MINDSTORMING collaborating to inspire and effect social change presented by Dante Murphy
Background the evolution of a process for social change
Today you will… DO acquire an understanding of the three main types of design collaboration (collaboration, participation, and workshop) by participating in all three learn and practice all of the relevant activities for each phase of the collaboration narrative, including details such as physical layout and observation techniques practice taking and analyzing structured notes to achieve actionable and sharable insights execute a rapid prototype and usability test to validate their hypotheses SEE outline the various kinds of reports that result from design collaboration review the planning template learn the evolution of design collaboration alongside the evolution of shared technology THINK learn how to assess whether an initiative would benefit from design collaboration, and which methodology is most appropriate understand the common narrative structure of all design collaboration methodologies receive answers to any questions you have about design collaboration
Ground rules If you’re here, be HERE. If you need to be somewhere else, be THERE. This is an immersive activity, there is no “limbo” state. Take breaks when you need them. Keep your body loose and your mind engaged. If you have a question, ask it. Don’t wait. Collaboration is “in the now”, questions get harder to answer as the context evaporates.
Activity 1: Bodystorm To warm up, I’m going to demonstrate a simple body-storming exercise you can use in your collaborative research.
Activity 1: Bodystorm Using this space in the room as a 2-dimensional grid, position yourself in response to these two questions: Is the methodology you use most often more LINEAR (front) or more ITERATIVE (back)? Would you rate your satisfaction with this methodology as LOW (left) or HIGH (right)? How many design in the medium? (raise hand)
Definition definitions, however arbitrary, are the basis of language
Collaboration As a research format… …collaboration invites communication, mediation, and influence into the research setting to better mirror the social and professional settings of customers. As an ideation technique… …collaboration collects diverse perspectives, experiences, and agendas under a framework of cooperation, understanding, and synergy to yield innovation, meaning, and stability. As a design process… …collaboration accelerates iteration under a dynamic, inclusive framework to deliver higher quality products and services in less time and realize improved return on investment.
Research: participatory design In participatory design, customers matching targeted profiles are recruited to provide a depth and breadth of insight, but are not expected to directly contribute to the design of the solution. communication: Participants will always feel more comfortable talking to their peers than a researcher, and their conversations will be more genuine. The language will be natural, and using activities to create or simulate situations will evoke individual and group reaction and interaction. mediation: Sequencing activities from individual assertion to situational response will allow participant to express and validate their own views, then provide scenarios in which understanding and compromise are required. influence: Astute observation and deft facilitation will provide opportunities to identify, assess, and probe influence within group and individual exercises.
Ideation: collaborative design In collaborative design, customers, clients, and/or designers work together to explore and understand the system in which their project operates and create or influence an idealized solution. diversity: The value of diverse perspectives, experiences, and goals is only realized when it is used to enrich understanding rather than create conflict. process: Facilitated activities that produce tangible artifacts enable individuals to create ideas that are refined by a small group and validated by presentation to the project team. outputs: Divergent thinking produces disruptive and innovative ideas, the framework aligns these ideas with audiences to make them meaningful, and collective authorship and ownership makes design decisions sustainable.
Workshop :: collaborative design studio In design studio, members of the project team use tangible artifacts and constructive critique to rapidly iterate and refine concepts into executable, testable solutions. visibility: Using process, templates, and simplistic representational skills allows contributors from all disciplines to exercise visual thinking skills, making their ideas visible to others for critique and refinement. critique: Expressing concepts back to the group throughout the process enables teams to borrow, combine, and refine elements against the collective experience and insight of the group. value: Leveraging the benefits of increased quality and speed within a repeatable methodology delivers more value for the project team and the client.
A collective trend toward collaboration There has been an unmistakable trend towards collaboration in research, ideation, and design. Collaborative research delivers deep qualitative insights inclusive of perception and communication that are validated by group activity Collaborative ideation collects the experience and perspective of diverse experts to yield innovative and disruptive concepts Collaborative design improves efficiency and quality through rapid iteration, embedded decision making, and sustainable agreements
Research One-on-one moderated research did a good job of identifying defects in prompted scenarios Small-group research enabled many viewpoints to be considered at once Ethnography introduced natural environments and unscripted interactions for greater realism and insight Participatory design aggregates these advantages and adds the benefit of tangible artifacts and activity-oriented observation
Ideation Through the industrial age, scientists worked independently to create and execute experiments whose results were known to them alone At the dawn of the information age, “think tanks” were convened to allow small teams of expert strategists to work on specific complex problems Where the solution to a problem impacted the balance of global power, problems were broken into segments and teams would work only on their piece, with no visibility into the associated processes Visual thinking evolved as a means of facilitating communication during the ideation process Gamestorming is the latest trend in ideation, using game mechanics to impart focus, structure, and energy in the ideation process Collaborative design aggregates these advantages as part of a framework for qualitative insight and strategy development
Design Design has always been iterative, whether the iterations were for the benefit of a client for approval or the designer for refinement Rooted in craft and artisanship, the sketching and prototyping enabled the designer to bring the process under control and make it repeatable Some arts, such as glassblowing, require a gaffer and an assistant to divide vision and execution As design spread to non-artistic disciplines such as technology, the production process became more industrial and linear As quality and efficiency dropped, familiar processes were revived under new names like XP and Scrum Design studio invites all participants to develop ideas visually that can then be presented, critiqued, and refined collectively
The time is right…right now. The confluence of human and technological capabilities creates an environment ready to embrace expanded use of collaborative methods. Crowdsourcing invites participation from a wide variety of stakeholders without regard to their individual influence Social media enables unstructured collaboration in real time with tangible artifacts across great distances Examples: Political activism in Egypt Community-supported agriculture Open source projects like Drupal and Mozilla
Designing for social change Combining the benefits of design thinking and collaboration yields a methodology ideally suited to deliver meaningful innovation and effect positive social change. A multi-disciplinary core project team aggregates, charters, and executes research informed by their collective expertise to deliver a baseline of understanding and define the problem space The project team uses activities to augment the conscious, cerebral process of each individual with visceral and instinctive reactions that can be observed, probed, and discussed by the group A collective synthesis process combines deep understanding of customer and context with the power of storytelling to describe meaningful design opportunities The design team combines these elements into innovative and disruptive products and services, delivering on the promise of social change.
