UKUPA Mar 10 William Hudson: The Psychological Basis Of Nerdiness and it's Implications for UCD


Published on

This talk is based on William’s short paper to the CHI and British HCI conferences in 2009 about his large-scale study of IT workers.

The application of empathizing-systemizing tests found that technologists have substantially reduced empathizing skills and consequently have real difficulty in appreciating that others do not understand technology in the same way they do.

This will not come as a surprise to anyone who has worked in the IT industry for any length of time, but it does serve as justification for many of the activities undertaken in user-centred design.

Published in: Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

UKUPA Mar 10 William Hudson: The Psychological Basis Of Nerdiness and it's Implications for UCD

  1. 1. The Psychological Basis of Nerdiness and its Implications for UCD William Hudson Principal Consultant Principal Consultant syntagm Empathizing/Systemizing Theory • Large‐scale study of 450 IT workers (see  Hudson, William, 2009, Reduced Empathizing  H d Willi 2009 R d d E thi i Skills Increase Challenges for User‐Centered Design, CHI 2009 Conference, Boston and  British HCI Group Conference, Cambridge) Agile UCD 2 syntagm William Hudson 1
  2. 2. Empathizers Agile UCD 3 Systemizers syntagm William Hudson 2
  3. 3. Please select 1 bag at a time RTFM Agile UCD 6 William Hudson 3
  4. 4. Stamina of Navigation skills a camel Dexterity of of a bat a monkey Memory of an elephant Visual acuity of an eagle Copyright © Syntagm Ltd – The Perfect User Agile UCD 7 syntagm Technologists have strong systemizing but reduced empathizing skills Agile UCD 8 syntagm William Hudson 4
  5. 5. (There is a small effect for the few female technologists, but no ‘crossover’) Agile UCD 9 syntagm Men Women Empathizing Empathizing Systemizing Systemizing syntagm William Hudson 5
  6. 6. SQ minus EQ Predicts Programming Ability • In a separate study of 19 male programming  students, there was good correlation (r=0.67)  t d t th d l ti ( 0 67) between SQ‐EQ and programming ability tests  (see Wray, Stuart, 2007, SQ Minus EQ can  Predict Programming Aptitude, PPIG 2007) • Individual correlations with SQ and EQ were  Q Q much weaker Agile UCD 11 syntagm Increasing Empathy • Developers need to at least be aware that  users may have different views or  h diff t i understandings of a problem and its potential  solutions • Partitioning UCD into a separate team or Partitioning UCD into a separate team or  department not realistic in small teams (using  Agile approaches, for example) Agile UCD 12 syntagm William Hudson 6
  7. 7. Increasing Empathy • Two points to consider – People‐oriented people have higher EQ scores  than technologists – Even the lowest EQ scores for women were above  the average for men Agile UCD 13 syntagm The Agile Team Empathy Barrier Agile UCD 14 syntagm William Hudson 7
  8. 8. Increasing Empathy • Because of the ‘empathy barrier’ increasing  the EQ balance in a team alone may not be  th EQ b l i t l tb sufficient to improve engagement with UCD • We need to consider other ways of increasing  empathy – Teaching it Teaching it – Applying empathy‐promoting design techniques Agile UCD 15 syntagm Increasing Empathy • ‘Mind Reading’ is an interactive DVD from  Simon Baron‐Cohen and colleagues at the ARC Si B C h d ll t th ARC • Active research in empathy and its  mechanisms – Oxytocin improves "mind reading" in humans improves  mind‐reading in humans Domes, G., M. Heinrichs, et al. (2007). "Oxytocin improves “mind‐reading” in  humans." Biological Psychiatry 61(6): 731‐733. Agile UCD 16 syntagm William Hudson 8
  9. 9. Increasing Empathy ( Agile UCD 17 syntagm Empathetic Design • Research has found that empathy is related to  specific components of the brain called mirror  ifi t f th b i ll d i neurons • They are activated when performing a task but  also when seeing the same task performed by  others • To promote empathy we should rely on the  adage ‘seeing is believing’ Agile UCD 18 syntagm William Hudson 9
  10. 10. Field Research Agile UCD 19 syntagm Personas Agile UCD 20 syntagm William Hudson 10
  11. 11. Usability Testing Agile UCD 21 syntagm Empathy‐Assistive Technology syntagm William Hudson 11
  12. 12. Agile UCD One-Day Course Central London, 10 May 2010 • Understanding Agile, users and the relationship  between them  b t th • Promoting empathy with UCD techniques • Knowing what evidence will be most effective in  selling UCD • Adding value to an Agile team with UCD • Early booking discount until 9 April • Special offer: Book 3 places for the price of 2 Agile UCD 23 syntagm Agile UCD 24 syntagm William Hudson 12