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How Teaching UX is One Giant Participatory Design Experiment

Talk given at the UX Antwerp Meet Up - 05-26-2015

Teaching UX (and anything in general) is a large exercise in understanding how others learn and building empathy towards them. You’re teaching people from 24 years old a few years out of university all the way up to 50-something years old and whom are lawyers. You have to be able to make people comfortable enough to acknowledge what they don’t know and not be ashamed of learning. We’ll go through the fun part of teaching and the dark side while translating teaching methods into ways to help your clients understand your design process.

How Teaching UX is One Giant Participatory Design Experiment

  1. How Teaching UX Is One Giant Participatory Design Experiment 
  2. Tricia Okin is a freelance Product/User Experience Designer and a UX Instructor at General New York & London. She loves learning about people, cultures, languages and why people do the things they do. @papercutny BTW, I’m American… So please excuse my funny words. Howdy.
  4. A Little About Me ‣ Bachelor’s in Fine Arts for Creative Photography ‣ Master’s in Fine Arts in Design & Technology ‣ Studied Semiotics, Conceptual Art, Film, etc. ‣ Lean towards the Humanities and Liberal Arts (qualitative vs. quantitative fields) ‣ Natural curiosity towards people & languages ‣ Focused on building online communities/narrative structures
  5. What I Teach General's 
 User Experience Design Immersive Course *In the London & New York Campuses
  6. What I Teach ‣ User Experience Design Immersive ‣ 10 Weeks of pure UX learning, 9am - 5pm ‣ 5 Projects (including 1 client project) ‣ 400 Hours of Class Time ‣ ≈ 250 – 400 Hours of Homework
  7. PROJECT #1: WEEK 1 Create the foundation of an app for a fellow classmate through a lean UX process of rapid prototyping and ideation. This project will immediately introduce you to the range of skills required in the UX field, including: User Interviews Participatory Design Sketching Rapid Prototyping SKILLS PROJECT #2: WEEKS 2 & 3 Practice the fundamentals of User Experience Design by creating the key parts of an e-commerce experience. This project will introduce you to important structural and interactive UX skills, including: Design & Discovery Process Information Architecture Interaction Design Communicating & Presenting Design SKILLS PROJECT #3: WEEKS 4 & 5 Create a new app/feature for an existing brand that re-imagines how users consume content on a daily basis. This project reiterates skills used during Project 1 & 2, but goes much deeper into the following methodologies: Research & Personas Product Management Interface Design Business Metrics & Requirements SKILLSPROJECT #5: WEEKS 8, 9 & 10 Collaborate directly with a real startup to apply your UX skills to their existing product in order to create a brand new feature or improve an existing one. During this project, you’ll apply: Working with Clients & Stakeholders Project Planning Solving Business Problems Next Steps & Career Path SKILLS Apply the UX design process to build out your own personal portfolio in order to display all of the work you’ve done throughout the UXDI program. During this project, you’ll apply: Visual Design Fundamentals Personal Branding Building Portfolios SKILLS PROJECT #4: WEEKS 6 & 7 Front-End Basics What I Teach
  8. Teaching Style
  9. Who I Teach junior + mid-weight UX designers in two markets different nationalities 86 15 languages in the same room at once4–5 age range I’ve taught23–48
  10. Why I Do This ‣To help people change careers and understand their potential ‣Change the way people interact with the world and consider themselves designers ‣I consider these students my clients
  11. Why I Do This: To Watch People Change
  13. WHAT DOES THIS REQUIRE? Empathy Listening Taking & Acting on Feedback JUST LIKE CLIENTS!
  16. PERCEIVED NOTION OF UX Give physical examples people can understand. People then realize they may have been doing UX in previous careers. They don’t feel dumb anymore.
  17. EX: Teaching taxonomy & card sorting methodology
 via candy
  19. PERCEIVED LACK OF ABILITY (TO DRAW) Teach them how to draw. Push them to work through details beyond the first layer. They squee like children at their accomplishment.
  21. UNDERDEVELOPED CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS Guide them on how to do secondary and tertiary research that returns to the Primary subject matter. Help them remove their “blinders”.
  23. CULTURAL FRICTION Apply what they’re learning to their history & context. (I don’t know everything.) Ask them questions about their own kinds of friction & they begin to feel like experts. Listen.
  25. MORE HR ISSUES Learning How to Learn Different Learning Styles Different Working Styles Languages Age Differences Bio Rhythms Fears About Presenting Daily Stand Ups 1:1 Meetings & Touchy Feely Things Group Meetings 1:4 Pin Ups/Critiques Student Group Meetings
 Prior to Projects Flash Talks & Pecha Kucha
  27. CONCLUSION ‣ Help clients (people) learn how to learn again ‣ Give them your toolset to use ‣ Use visual and physical techniques or examples to illustrate abstract & complex ideas ‣ Remind yourself they are experts in their
 own right
  28. KEY OBJECTIVE(S) AGENDA RESOURCESDELIVERABLE EXERCISE Prepare and run a card sort to determine the best way to sort 5 mins 5 mins 
 5 mins 1. Run an open card sort with your group mates & create categories for the candy piles/groups 2. Swap with a group next to you and try to assign categories to their sort. 3. Eat candy/rejoice. Share your thoughts with the Meetup audience. Brief presentation of your results Index cards, Sharpie
  29. THANK YOU! Any Questions? Tricia Okin: or @papercutny