Implementation success always depends, to some extent, on timing
Many tools and methods Focus groups activate the opinions and recollected experiences of targeted customers, but do not foster behavioral observation. Usability testing identifies defects in design or execution within scripted or organic scenarios, but is not inherently innovation-oriented. Genius design allows designers who represent the target audience to identify and develop innovative concepts that are meaningful to them, but is difficult to extend beyond the perspective of the designer. Analysis of metrics allows behavior to be analyzed collectively, but struggles to communicate context and does not include a process for discovering innovative solutions. Ethnography provides contextual observation, but context is invariably altered by the act of observation.
Focus groups Focus groups activate the opinions and recollected experiences of targeted customers, but do not foster behavioral observation. KEEP: inclusion of targeted customers facilitation to ensure active, constructive participation agenda focused on a specific problem ADD: scenarios for behavioral observation puzzles and games tangible artifacts The result is participatory design.
Usability testing Usability testing identifies defects in design or execution within scripted or organic scenarios, but is not inherently innovation-oriented. KEEP: focus on observation use of scenarios to define context inclusion of participant’s goals ADD: interaction over time dynamic communication between participants conceptual activities The result is participatory design.
Genius design Genius design allows designers who represent the target audience to identify and develop innovative concepts that are meaningful to them, but is difficult to extend beyond the perspective of the designer. KEEP: ability for participants to directly influence design systems-thinking approach focus on meaning over features ADD: multi-disciplinary collaboration inclusion of foundational research the ability to be surprised by customers The result is collaborative design.
Analysis of metrics Analysis of metrics allows behavior to be analyzed collectively, but struggles to communicate context and does not include a process for discovering innovative solutions. KEEP: synthesis of qualitative and quantitative data focus on behavior over opinion inclusion of competitive and benchmark data ADD: direct customer interaction to discover context embedded design process creation of new ideas over optimization of existing practices The result is collaborative design.
Ethnography Ethnography provides contextual observation, but context is invariably altered by the act of observation. KEEP: observation in context longitudinal study direct contact with customers to discover motivation ADD: embedded design process multi-disciplinary collaboration puzzles, games, and conceptual activities The result is participatory design.
When to use Design collaboration is both intuitive and adaptable, so you can use it for nearly any problem or project, but it is especially well-suited for: disruption: systems thinking based upon aggregated research, direct observation, and multi-disciplinary participation addresses issues and opportunities from many angles simultaneously rather than following well-worn pathways to compromise and mediocrity innovation: immersive activities support divergent, emergent, and convergent thinking to produce prototypes that are detailed enough to be tested, optimized, and implemented social change: focus on humanistic meaning and value, tempered by technological and contextual realities but augmented by activation of customer capabilities, yields idealized designs that address social issues in effective and inclusive ways
The common narrative the atomic unit of our cognition is the story
The overall framework Design thinking and collaboration influence or define the execution of every phase of the framework baseline: gather system-level information, setting the foundation for an idealized design solution activity: trigger collaboration and collectivism in expressing and addressing issues and scenarios related to the project synthesis: employ the collective attributes of the project team to develop a shared executable strategy design: execute the strategy on the system that contains the problem space, imparting durable and meaningful social change The narrative structure of the framework is system collaboration system understand a system, then work together to change it
Baseline Baseline research and information is primarily a collection and curation process. It’s not important how you do it, only that you use the information to inform planning of activities and in the synthesis process. secondary research: gather published reports and studies relevant to your product, audience, and market stakeholder interviews: gather insights, perspectives, experiences and expectations from key influencers and clients competitive landscape: evaluate existing offerings in the market for benchmarks and best practices analogy model: evaluate non-competitive experiences endemic to your audience to predict their standards for interaction and engagement
Activity The project team uses activities to augment the conscious, cerebral process of each individual with visceral and instinctive reactions that can be observed, probed, and discussed by the group. observation of behavior, tangible artifacts, environment, and reaction triggers the experience and perspective of each observer investigation of motivation, perception, and response within peer groups uncovers rational and emotional drivers for actions and expressed ideas discussion enables sharing of experiences and aspirations for refinement and response among a peer network
Narrative structure of the activity phase The activity phase of the framework has its own narrative because it is often the only part of the framework that includes targeted customers in a collaborative setting. Introduction: participants are introduced to the issue being discussed, to the facilitation team, to the research environment, and to each other Activation: participants work individually, in pairs, and in small groups to complete exercises that encourage them to express their ideas, values, and processes Validation: the context and concepts of the activation exercises result in scenarios and ideas that participants present to and with their peers
The cycle of innovation Breaks in the activity phase may occur; the volume and detail of observation captured in the structured note templates enables activities to maintain momentum over time. Still, it is necessary to complete all three segments to complete the innovation cycle. Introduction promotes divergent thinking, where a high volume of ideas are created or expressed without refinement or curation. Activation promotes emergent thinking, where the conscious mind is leveraged to evaluate ideas and formulate collective concepts Validation promotes convergent thinking, where concepts are shared and discussed to align on relevant scenarios and possible solutions
Segmenting participation within the narrative Unlike a traditional narrative, in the participatory design framework it is common for the cast of characters to change significantly within the narrative flow. uninformed participants in research activities give way to expert designers and strategists executing synthesis and design subject matter experts may emerge or be called upon clients and stakeholders may become active in the process of formulating or guiding a solution Each of these is a natural and desirable condition of the framework. While continuity has its benefits, agility and relevance are the trump cards.
