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Keynote at the CIBC XX Design Challenge

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Bias, inclusion, lateral thinking

Published in: Design
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Keynote at the CIBC XX Design Challenge

  1. 1. I challenge you to think differently about everything what we aren’t seeing, what we can do, how we can do it Jess Mitchell Sr. Mgr. Research + Design @jesshmitchell
  2. 2. Unintended consequence
  3. 3. Unintended consequence
  4. 4. Unintended consequence
  5. 5. Unintended consequence
  6. 6. Unintended consequence Keesmaat Tory
  7. 7. Nothing is neutral
  8. 8. The way things begin matters
  9. 9. WHEN DESIGNS FAIL IT IS OFTEN BECAUSE THE DESIGNER STARTS FROM A POINT OF ASSUMPTIONS — BASED ON THEIR OWN BIASES, BEHAVIOURS, PLANS, EXPECTATIONS…
  10. 10. So, if we become aware of our biases, we’ll solve it – right?
  11. 11. What are we doing now?
  12. 12. How we do things now • Start with a brief that explains our vision + purpose • Define the outcomes we hope to see • Find a method to apply to achieve results • Find a method to measure success
  13. 13. How we do things now • Start with a brief that explains our vision and purpose Restate the vision and purpose • Define the outcomes we hope to see Show the outcomes have occurred • Find a method to apply to achieve results Show we’ve used the method • Find a method to measure success Show measures of success
  14. 14. How things really are •Unpredictable •Dynamic •Emerging •Adapting
  15. 15. Thinking Feeling Doing
  16. 16. How we think
  17. 17. We simplify complexity to make sense of the world
  18. 18. We often simplify to same-ness – confirmation bias
  19. 19. Instead what would happen if we embraced complexity?
  20. 20. How we feel
  21. 21. Incomplete and messy is unsettling. Hard feelings should be avoided.
  22. 22. The best we can ever do is to help most / the average /
  23. 23. When presented with a problem, what is the first thing you do?
  24. 24. We solve it as quickly and efficiently as possible
  25. 25. Framework
  26. 26. Token
  27. 27. Depth + Breadth
  28. 28. What would happen if we didn’t try to complete, but rather tried to continually improve?
  29. 29. How we do
  30. 30. Form & Function
  31. 31. Who are we designing for?
  32. 32. • Men • Women • Baby Boys • Baby Girls • New moms
  33. 33. What would happen if we focused on the unusual instead? What if we valued that?
  34. 34. • Men of small stature • Women who are new immigrants • Young Boys who like to play with dolls • Young Girls who like to play football • New moms who don’t feel connected to their baby
  35. 35. Ask WHO? If you really want to design for women, then ask yourself who are the most marginalized women?
  36. 36. What it means to be human
  37. 37. Misconceptions: If we just explore something (a person or a problem) from all possible angles we can know it, predict it and control it we can FIX it—we can design for it thinking & logic
  38. 38. How much of me do you see/know/acknowledge? Hiding in plain sight
  39. 39. How much of me do you think is similar to you?
  40. 40. we all have opinions understanding each other
  41. 41. Understanding how we connect • How much do we listen? • How much do we talk about ourselves? • How much do we follow-up? • How much do we wonder? How curious are we about each other?
  42. 42. we all have feelings understanding users
  43. 43. we are all designers with needs and preferences understanding each other
  44. 44. understanding We all design our lives, spaces, interactions and more
  45. 45. understanding each other We expect to be able to personalize — services, devices, spaces, interactions, and more
  46. 46. human tendencies sorting, organization, symmetry, + other delicious mind delights
  47. 47. We are all different
  48. 48. Resist the urge to generalize If the goal is to design for diversity, then we need a way to understand and explore diversity and inclusion.
  49. 49. Mismatch
  50. 50. Do This
  51. 51. How can we re-think?
  52. 52. Designs that have left us with issues Who has been architecting our world?
  53. 53. How can we re-feel?
  54. 54. Who is missing? Who isn’t here? And why?
  55. 55. The Table
  56. 56. About this Table… • Who isn’t here? • Is the table welcoming to all? • Have they been at the table before? • Do they know the culture of the table? • Is the environment the table is in safe, welcoming, open? • How is listening and capturing going to happen at the table? • Do those at the table have real ways to have an impact? Are they empowered to act on what is discussed?
  57. 57. How can we re-do?
