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Fearless: Adopting Brave Experimentation (AWDG November 2013)

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Why are we so afraid of failure? Have we mistakenly placed UX decisions outside of a normal, human decision-making process? Let's talk about how to view our assumptions for the users as well-structured experiments instead of final decisions. We'll discuss the components of an intelligent, personal decision-making process and see how we can apply those to UX—all while making sure we're not limiting our options with our own subconscious tendencies.

Note: the authors I give major credit to verbally during my presentation aren't represented well in the slides. Major concepts from this presentation come from "Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work" by Chip & Dan Heath and "Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error" by Kathryn Schulz. Get those books!

Published in: Technology, Education
  • Actually it is healthy to assess and to fear it is the over assessment of what others can do and the comparison that needs to be reajusted. I look for all the ways I am wrong so I can see what others can add but what I wont do is believe that what I offer isnt just as unique and needed.
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  • :] good point
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  • @JessicaFalkowski No doubt—we fear rejection. Cultivating a place around you where experimentation is seen as a long-term benefit can be hard work. Personally, I'd recommend always trying to purge people and things that mock you for your efforts. Life's too short to be surrounded by people who can't work with and celebrate others.
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  • I think the reason we fear failure isn't because of ourselves, but rather those around us who humiliate, laugh, and continue to point out your failures. If I were alone in a field and failed at my project, I would just keep trying. If I were placed in the middle of a stadium working on a problem, I would definitely be fearful.
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  • @satheesan Thanks! When I present this, I give tons of credit to Chip and Dan Heath for the material in 'Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work', which is where lots of this material comes from.
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Fearless: Adopting Brave Experimentation (AWDG November 2013)

  1. FEARLESS Adopting Brave Experimentation
  2. DEFINE YOUR SUCCESS
  3. WIDEN YOUR OPTIONS
  4. FEARLESS Adopting Brave In any moment of decision, the best Experimentation thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing. [THEODORE ROOSEVELT]
  5. WIDEN YOUR OPTIONS Reframe Possibilities Find incremental options Instead of this or that, try this and that Talk to people who solved your problem
  6. REALITY TEST YOUR ASSUMPTIONS
  7. To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. [JOSEPH CHILTON PEARCE]
  8. REALITY TEST YOUR ASSUMPTIONS Avoid Confirmation Bias Seek out contradictory data Try to disprove your own theories Allow ideas to prove themselves Conduct small, less invasive tests
  9. ATTAIN DISTANCE
  10. It does feel like something to be wrong; it feels like being right. [KATHRYN SCHULZ]
  11. ATTAIN DISTANCE Neuter Your Emotions “Sleep on it” What would I say if...? Pursue your core objectives Argue
  12. PREPARE TO BE WRONG
  13. [WordPress 3.8] will either be amazing or a huge mistake. [MATT MULLENWEG]
  14. PREPARE TO BE WRONG We are Overconfident Statistically, our instincts are usually wrong Decisions should be commas, not periods Know what to do when things go wrong or well
  15. KNOW WHEN YOU’RE WRONG
  16. KNOW WHEN YOU’RE WRONG Run True Experiments Have a hypothesis, a control, and variables Tripwires (true deadlines) Correlation != Causation Use tools properly
  17. GREAT SUCCESS
  18. #FAIL
  19. BEING WRONG IS AWESOME
  20. HASTEN THE WRONG
  21. The neurotic who learns to laugh at himself may be on the way to self-management, perhaps to cure. [GORDON ALLPORT]
  22. HASTEN THE WRONG Ask People Who Are Not You User testing is fun and embarrassing Actually talk to users Test for show stoppers or tiny interactions, but do those separately You don’t need many users
  23. DATA INFORMS DESIGN
  24. The crucial variable in the process of turning knowledge into value is creativity. [JOHN KAO]
  25. DATA INFORMS DESIGN Illusion of Explanatory Depth People will find ways to give negative feedback if you frame it that way Data and feedback should inform design, not dictate it Get users to their goal with minimal cognitive load
  26. I could be wrong about this. [CLIFF SEAL]

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