Introduction shake hands with the people, the problem, the process and the place
Goals While Introduction activities provide great opportunities for observation, their over-arching goal is to create momentum for insight and innovation. Introduce participants to the topic: validate definitions of relevant terms solicit examples that illuminate context Introduce participants to each other: establish rapport within and between affinity groups normalize language to facilitate understanding and collaboration Capture anecdotal observations: follow and compare conversations identify patterns in reported attitudes and behavior
Selected activities There are many activities that are suitable for Introduction, but these four are among the most frequently used because they are flexible, evocative, and relevant across most scenarios. speed dating gives participants an opportunity to develop rapport with their peers and articulate their views and vocabulary related to the discussion topics bodystormingenables the facilitator to quickly assess general attitudes and experiences within the participant pool and pose questions to respondent clusters or individuals for group discussion build your own press kit allows each participant share information about themselves in a structured format and provides insight as to the valuation of attributes in establishing and communicating reputation story chain elicits and relate the individual experiences of participants into a series of collective narratives around scripted topics
Speed dating :: setting up Participants will work mostly in pairs to discuss a series of pre-printed topics. The goal is to quickly to generate discussion and share experiences with a peer. Create between 8-12 discussion topics and print them on numbered cards Discussion cards should all be declarative, polarizing statements Cards can be shuffled into any order Seat participants at 90-degree angles to each other Position scribe between, not across from, participants
Speed dating:: facilitation To allow participants to speak freely and openly, it is best to minimize interaction once the activity is under way. Lead facilitator circulates to: gather insights ask for context or additional detail on responses answer questions cross-pollinate ideas and topics of discussion Have a rotation plan and stick to it: plan for different numbers of participants using label cards preserves anonymity of participants
Speed dating :: observation Perhaps the only drawback of this activity is that it is difficult to observe, especially in real time, because multiple conversations are happening at once. Live translation is possible, but the discussions may become fragmented as the translator moves from one conversation to the next To get the most out of observing this activity, try to have as many scribes as pairings of participants In place of scribes, digital recorders can be used to capture notes Observe how an individual’s response to the same question evolves through discussion with multiple partners Take note of how participants organize questions As a follow-up activity, you can ask participants to work individually or in pairs to sort the questions in order of agreement or relevance
Bodystorming :: setting up Participants position themselves in a two-dimensional space to represent their responses to questions. The facilitator then poses follow-up questions to clusters and outliers based upon the resulting distribution. If the room is small or has fixed furniture, use a foamcore board and pins or other markers Plan to do one or two plots; the quality of result diminishes with more than two trials “For the second question, please indicate how often you use a mobile device such as a smartphone or a tablet computer such as the iPad for professional purposes other than email correspondence. Never is again at the left, and multiple times each day is at the far right.” “Now indicate how valuable you believe the applications and resources on your mobile device to be. This may be your experience using them, or if you do not use them, just your opinion.”
Bodystorming :: facilitation Because participants can observe and respond to the answers given by their peers, this seemingly simple activity benefits from skillful handling of subtle cues and feedback. If there are two or more distinct groups, the facilitator should ask questions to understand how the perceptions, behaviors, or attitude of each cluster create the conditions for a different outcome than the other cluster If there is a single cluster and one or more outliers, probe the outliers on what makes their viewpoint different If the participants do not form a cluster but are evenly distributed within the plot area, ask one or two participants near the middle to explain their position then invite the group to re-align The facilitator should feel free to re-calibrate an axis of the plot to achieve greater detail on a question After each plot, photograph the result for later analysis
Bodystorming :: observation Like most activities, it is important to capture the meaning of the tangible artifacts as well as the questions and responses. Using a pre-printed representation of the grid, sketch or map the location of clusters and outliers Observe which participants move confidently to their location on the grid and which others respond to the movement of their peers
Build your own press kit :: setting up Especially relevant for projects involving social media or communities, this activity allows participants to decide what information about themselves they want to share for a specific scenario. Print a series of “category” cards with blank spaces for the participant to write in relevant details or information Draft a scenario that provides context for the exercise
Build your own press kit :: facilitation Because there are a lot of pieces to this exercise, it is helpful to walk through an example response to the actual scenario as you provide instruction and materials. Each participant works only on her own press kit Give each participant a flipchart, foamcore board, or section of wall to use as the “canvas” for their press kit Be sure to provide tape or pins to adhere the cards to the “canvas” Don’t over-coach participants on the information they provide some will provide literal information, such as their real name or phone number others will provide “meta” information Focus on getting participants to present all of the categories first, before worrying about the detail of what they would present Up to 20 categories can easily be managed Provide a couple of “blank” category cards