  58. 58. know thyself Ask, was I brilliant or did I just perpetuate or further contribute to a cycle of exclusion and bias?
  59. 59. How things really are •Unpredictable •Dynamic •Emerging •Adapting
  60. 60. The power of Design Design has a unique ability to dignify. It can make people feel valued, respected, honoured, and seen. And this is both the opportunity and responsibility of design. - John Cary, architect
  61. 61. Who are we designing for?
  62. 62. 880 CITIES Gil Penalosa: "The organization was created centred on a simple but powerful philosophy; if you create a great city for an 8 year old and an 80 year old, you will create a successful city for all people."
  63. 63. Edges Failures and Gaps Reveal where the opportunity is Show places for innovation
  64. 64. Why is design so important - Emotional reactions to it - Shapes behaviour - Can make or break a situation - Leads to exclusion or inclusion
  65. 65. Aim for Resiliency and Flexibility: not ONE SIZE FITS ALL the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
  66. 66. Aim for Curiosity: not Solving Ask Why
  67. 67. QUESTION ASSUMPTIONS | EXPERIMENT
  68. 68. Scratch the surface… Inclusively designing anything fundamentally gets at issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion. It requires us to not only change our methodological approach, but also examine our own individual biases.
  69. 69. Diversity is a number; inclusion is a process; equity is an outcome
  70. 70. 3 THINGS 1. Recognize exclusion, it happens when we build things using our own biases as a baseline. 2. Learn from human diversity: watch and listen 3. Solve for one, extend to many
  71. 71. 3 THINGS What is the role of capital? Whose voice is being amplified? Whose is being diminished?
  72. 72. • Engineers are not the only ones building—we all adapt and grow design. • user-continued design Resist the urge to design for We can engineer a fix— technology can solve it all and we are smart people who know what is best architectural
  73. 73. Resist the urge to know an individual • We can create persona categories that represent the possible end users - they have similar + static needs understanding users • one-size-fits-one • empower users! agency! • Be curious! • Personas are meant to help model behaviour (and help us anchor our thinking), not represent full demographics of complex + unique people
  74. 74. ACTIVITY • Identify some gaps you’ve observed or experienced • Why are they gaps? • For whom are they gaps? • Where did they come from? • Is there any way to design for them?
  75. 75. what you measure is what you value
  76. 76. profit demographic diversity retention quarterly and annual growth loyalty What you measure is what you value
  77. 77. what you measure is what you value how you measure it is your bias
  78. 78. Data is not a mountain stream
  79. 79. Nothing is neutral
  80. 80. We err (often)
  81. 81. Thinking Activity • What do you measure? • And why?
  82. 82. Thinking Activity • What rules are there in the bank? • Do they work? Do they make sense? For whom?
  83. 83. Success What success is: • flexible • adaptable • mutable • responsive
  84. 84. Who’s doing it? Who’s voice is heard? Who is seen? What are we doing? Why are we doing it? Who is this for? Where is the capital? Who stands to gain/benefit/succeed? Who’s missing? and why? THE EDGE Power — when does it circulate and where
  85. 85. • With this brilliant design idea who just got excluded? • Is there a way I can bridge the gap I just created? A way I can solve for the mismatch or avoid it? DESIGN IDEAS:
  86. 86. - beware the taxonomy - beware the binary - beware certainty - beware completion
  87. 87. Take-aways Question the rules – who made them? Why are you following them? Who stands to benefit from them? Do they make sense anymore? Do they work?
  88. 88. Take-aways Don’t solve right away… THINK Lateral thinking – look at the problem from another angle, from relaxed attention, from the edges Look for failures to see gaps and therefore opportunities Don’t focus on the 80%, solve for the 20%
  89. 89. Allow for difference Who do you exclude with your decisions? Who can’t benefit from your designs? Take-aways
  90. 90. As much as possible let me be me. Give me agency, give me choice. Let me choose the ways to be delighted. Let me choose how I interact and connect with things. Focus on me! Take-aways
  91. 91. Take-aways Reflect on what you’re doing and why – question assumptions and ask yourself why you feel or react the way you do Change doesn’t happen over night – it will take some time to change the way you think and the way you do things. There is no fixed, predictable timeline for this – transformation is dynamic.
  92. 92. Mentor

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