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Inspiring College Students to Vision Board

  1. 1. Inspiring College Students to Vision Board Nikil Viswanathan nikil@stanford.edu 12/8/2012
  2. 2. Game Plan What is Vision Boarding? Why should college students use them? Experiments Inspiring Students Creating Boards Using Boards Results Insights
  3. 3. Game Plan What is Vision Boarding? Why should college students use them? Experiments Inspiring Students Creating Boards Using Boards Results Insights
  4. 4. What is Vision Boarding? Why: So you can focus on your life goals and achieve them What: A cork board on which you put pictures of your goals that you cut out from magazines or print out from the internet. Look at it daily. Who: Visualization and Vision Boarding are used by some of the most successful individuals and prominent people in the world, such as: Oprah, Bill Gates, Tiger Woods, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Anthony Robbins, Jack Canfield, Will Smith, Jim Carey, and many many more
  5. 5. Game Plan What is Vision Boarding? Why should college students use them? Experiments Inspiring Students Creating Boards Using Boards Results Insights
  6. 6. Why college students? Stepping back from the hustle and bustle of daily student life and figuring out what your main life goals are and where you are going in life is difficult! As a Residential Assistant (Staff for a freshmen dorm) at Stanford, I saw that many, many students wanted help and guidance figuring out the direction for their college experience and life in general. I hypothesized that this technique of Vision Boarding would help students figure out their inner goals and also help keep these goals in focus (ie. hopefully helping them to achieve the goals) during their college experience.
  7. 7. Game Plan What is Vision Boarding? Why should college students use them? Experiments Inspiring Students Creating Boards Using Boards Results Insights
  8. 8. Experiments I decided to run a series of experiments to see if vision boarding would help students conceive of and achieve their goals The first challenge was to get students super excited about revolutionizing their life and also for this method of doing that
  9. 9. Game Plan What is Vision Boarding? Why should college students use them? Experiments Inspiring Students Creating Boards Using Boards Results Insights
  10. 10. Inspiring Students I realized that most students would be skeptical of the Vision Board process and that I would need to inspire confidence in them that it would work The first step in the experiments was to get them on board and excited about 1. Figuring out and achieving their goals 2. Using Vision Boarding as a method to do this
  11. 11. Inspiring Students: 1st Attempt Goal: Get students pumped & inspired Created a web page describing Vision Voards and included instructions on how to make one Asked students to email me once they created them (or if they had any questions) Sent it out to a dorm mailing list ~70 people
  12. 12. Results 11 Page Views No one emailed me No user feedback
  13. 13. Lessons Need to give more inspiration and motivation for students to get excited about it Personally teach them how to create vision boards rather than expecting them to do it on their own Make it very clear that they can email me even if they have not yet created a Vision Board for themselves Make it easier to contact me (so they don’t have to open / type out an email!), decrease effort and awkwardness
  14. 14. Inspiring Students: 2nd Attempt Goal: Get students to be excited and sign up for a workshop where I can explain andteach them in person Made the offer a workshop Changed the email me link into a simple “submit your email” field in a form Slightly changed concept (Visualization) Instead of asking the students to do (create the vision board) this all by themselves I decided to walk them through it in person – thinking that the first step I should focus on is just getting them excited about the concept
  15. 15. Results 29 page views 6 sign ups! General interest and excitement (also showed other people the page in person) Note: This was sent to a couple dorms (vs the 1st Attempt sent to only 1 dorm) (widened audience)
  16. 16. Lessons Corroborated by in person explanations to people about the concept – dropping the big names up front REALLY helps get people excited and make people believe. Also from talking to people, I found out that the Jim Carrey example is really good to use as it paints a concrete picture of someone successful using the technique and succeeding! Keep it short! Lower the barrier to action!
  17. 17. Insights From Both Experiments Focus on solving the first part of the problem – getting people motivated – rather than solving the whole thing Use a Hot Trigger – something they can do right now (ie. sign up for the workshop) rather than something that takes more time (ie. design and build a vision board) Motivate people by showing them examples of success and successful people Keep it short!