Build your own press kit :: observation Because this activity produces a durable artifact, focus your observation during the session on how participants approach the exercise. Do participants fill out their cards first, then place them on the canvas? Do participants look for guidance on: layout? what to include? At the end of the activity, collect or photograph the press kits digitally transcribe the press kits, making sure to obscure or abstract any information that should not be seen or shared in the observations report using the numbers and position of the cards used, calculate frequency, grouping, and priority of attributes photo of unstructured result transcription of structured result
Story chain :: setting up The process of storytelling is a great way for participants to share their experiences within a controlled context. Based upon the engagement model of interactive fiction, progressive disclosure of the plot continually re-activates the memory and imagination of the participants. Start with a specific but very common situation faced by your participants you may want to include this situation in your screening criteria if possible, base the situation on foundational research Familiarize yourself with some of the more common resources participants might use to address the scenario you give them Prepare three scenarios, and do your best to complete at least two
Story chain :: facilitation It’s easy to fall into the “focus group” trap with this exercise. Remember to focus on completing several narratives, and avoid the temptation to lapse into discussion. Seat participants in a circle this activity works best with 6-8 participants Ask a specific participant to offer his response to the situation once the participant has described one action they would take, ask a different participant what they would do next try to involve every participant in the exercise Avoid engaging in a dialogue with a single participant advancing the narrative and engaging the whole group is more important than minute detail Coach participants to try and move forward with each response try to dissuade participants from presenting alternative actions or references back to previous responses
Story chain :: observation This exercise is well suited for translation, as it generates a rich, linear story line and lots of individual experiences. Watch for non-verbal responses Because participants are seated in a circle, use scribes or a camera to observe the reactions of participants whose backs are to the gallery A scribe can record in shorthand the basic theme of each response This should be done in the observation gallery, or in a place the participants can’t see, to discourage debate over previous responses Observers in the gallery should use the structured note template to capture their insights
Summary The sign of a successful Introduction is a group of engaged individuals who are talking about the same topics using similar terms. Introduction is important for all types of design collaboration two activities is the minimum three is the maximum Observation should focus as much on group dynamic as on verbatim response If a session must start late, distribute the amount of time you need to make up across all activities Remember, the goal is to enable and initiate divergent and emergent thinking in Activation.
Activation harmoniously energize the conscious and subconscious minds
Goals Activation activities trigger divergent and emergent thinking in participants and observers through sequences of fast-paced, response-and-reaction-oriented exercises. Participants prioritize: attributes of a situation or environment elements of a service or solution Participants map: existing or optimal processes relationships founded on communication or influence Participants collaborate: to achieve a shared understanding to align their goals
Selected activities There are many activities that are suitable for Activation. These four represent different levels of engagement, different facilitation styles, and different perspectives. process mapping requires a group of participants to align on common conditions and actions that govern their response to a scripted situation design charades allows participants to express a situation or solution without words, triggering divergent interpretations of actions and artifacts divide the dollar forces participants to plan and prioritize limited resources in response to a scripted situation 5 whys allows participants to question each other about motivation, preference, and awareness of alternatives in solving a scripted problem
Process mapping :: setting up This very flexible exercise allows participants to describe an existing or desired process for addressing situations that are common to all and relevant to the project. Prepare stimulus cards for each team outlining : anticipated activities commonly used resources Divide participants into groups of 3-4 Each team will map their process then present to the group Don’t be too prescriptive about the context…allow the team to organically arrive at a general scenario that fits their collective experience Seat a scribe at each table Digital recorders can be used instead of scribes
Process mapping :: facilitation There are several variations to the standard flowcharting version of this exercise. Feel free to mix, match, and change methodologies to generate a plurality of relevant ideas. Ensure that all team members are participating query quiet participants to make sure their ideas are represented consider “trading” team members mid-exercise to cross-pollinate and validate ideas Clarify the visual language, but don’t give instruction on how to create a proper flowchart Alternately, use “negation” as an ideation or workshop method: if a team is stuck in describing a possible solution to a long-standing problem instruct some teams to attempt an optimal process, while others try to describe a catastrophic one Can also map influence instead of process to help identify issues in communication, motivation, and priority
Process mapping :: observation Because multiple teams will be working at the same time, scribes will be able to capture discussion in real time. Gallery and remote observers may only be able to respond to tangible assets and the presentation of final maps. Observe the team dynamic during the activity to record and account for dominance and dissonance within a team During team presentations, watch for comments that compare the output or explanations of different teams After the activity is complete, photograph the maps for later digital transcription and analysis be sure to indicate if a map was used in a “negation” exercise!
