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Skill Building For Design Innovators
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Skill Building For Design Innovators

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How can you broaden your sphere of influence within the field of human-computer interaction? You can start by building your muscles! Steve will take a look at some fundamental skills that underlie ...

How can you broaden your sphere of influence within the field of human-computer interaction? You can start by building your muscles! Steve will take a look at some fundamental skills that underlie the creation and launch of innovative goods and services. He will discuss the personal skills that he considers to be “the muscles of innovators” and the ways you can build these important muscles, including noticing, understanding cultural context, maintaining exposure to pop culture, synthesizing, drawing, wordsmithing, listening, and prototyping. Along the way, he will demonstrate how improving these powerful skills will equip you to lead positive change.

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Skill Building For Design Innovators Skill Building For Design Innovators Presentation Transcript

  • Skill Building For Design Innovators
    @steveportigal
  • Portigal Consulting is a bite-sized California firm that helps companies discover and act on new insights about their customers and themselves
  • The Promise of Mastery
  • Methods vs. Muscles
  • Today’s Session
    I’ll review some of the muscles I think are important
    Noticing
    Listening
    Understanding cultural context
    Synthesizing
    Wordsmithing
    Drawing
    Embracing pop culture
    These muscles drive how we understand users, collaborate with each other, and create design solutions
    For each, at varying levels of detail
    What are we talking about
    Why does it matter
    How to build these muscles
    I’ll talk steadily for the first 40 min. or so, then we’ll have Q & A at the end
  • 1. Noticing
    Noticing the noticing sensation
    Things that make you go “Hmm”
    Your attention is grabbed
    You stop what you are doing
    Laugh/point/cringe
    Furrow brow in confusion
    Whuttha…?
  • Noticing Our Users
    Gaps between self-reported and actual behavior
    Workarounds, hacks and kludges
    Process breakdowns
    Artifacts or details to ask about
    Not only what people say, but how they say it
  • Noticing helps you to notice later
  • Noticing helps you to notice later
  • Noticing helps you to notice later
  • Noticing helps you to notice later
  • Noticing helps you to notice later
  • Building Noticing Muscles
    Carry a camera/notepad and use it
    Thinkaloud protocol – say what you’re seeing
    To a friend
    To your device
    Get out of your regular/comfort zone
  • Building Noticing Muscles
  • 2. Listening
    Interpersonally, we’re trained to hear the breath signals that it’s our turn to talk. This is not really listening.
    FI
    NISHED
  • Listening Body Language
    Yes!
    Not so much.
  • You can demonstrate that you are listening by asking questions!
    • Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up
    • “Earlier, you told us that…”
    • “I want to go back to something else you said…”
    Signal your transitions: “Great, now I’d like to move onto a totally different topic”
    This level of listening is not how we normally talk to each other
    • Remember that you are interviewing, not having a friendly chat
    This is really hard
    Expert Listening in User Research
  • Building Listening Muscles
    Use serendipitous encounters with loquacious taxi drivers, airplane neighbors, or social-cue-missing party chatters
    Even if we can’t repair society’s listening inequity, we can use it to provide endless practice space
    Are you talking to me?
  • 3. Understanding Cultural Context
  • What is Culture?
  • Culture Defined
    How a group of people make sense of the world
    Common
    Experiences
    Beliefs
    Knowledge
    Values
    Attitudes
    Behaviors
    Meanings
    Patterns
    Symbols
  • But First: Cultural Norms
    Articulates what is normal
    Seen in artifacts
    Media
    Products
    Advertisements
    Street culture
    Trends and fads
    Normal isn’t “right or wrong” – it’s the set of background rules that define much of what people choose or ignore
  • What is Normal?
  • Cultural Context Experiences
    With these examples, think about your own experiences with culture
    Is this outside your norm?
    Is this something you have an analog for in your own culture?
    Is it your own culture?
    Have you observed this? Or something similar?
  • Cultural Context Muscles: Collect Your Stories
  • Cultural Context Muscles: Collect Your Stories
  • Cultural Context Muscles: Collect Your Stories
  • Cultural Context Muscles: Observe Observers
  • 4. Synthesizing
    Synthesis is essential if we want to use customer information to do more than solve “point needs”, i.e., to innovate
  • Idealized Synthesis Process
    4
    5
    2
    3
    1
    6
    Objectives
    Findings
    User Experience Brief
    IdeationQuestions
    Possible Strategies
    Possible Solutions
    DetailedSolutions
    7
  • Building Synthesis Muscles
  • Expert Synthesis Process
    4
    5
    2
    3
    1
    6
    Objectives
    Findings
    User Experience Brief
    IdeationQuestions
    Possible Strategies
    Possible Solutions
    DetailedSolutions
    7
  • 5. Wordsmithing
    Different than writing prose
    We draw on this when
    Writing PowerPoint
    Creating effective hyperlink labels
    Naming UI or product functionality
    Articulate findings about customer mental models (i.e., difference between automatic and smart)
  • Building Wordsmithing Muscles
  • 6. Drawing
  • Drawing
  • Drawing
  • Why Drawing?
    The more ways you have to work out ideas (alone or with others), the more impactful you will be
    Moving a pen on paper will to engage your brain (and your audience’s brain) in a different way than moving a mouse or typing on a keyboard
  • Sketching and Beyond
  • Sketching and Beyond
  • Sketching and Beyond
  • 1,000,000 Giraffes
  • 1,000,000 Giraffes
  • Building Drawing Muscles
    Draw
    It doesn’t matter that you “can’t draw”
    Kate Rutter calls it putting marks on paper to take the fear out of it
    Get other people to draw
  • 7. Pop Culture
    “Pop culture is a rich source of information that can often be crucial for our work. When the public begins to compare and contrast the voting for American Idol with voting for the American president, that’s something we want to pay attention to. Dismissing this cultural data by sniffing ‘I don’t watch American Idol’isn’t a relevant response.”
    Steve Portigal
    Living In the Overlap
    interactions, Sep+Oct 2008
  • Pop Quiz
  • Pop Quiz
  • Pop Quiz
  • Pop Quiz
  • Pop Quiz
  • Pop Quiz
  • To Know (About) Him Is Not To Love Him
  • Building Pop Culture Muscles
    Read/watch broadly yet shallowly
    Go outside your interests
    Not about being complete, but about expanding your base
    Skim, surf, flip – TV, RSS, headlines, publications, etc.
  • Building Pop Culture Muscles
    Consume the meatConsume the meta
  • Muscles and Where We’ll Use ‘Em
  • Another muscle to consider might be…
    Yeah, I’ve got a question for ya…
    One new thing I learned today is…
  • Thank You!
    @steveportigal
    steve@portigal.com
    415-894-2001
    Portigal Consulting
    www.portigal.com