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Designing for the liminal

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A discussion and set of recommendations for designing in a time of liminality and the key role that information architecture (IA) plays. First presented at EuroIA in Brussels Sept 2014 #EuroIA then at the UX SA Conference in Cape Town Oct 2014 #UXSA14

Published in: Design
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Designing for the liminal

  1. 1. D E S I G N I N G F O R T H E L I M I N A L
  2. 2. B E T W I X T A N D B E T W E E N
  3. 3. L I M I N A L I N A N T H R O P I T Y O L O G Y
  4. 4. …the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of rituals, when participants no longer hold their pre-ritual status but have not yet begun the transition to the status they will hold when the ritual is complete.
  5. 5. During a ritual's liminal stage, participants "stand at the threshold” between their previous way of structuring their identity, time, or community, and a new way, which the ritual establishes.
  6. 6. Arnold van Gennep: Rites de Passage. 1909 Victor Turner: Betwixt and Between: The Liminal Period in Rites of Passage. 1967
  7. 7. Preliminal rites …or rites of separation Liminal rites …or transition rites Arnold van Gennep: Rites de Passage. 1909 Postliminal rites …or rites of incorporation
  8. 8. Ambiguity and disorientation Dissolution of identity & new perspectives Through (social) withdrawal comes scrutinity • Of central values and axioms within which culture occurs • The normal limits to thought, self-understanding, and behavior are undone. The structure of society is temporarily suspended Turner: Betwixt and Between: The Liminal Period in Rites of Passage. 1967
  9. 9. INDIVIDUAL GROUP SOCIETY MOMENTARY PERIOD EPOCH (LIFETIME)
  10. 10. L I M I N A L F O R T H E I N D I V I I T Y D U A L
  11. 11. L I M I N A L G R O U P S I T Y F O R
  12. 12. D E S I G N T H I N K I N G A S L I M I N A L P R O C E S S
  13. 13. PRE-LIMINAL LIMINAL POST-LIMINAL
  14. 14. PRE-LIMINAL LIMINAL POST-LIMINAL DE-CONSTRUCTION SYNTHESIS RE-CONSTRUCTION
  15. 15. An experience of ambiguity and disorientation Multi-disciplinary teams working as equals Suspended norms Acquiring new perspectives Questioning central values, beliefs and axioms
  16. 16. THE INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE OF MEANING MAKING http://www.springer.com/computer/hci/book/978-3-319-06491-8 NAVIGATING INDETERMINACY THROUGH THE APPLICATION OF USER JOURNEYS http://www.fennhobbs.com/papers/navigating_indeterminacy_%20through_the_application_of_user_journeys.pdf THE INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE OF TRANSDISCIPLINARY DESIGN PRACTICE: RETHINKING NATHAN SHEDROFF’S CONTINUUM OF UNDERSTANDING http://www.fennhobbs.com/papers/the_information_architecture_of_transdisciplinary_design_practice.pdf
  17. 17. L I M I N A L S O C I E T I T Y I N Y
  18. 18. Most easily seen in diverse, heterogeneous societies.
  19. 19. L I M I N A L E P O C H I T Y A S
  20. 20. D I G I T A L F I R S T *
  21. 21. Why now? Where businesses, organisations, governments…now stand is at the epoch level of liminality. Not momentary or period. We are in the midst's of the information age and yet many enterprises still operate with industrial structures and mind-sets. Even businesses that have no tangible product to sell (like banks) have industrial age operating models.
  22. 22. Where digital first emerged within IT and then extended into marketing, it is now settling into the space of business. And you don’t need to be ecommerce enabled to do business online. The growing expectation, from both staff and customers, is that business is online and digital in all respects.
  23. 23. In most enterprises, almost everything sits on a digital backbone Information will flow via digital channels whether we like it or not Is the challenge to put anything –first or to join the dots?
  24. 24. Is the transformation businesses require just the operational integration of digital channels or something more? A digital mind-set implies the institutionalisation of UX which has far reaching consequences. What are they? When we talk about UX are we not actually talking about design? How human-centered are the transformation activities of companies in reality?
  25. 25. L I M I N A L I T Y A N D I A
  26. 26. Is there another way to look at the shift required to both keep up and embrace the opportunities of digital?
  27. 27. Is there another way to look at the shift required to both keep up and embrace the opportunities of digital? Should we not be exploring with organisations what it means to transform into the information age at a more fundamental level? …to find flow in this epoche-level liminality?
  28. 28. Enough already with the management consultants and process re-engineering!
  29. 29. http://sdlogic.net/
  30. 30. The eight fundamental principles of service-dominant logic
  31. 31. FP1: The application of specialised skills and knowledge is the fundamental unit of exchange FP2: Indirect exchange masks the fundamental unit of exchange FP3: Goods are distribution mechanisms for service provision FP4: Knowledge is the fundamental force of competitive advantage FP5: All economies are service economies FP6: The customer is always a co-producer FP7: The enterprise can only make value propositions FP8: A service–centered view is customer-oriented and relational
  32. 32. What requires interrogation is the knowledge embedded in the organisation, its products and and how it continues to morph through the co-production of value with users and a shifting marketplace and world.
  33. 33. How do we interrogate knowledge at the institutional level?
  34. 34. I A
  35. 35. INFORMA-TION DATA KNOWLEDGE WISDOM Nathan Shedroff’s ‘Continuum of understanding’
  36. 36. INFORMA-TION DATA KNOWLEDGE WISDOM Nathan Shedroff’s ‘Continuum of understanding’
  37. 37. INFORMA-TION DATA KNOWLEDGE WISDOM Nathan Shedroff’s ‘Continuum of understanding’
  38. 38. Implications for how we think of IA 1. A channel-agnostic view is required 2. Internal and externally facing domains need to be (conceptually) integrated 3. Organisation, marketplace and interlocking systems are the space of investigation 4. Develop value-propositions based on acquired knowledge
  39. 39. 1. DESIGNER 2. MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT 3. ANTHROPOLOGIST 4. PRODUCT MANAGER
  40. 40. W R A P U P
  41. 41. Liminal space is a creative space IA can be used to make sense of it Information can be used to reconstruct out of liminality IA generates new knowledge Hybrid roles could transform the value on offer from IA
  42. 42. Liminal space is a creative space IA can be used to make sense of it Information can be used to reconstruct out of liminality IA generates new knowledge Hybrid roles could transform the value on offer from IA
  43. 43. Liminal space is a creative space IA can be used to make sense of it Information can be used to reconstruct out of liminality IA generates new knowledge Hybrid roles could transform the value on offer from IA
  44. 44. Liminal space is a creative space IA can be used to make sense of it Information can be used to reconstruct out of liminality IA generates new knowledge Hybrid roles could transform the value on offer from IA
  45. 45. Liminal space is a creative space IA can be used to make sense of it Information can be used to reconstruct out of liminality IA generates new knowledge Hybrid roles could transform the value on offer from IA
  46. 46. T H A N K Y O U J A S O N H O B B S

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