Design charades :: setting up This activity combines the power of the conscious mind with the fallibility of non-verbal communication to evoke unexpected ideas and interpretations of situations and assets. This activity can be done in place of the standard presentation of process maps, or as a separate exercise An individual or team is given a scripted scenario to present only one participant presents at a time when done in teams, a participant can “tag out” and have another team member take over the presentation The objective is for a team to make their concept easy for the other team to accurately understand
Design charades :: facilitation Because the focus during this activity is on a single individual, the most important task of the facilitator is to provide clear direction on ground rules and expectations. Encourage the presenter to describe their environment Unless the project deals with a service or product that will primarily be used by more than one person simultaneously, do not allow more than one person on the “stage” at a time Keep time accurately 2-3 minutes per charade allow 3-5 minutes after each charade to follow-up Permit the use of props, such as: mobile phone laptop computer papers and books packages
Design charades :: observation The structured notes template is particularly useful for this activity, especially for ideation and workshop settings. Observations can be referenced and refined during follow-up, or can be aggregated and processed during Synthesis. Scribes should record participants’ guesses Pay attention to how participants attempt to convey emotion Note the importance of props to the presenter if a prop is not necessary, the action being represented can usually be abstracted to another modality or medium Note whether the presenter showed a successful, incomplete, or unsuccessful outcome to the scripted scenario
Divide the dollar :: setting up This allocation exercise goes by many names but is always about the same thing, prioritization of finite resources to plan for execution of a strategy or tactic. Create a series of cards that represent resources or assets include space on card for teams to record their allocation cards can have more than one allocation can provide categories of resources/assets or literal values Draft a meaningful scenario that will require participants to prioritize and choose resources along a timeline Include no more than 2 attributes that need to be allocated
Divide the dollar :: facilitation Depending on the nature of your project and the energy of your group, you can run the standard version of this exercise or the more provocative “auction” version. Provide each team space to spread out all of their assets/resource cards When managing multiple attributes, suggest team rate one scale at a time Don’t worry about arithmetic errors If a team is stuck, encourage them to sort first, then assign value If there are enough resources and assets for all teams to complete the scenario, consider running the “auction” variation of this exercise a listing of all assets is provided in the order they will be offered make the order random give each team a budget and start the bidding remind each team that each item will be offered only once in this exercise, budgets should be managed more strictly teams can carry their assets and resources forward into a scenario-based ideation exercise or role play
Divide the dollar :: observation While the results of either variant can easily be recorded at the end of the activity, there are many opportunities for insight during the activity. Teams will often sort or cluster cards before assigning values or formulating a bidding strategy scribes may ask about clusters or request an overview of the bidding strategy at any time during the exercise When multiple attributes are being rated, track whether one a is better predictor or driver of total perceived value Map influence and dependency between resources and assets does the value of one change if another is present? In the “auction” variant, observe whether teams formulate a strategy and stick to it or if they adapt as the auction progresses
5 whys :: setting up In this exercise, participants interview each other about their response to a scripted scenario by asking five successive “why?”questions. This technique uncovers deeper layers of process and dependency that provide opportunity for insight and innovation. Create 2 or 4 scripted scenarios each should be phrased as a “what do you do…” or “how do you…” question scenarios should be significantly different for each iteration so that participants are not biased by the response their partner gives to a preceding scenario or their own reaction to it Provide coaching on how to ask good “why” questions walk through a sample scenario with a participant display examples of how to frame a “why” question during the exercise
5 whys :: facilitation During the interview portion of this exercise, the role of the facilitator is to help participants formulate good “why” questions and keep everyone on track for time. The ensuing discussion is more like a traditional focus group. Split participants into dyads if there is an odd number, facilitator interviews a participant, then “trades” that participant and interviews someone else for each scenario encourage participants to take notes by providing paper and pens Only expose one scenario at a time so that participants are not biased by the response their partner gives to a scenario or their own reaction to it Run through all scenarios, then have a group discussion about each who was surprised by something their partner said? who wanted to share an idea or experience with their partner? limit discussion to no more than 5 minutes per scenario
5 whys :: observation Like speed-dating, this activity it is difficult to observe because multiple conversations are happening at once, but the presentations after the interviews are well suited to structured note-taking. Live translation is possible, but the discussions may become fragmented as the translator moves from one conversation to the next To get the most out of observing this activity, try to have as many scribes as pairings of participants in place of scribes, digital recorders can be used to capture notes you can also ask participants to record the questions they asked and hand in their notes Listen as much to the questions as to the answers each interviewer is also a participant questions can illuminate perception, bias, and interest
Summary The sign of a successful Activation is deep, dynamic understanding of existing and desired customer behavior that can be further examined and evaluated. Activation is essential for all types of design collaboration two activities is the minimum, five is the maximum repetition can be better than explaining and executing additional activities Observation should focus on both the process of the various activities as well as their outcomes Collaboration is focused on the description and creation of consensus-driven solutions based upon a shared understanding acquired during Introduction. You should be able to describe mental models of participants fro the perspective of priority, process, and relationship Remember, the goal of Activation is to discover and develop ideas from a variety of perspectives for Validation and later Synthesis.
Validation confirm and deepen your understanding
Goals Validation position insights for convergence to a unified strategy. Communication is active, context is fresh, and participants act from a shared understanding to the elements of sustainable innovation. Key observations and hypothesis are: confirmed through iterative explorations extended into new contexts Participants express their thoughts and ideas: in their own words to achieve their own goals New dimensions are explored: interactions are exposed to the passage of time communication and partnerships yield further insight
Selected activities Validation requires an activity that brings ideas and insights into clear focus without constraining creativity in expression or approach. Few activities can do this reliably, so it is likely that you will use these frequently. participants engage in role play to apply timing, communication, and context to scripted goals and observe how processes and resources adapt to realistic, dynamic situations participants use an empathy map to express how actual people in different roles respond to specific scenarios, which can be compared to behavioral research to identify bias and misunderstanding participants create a fictional tomorrow’s headline to tell the anticipated story of the project’s success, illuminating their individual value structure participants use modeling to more tangibly envision their proposed solution and test its feasibility, usability, and desirability
Role play :: setting up Keeping role play activities on-target and relevant requires considerable preparation. Participants, stimuli, and environment all must be considered and prepared to ensure value in the exercise. Be aware of cultural factors that may influence or preclude role play Determine whether your role plays will be: plot-driven—use a detailed, scripted scenario, but allow participants to behave freely in the roles you assign character-driven—provide explicit detail about the goals of each character, the relevant information they have, and any relevant preferences Provide a “black-box” environment that represents the type of scenario or interaction you are representing Professional Social Informal Develop a handful of helpful props that participants can use, such as:
Role play :: facilitation In role playing, the facilitator becomes the director of an improvised performance. It is important to manage pacing without influencing content. Facilitator can be the “voice of God”, informing participants during their performance about things they: know/don’t know—would they be able to take meaningful action with or without a piece of information? have/don’t have at hand—would the participant go to the trouble of getting the item or would they revert to an alternative? would they use an alternative if it were available? can’t use—force them to use an alternative, especially if your project focuses on a specific technology or product Introduce additional characters as needed would the current actors expect this person to be part of the interaction? When the scene has run its course, announce that it has ended
Role play :: observation Observing a role play is evocative but challenging because nobody really knows what will happen next. Use the structured note template to help quickly record as many observations and impressions as possible. Observers should be aware of the scenario and motivations of all participants Observe where characters are looking for clues as to their behavior Looking at their character or scenario cards Looking to the facilitator Looking to their peers Pay particular attention to the use of props When they are used How they are used If the facilitator provided “voice of God” direction, how did it impact the flow of the scene?
