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I had the opportunity to present my dissertation research to a graduate design course at University of Illinois. I returned the following week to facilitate a workshop in which students applied feedforward to an issue related to health or sustainability.
Before the workshop, students identified an issue — students explored a range of topics from smoking to overconsumption to plastic water bottle usage to sedentary work life.
With the issue in mind, the students created personas and journey maps that recount a day in the life of the persona. The persona enables the students to strategize with a specific person in mind, while the journey map enables students to identify leverage points for design.
In the workshop, I discussed the four atmospheres of impact: things, behaviors, beliefs, and culture. The students then used a matrix format to identify current cues within each atmosphere to consider for the design. From the identified cues, students brainstormed potential feedforward cues that would encourage, or emphasize, a more desired outcome.
As students shared their ideas, we discussed the difference between designing for reflective learning versus emotive learning.
After completing the matrix, students revisited the journey map to identify moments throughout the persona's day when feedforward would be encountered.
To package and further refine the ideas generated during the workshop, students wrote a short proposal in which they described the issue, introduced the persona, told a story about one encounter with feedforward, and explained what the design teaches the persona on an emotive level.
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