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The art of mindfulness in product design


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Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing. In recent years it’s become an increasingly popular topic and moved from its deep roots in the Buddhist tradition into leadership circles, boardrooms and even primary school classrooms. But behind the hype, there’s real, tangible value - it helps you build better products by engaging in active observation, mindful listening, and conscious collaboration.

This talk will explore the concept of mindfulness and how you can apply it in the ideation, research and design phases of product development.

Presented at Web Directions Conference, 12 April 2018 and UX Gatherings, 29 March 2018

Published in: Design
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The art of mindfulness in product design

  1. 1. The art of mindfulness in product design Remya Ramesh @rem_ram
  2. 2. Head of Design
  3. 3. “Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally.” - Jon Kabat-Zinn
  4. 4. Meditation ≠ Mindfulness
  5. 5. Mindfulness can literally change your brain!
  6. 6. Activate your Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC) with a little mindful meditation
  7. 7. Meditation fortifies the brain’s memory vault, the Hippocampus
  8. 8. People spend nearly 47% of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they’re doing S. Bradt, “Wandering mind not a happy mind”, Harvard Gazette, November 2010
  9. 9. Mindfulness techniques for designers
  10. 10. Micro meditations Meditations that can be done several times a day for one to three minutes at a time.
  11. 11. Micro meditations Conscious collaborations Conscious collaboration happens in the art of conversation.
  12. 12. Mindful listening Active observation Purposeful presentation
  13. 13. Mindful listening Drop any judgements Maintain eye contact Work hard on being present Provide non-verbal feedback
  14. 14. Mindful listening “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” —Stephen R. Covey
  15. 15. Active observation Clear your mind Observe others without any assumptions Stop multitasking Ask for help
  16. 16. Purposeful presentation Facilitate conversations Preparation is the key Provide feedback Manage emotions
  17. 17. Design with intent Micro meditations Conscious collaborations Apply principles of calm technology Create positive influence and change Value human attention Avoid dark patterns
  18. 18. Word of caution
  19. 19. Avoidance risk Groupthink risk Corporate mindfulness bandwagon
  20. 20. Podcast Meditation app
  21. 21. Thank you! @rem_ram