Empathy map :: setting up The empathy map makes it possible for participants to freely express their perceptions of the way the people they interact with behave. Create large-format, pre-printed empathy maps for a number of key scripted scenarios Scenarios can be radically different or variations on a common theme Participants can work individually or in pairs The elements of an empathy map are a label, a central character, a scenario, and segments to record what the character:
Empathy map :: facilitation The most important element of facilitating the empathy map exercise is to manage time and participation. Because the exercise involves assumptions about the behavior of others, it is best to avoid conscious reasoning or interpretation. Keep the time short instinctive responses are generally the most accurate most situations generate no more than a handful of meaningful responses When participants work together. ensure that both are contributing each may take a different role, where one represents the external actors and situation make sure both are writing their responses on the board, rather than one dictating to the other Encourage participants to record at least one entry in each section of the map When participants appear to have completed their maps, select one or two teams per scenario to share responses from differing perspectives circulate during the exercise and form a roster of presenters invite commentary from the group
Empathy map :: observation Because the nature of this exercise already involves assumptions by the participants, it is best to be as literal as possible in observing and taking notes. Be especially vigilant for maps where the inputs (seeing, hearing) are the same but outputs are significantly different Look for trends in the volume of response in specific sections are characters presumed to be more cerebral, emotional, or physical in their response to the situation? During discussion, note which map entries are real experiences and which are imagined If real, is this representative of a majority reaction or a particularly memorable outlier? If imagined, is there no precedent to recall?
Tomorrow’s headline :: setting up It’s never too early to envision the success of the project. This activity can be both uplifting, illuminating, and fun, allowing participants to think about what success will mean and how it will be achieved. Provide examples or templates for participants to work from general news format industry or interest publication personality piece about the person or team who made success possible lampoon or prediction of imminent demise You can also introduce elements of collage-making by providing existing magazines participants can clip or reproduce images from
Tomorrow’s headline :: facilitation It is important to encourage participants, especially those who are not accustomed to drawing, to mix the use of text, layout and imagery. Even academic and financial journals use thumbnail images and charts. Encourage the use of imagery provide magazines to cut pictures from demonstrate simple figure-drawing techniques do not provide samples of images or icons, as this will lead participants toward their use Use of literal and placeholder text use claims in headlines provide supporting information in body and callouts charts must include literal labels Ensure that each “cover” has a date and masthead can create a fictional magazine encourage as much specificity as possible in assigning a date be sure date matches proposed content
Tomorrow’s headline :: observation While there is little to observe during the creation of the “covers”, their presentation to the group offers ample opportunity for understanding how participants envision the future and the path to it. Why did they choose the magazine or journal they did? If they used a fictional publication, why? Was the language aspirational, factual, or critical? How would you describe the imagery? Did the imagery fit the tone of the story? What was the intended tone of the story? shocking informative reassuring entertaining
Modeling :: setting up For products or services whose form or spatial representation is a key feature, creating models is an essential step in realizing innovation. Modeling objects requires a variety of conceptual and configurable materials Modeling environments requires a more literal set of materials Provide a space with relevant furnishings Provide relevant props, such as packages, forms, and digital interfaces Mark the location of access points and any fixed objects
Modeling :: facilitation The most challenging thing about facilitating modeling is not getting caught up in the excitement and creativity. Encourage participants to plan and experiment before committing to a final design sketches help identify and resolve design issues prototypes help identify conceptual and implementation problems Do not force participants to consider things they have not thought about safety power globalization manufacture Provide frequent updates on remaining time it is better to deliver a rough, finished concept than a polished, incomplete one
Modeling :: observation Modeling provides rich opportunities for observation both during the construction and the presentation of the models. Photos and sketching should augment the structured note template. Collect any sketches or prototypes and bundle them with the final design For environments, be sure to photograph from multiple angles Schematic and POV At rest and in use Capture the objectives of each team, whether they were achieved or not Keep an ear out for provocative verbatims
Summary The signs of a successful Validation are refined concepts that have been observed in action with elements of time and interaction evaluated. Validation is essential for all types of design collaboration two activities is the minimum, three is the maximum each activity includes the creation of an artifact, followed by group discussion Observation should focus on both the artifact or performance and the reaction it generates among the participants It should be possible at this time to describe the outlook and contributions of every participant The goal of Validation is to confirm that all available viewpoints have been articulated and understood so that a unified strategy can evolve.
