural Probe Poster [pdf]

Activity Book [pdf]

Cultural Probe Poster v2 [pdf]
Cultural Probe Poster v1 [pdf]
Cultural Probe Presentation Slides [pdf]