  18. 18. Game Plan What is Vision Boarding? Why should college students use them? Experiments Inspiring Students Creating Boards Using Boards Results Insights
  19. 19. Creating Boards The next major step in the Vision Board process is actually sitting down and creating the Board This can be difficult in terms of resources (ie. you have to buy a cork board and magazines to cut pictures out of or have a printer to print pictures out with) I found that this had stopped me from making vision boards multiple times in the past (took a lot to overcome this ability barrier) To make it simpler (and what I thought would be more ubiquitous – more on this later) I decided to help people build digital vision boards on their computer and set them as their desktop background I figured that this would also be easier to do – everyone would just have to have their laptop (easy) and also planned to print the completed boards
  20. 20. Creating Boards The experiment: Bring 5 people into a room Explain the process Tell them to choose 3 (to keep it easy and simple) images which represent their goals Sit down together and create our vision boards (myself included) Share them
  21. 21. The Vision Boards (from the session)
  22. 22. Chris
  23. 23. Jason Jason could only stay for 5 min so he made his very quickly
  24. 24. Aditya Gathered ~20 images for his vision board Still making his board
  25. 25. David
  26. 26. Results I had thought that getting the images would be difficult Surprisingly everyone unanimously said choosing the images was very fun, easy, and quick Quotes “Made me happy” “Really enjoyed it” “Was fun!” Harder (not that hard) part was piecing the picture together. Found a site that let us do it really easily (pixlr.com) Within 40 minutes pretty much everyone was done. Jason finished his in 5-10 minutes (he had to leave).
  27. 27. Insights I had thought that this was going to be the most difficult part of the process – turned out to be the easiest and by far the most fun for everyone! Doing it in a digital fashion (on our computers) made it very easy to find lots of images; finding the high quality ones was the challenging part of vision board creation
  28. 28. Game Plan What is Vision Boarding? Why should college students use them? Experiments Inspiring Students Creating Boards Using Boards Results Insights
  29. 29. Using Boards: 1 Week I asked everyone to set their vision board as their desktop background for 1 week Jason, David, and I did this. Chris loved his desktop background and didn’t want to change it so he made a simple webpage with just the vision board and set it as the startup page for his internet browser on both his personal and lab computers. (Note he saw the image when he first opened the browser, not every time he opened a new tab) I also initially set the vision board as my new tab (through an extension) background for my browser, though I ended up taking this off because people would see my vision board when they walked by my computer (or if they were working with me)
  30. 30. Results Chris – Very personally impacted by the process Thoroughly enjoyed making the board (finding the images) Community was the biggest picture on his vision board (most important) and thus he felt that the process of creating and sharing vision boards with friends was memorable and awesome Before lab work in the morning that Tuesday (when he would normally be tired and browse his email), Chris drew out images of life in the future and how he wanted his experience to be Changed his life outlook from “whatever happens, I’m okay with” to “deciding what I want” Jason - Saw board ~10 times per work day. Seeing the images made him think about doing the exercise. David – Saw his vision board ~3 times in the week (usually had his desktop covered with his applications). Said it made him want to get pictures of the cave on his board blown up for his room as a poster.
  31. 31. Game Plan What is Vision Boarding? Why should college students use them? Experiments Inspiring Students Creating Boards Using Boards Results Insights
  32. 32. Results Found out how to engage and excite students about vision boards Successfully walked 4 people through the creation and usage of vision boards for 1 week Had varying degrees of personal impact, from awareness of goals -> revelations
  33. 33. Game Plan What is Vision Boarding? Why should college students use them? Experiments Inspiring Students Creating Boards Using Boards Results Insights
  34. 34. Insights Contrary to my original belief, creating vision boards on the computer is very fun, enjoyable, and easy. Desktop background is NOT a good place to see your vision board often. Desktop usually hidden by maximized applications, icons, etc… In order to get Stanford students excited about vision boards, use concrete examples of stories of success. Doing the vision board and goals creation process with friends can be a powerful bonding experience.
  35. 35. Next Steps Test with more people to verify insights Create paper versions of the digital vision boards (print them out after you have created them) and see if you can make it much more accessible by putting it in front of your desk Test alternate ways to remind students about their dreams and goals they have put on their vision board (especially digitally) Measure people’s long-term change
  36. 36. Now It’s Your Turn Go think about your dreams and create your own vision board!
  37. 37. Acknowledgements BIG thank you to BJ Fogg (@bjfogg) for his advice and guidance in sharing his wisdom about behavior design! Chris, Jason, David, and Aditya for being the experiments of my study Alborz, Sarah, Grace and Tiffany for forwarding emails to their dorms
  38. 38. Contact Me Nikil Viswanathan www.nikilster.com nikil@stanford.edu
  39. 39. Thank you! I hope that you dream up your goals and life aspirations, create your own vision board, and have them all come true!

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