Synthesis you haven’t done anything until you’ve made something
The elements of the framework Knowledge Market presentations by subject-matter experts Affinity Mapping observations into insight groups Delphic Sort of insight groups into coherent themes Story-Plotting tactics for key audiences A Capstone Statement that aggregates key tactics into a unified strategy
The Knowledge Market Subject-matter experts share key knowledge with the entire core team, providing all participants the same baseline information while understanding and internalizing each others’ perspectives Each presenter shares information such as customer personas, business metrics, technology constraints and brand guidelines Presentations are short (10-20 minutes each) and focused only on information of immediate relevance to the project Participants record their observations into a structured template Functional needs Emotional drivers Current behaviors Desired experiences Individual ideas and impressions Observations are numbered and carried forward into subsequent activities Time estimate: 1-2 hours
Affinity Mapping Participants group and apply labels to their collected observations using printed sheets that make the collected wisdom of the group visible and tangible Each observation from the knowledge market is printed on a single sheet of paper in random order Sheets are distributed to participants in equal-sized stacks Participants create or find clusters and apply labels that describe a common thread to the collected insights The activity is led by a facilitator, who encourages active discussion and editing, combining, or splitting clusters When a participant gets stuck, she trades stacks with another participant Every observation must be placed and every cluster must be given a label Time estimate: 30 minutes
Delphic Sort Participants review initial clusters through two rounds of review and revision, ensuring distribution of perspective Each participant selects a cluster and goes through observation, shifting observations between clusters, creating new clusters, or modifying the label of the cluster The facilitator encourages open discussion, tracks the progress of the activity, and urges action over analysis Once a participant has completed a cluster, he initials the cluster label and moves on to another cluster Activity continues until each cluster has been reviewed and initialed by two different participants Any cluster which represents a theme that is beyond the scope of the project can be excluded, but only by unanimous consent of the group Time estimate: 30 minutes
Story-Plotting Participants create stories that articulate the realities of the current situation for a cluster and describe idealized solutions that represent possibilities or address fears for specific audiences The facilitator distributes the completed clusters among the participants, mindful of the relative “weight” of each For each cluster, a “story-plot” cover sheet is distributed Participants map each observation to a quadrant of the story-plot Individually, participants draft a brief narrative about their cluster that describes the situation and offers an innovative design solution for a specific targeted audience Participants report their stories to the group Group members respond with constructive or additive feedback The activity continues until every cluster has been reported Time estimate: 60-90 minutes
The Capstone Statement The team works together to craft a single sentence that defines the expected outcome and audiences of the project The facilitator may display a “mad-lib” template to use as a starting point The facilitator projects the working draft onto a screen for all to see The group works together to formulate, modify, and finalize the strategy statement The statement indicates: the overarching objective of the project the key tactics it contains the audiences it serves the benefits those audiences will derive from it the timing of its completion Time estimate: 30 minutes
Sample strategy statement template The <thing you are creating> will… …provide <a specific kind of value>… …to <a targeted customer segment>…<or two>…<or three>… …by providing <tactic one>…<tactic two>…<tactic three>… …<at some specified time>… …<under some specific conditions>… …that <achieves some business objective>…<and another>… …supporting <the client’s>…<position in the market>.
Timing and Effort The process can be as short as a single day, but should never take more than a week Sample timeline: Pre-requisite: collect or complete all inputs Knowledge Market on morning of Day 1 Print all observation sheets over lunch break on Day 1 Complete all activities through strategy statement afternoon of Day 1 Project management team drafts phased release plan on Day 2 Team re-convenes on Day 3 to finalize plan
Testing an imbecile learns more by watching than a genius does by thinking
Convergence toward creation During synthesis, many tactical responses will emerge, some of which compete with others and some of which are disruptive, but enticing. Update customer profiles to represent: individual behavioral observations the specific audience addressed by the project strategy recruitment criteria for design validation and usability testing Use right-fidelity prototypes to answer questions about: content organization features Employ a testing methodology that enables confident development
Personas Because of their basis in factual observation, personas should be the first thing addressed following synthesis. Revising and enriching personas will help… …identify meaningful scenarios that align with real customer goals and business opportunities …recruit the right participants for the questions you are trying to answer, rather than relying on market segmentation or previous screeners …structure test plans that approach the customer’s mental model in a plurality of ways to evoke conscious, sub-conscious, and emotive reactions …develop stimuli that includes the right level of detail to facilitate recognition where necessary without prohibiting imagination
Prototypes Prototypes represent the embodiment of project-specific research and general design principles. Designing in the medium and creating prototypes… …makes elements of the design more tangible for further refinement before testing …provides right-fidelity modules that match the anticipated test scenarios with appropriate content and interactions …answers questions about feasibility and technical integration before committing to a design …provides clients and stakeholders with a design checkpoint for legal, regulatory, or brand adherence approval
Notes on agile testing Test conducted between synthesis and detailed design are not intended to generate detailed findings or validate completed concepts, so the methodologies need to be fast and directional to the design team. The progressive baseline methodology allows test participants to use resources they choose to accomplish goals they select, then gradually adds contextual constraints and measures the deflection in behavior until the desired test scenario is presented. Use the progressive baseline methodology to: measure impact of low-fidelity prototypes enable testing of low-frequency interactions provide benchmarks for interactions with no comparative data
Endgame don’t deliver a solution for the past, deliver a plan for the future
Elements of the endgame Design collaboration creates and maximizes the value of: observations from primary research, stakeholder interviews, and design validation testing a strategy statement that articulates project goals and aligns the team conceptual models and prototypes for reviews and approvals a tactical map that aligns content, tools, services, and features to key audiences a phased release plan informed by customer and client prioritization as well as technical feasibility detailed design guidelines to leverage the value of research findings
Strategy statement The e-Services Platform is… …a common set of content and tools that provide services and information to physicians in support of their patients and practice… …and enhances their relationship with <client>… …available on the physician section of each <client> brand website, …and accessible by mobile devices… …with content and services organized according to their timeliness… …supported by a physician profile which grows over time… …informed by explicitly stated preferences, search terms entered and acted upon, and other online patterns of use… …designed to provide increasingly personalized content and tools, based on the evolution of the physician profile… …which can be accessed on each individual brand site, or can be aggregated in a personal, customizable physician landing page… …that includes personal messages and alerts, physician-specified links to content and tools, and access to information that does not have a dedicated brand website or outlet.
Planning the time to address compromise is before it becomes a necessity
Elements of the plan Once a project is under way, it is very difficult to re-allocate resources or extend timelines to accommodate informative or foundational activities. That ‘s why it’s important to plan for all activities, including: estimation of design documentation and prototype development Time, materials, and overhead Inventory of deliverables Roles and responsibilities collaborative sessions and design validation screeners test plans discussion guides recording and streaming logistics, overhead, and partner agreements travel, lodging, and incidentals for facilitators, scribes, and observers service agreements NDA and IP agreements
Estimation worksheet Using an activity-based grid by role helps organize and scope your design collaboration. This is an example for a three-session ethnographic design collaboration. a
Estimation cover sheet The estimation cover sheet enables mapping to rate-sheet role titles, describes roles and responsibilities where ambiguous, and includes a detailed breakdown of pass-through costs.
Research planning Each kind of research needs to be planned and budgeted: foundational research includes chartering a study or licensing study results for analysis, presentation, and re-publication design collaboration requires a facility, screening and recruiting participants, compensation for participants, test plans, discussion guides, assets for the sessions, and office supplies for participants and observers concept validation may require the creation of prototypes, licensing of test equipment (such as an eye-tracking unit) in addition to screening, recruiting and compensating participants When planning research, remember: translation and transcription make it possible for observers to guide or participate in research sessions conducted in the native language of participants without perceptible loss of meaning streaming and recording help stakeholders observe, comment on, and become invested in the outcome of your research regardless of their location or availability
Logistics, overhead, and partner agreements When planning travel and logistics: …be sure to account for facilitator, scribes, and observers …include all facility and equipment costs and terms …visit or get photos of the spaces you will be using to inform your stage plots and blocking …confirm all the materials that will be on site, and be sure to bring everything you might need If you are using a vendor or partner: …be sure to protect the intellectual property of your methodology …ensure that your client is protected by NDA with any vendors or contract help …verify whether your clients requires that any vendor you have is on their procurement list …inquire if your vendor must undergo any training, certification, or background check
Closing the end of everything is the beginning of something else
Summary Today you have learned and practiced: …a technique for recording and organizing observations …a research methodology for eliciting meaning and insight …a process for synthesizing diverse quantitative and qualitative information into a cohesive strategy made up of prioritized executable tactics …a series of guidelines for documenting and presenting innovative concepts to clients and stakeholders Together, these elements formulate a participatory design framework designed to deliver innovation that incites social change.
Case study 1: Social media research and partnership plan for global healthcare client Exploring the possibilities afforded by social media in a heavily regulated environment required an approached designed to deliver innovation. Adding the knowledge market as the final piece of the process enabled the inclusion of a greater variety of research inputs and unified the synthesis process. Social Media is… …the confluence of peers and information… …influencing attitudes and behaviors… …by amplifying immediacy, plurality, breadth, and depth of interaction… …characterized by an elastic mix of transient and enduring relationships… …that can be shaped and controlled by the user.
Case study 2: Global digital marketing strategy for global healthcare client The size and scope of this project necessitated an approach that thrived on complexity, context, and collaboration. We added structured notes and the synthesis framework to our existing process, distilling over 11,000 observations into a single volume of planning, design, and execution guidelines.
What to do now With an understanding of what design collaboration can achieve, let’s craft our own strategy statement: Design collaboration will enable <my design team>… …to deliver <a specific kind of value>… …to <a targeted customer segment>…<or two>…<or three>… …by implementing <tactic one>…<tactic two>…<tactic three>… …<at some specified time>… …<under some specific conditions>… …that <achieves some business objective>…<and another>… …supporting <the client’s>…<position in the market>.
Selected bibliography Here’s a handful of books that inspired or refined this presentation: Storytelling for User Experience Whitney Quesenbery and Kevin Brooks Gamestorming Dave Gray, Sunni Brown, James Macanufo Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision Making Sam Kaner Visual Meetings David Sibbert Getting to Yes Roger Fisher and William Ury
Digital resources Some favorite digital resources related to the topic: Gamestorming wiki www.gogamestorm.com Bodystorming guru @dennisschleiche Interview with Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO, about collaborative design http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_12/b3925612.htm Design Collaboration wiki <URL to be announced at the event>
Going once…going twice… Before I release you all back into the wild… There is a mailing list at the front of the room if you are interested in being notified about future publications and presentations on this topic (or you can just hand me a business card) The volunteers are handing out evaluation forms. Please fill them out, and be as honest and detailed as possible. (I’d also love to see some twitter action…remember the #mindstormingtag!) If we have time I will take questions, otherwise please feel free to stay on for a bit and I’ll answer anything you care to ask. (really, anything at all)
Collaborating to inspire and effect social change… “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Meade “In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” Charles Darwin “Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” Vince Lombardi
You survived. Be proud. Dante MurphyGlobal Experience Director, Digitas Health @dantemurphy oxbyd.wordpress.com