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The Designer Is Present (Fluxible 2013)

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The title of this workshop is a reference to The Artist Is Present, a performance art piece by Marina Abramovic. Marina spent months at MOMA sitting silently across from a nearly endless series of museum visitors, some of whom broke into tears.

The notion of presence is a critical idea for those of us in user experience. At the risk of sounding like Yoda, presence is tied to self-knowing. During ten years of writing, lecturing and coaching on “interviewing users”, many of the questions that Steve Portigal receives are about controlling or influencing another person’s behavior. Yet these interactions with others are really about ourselves, what’s inside us, who we are.

Therapists, as part of their education, must go through therapy themselves. They are expected to achieve a certain level of insight about themselves — their biases, their discomforts, and so on. While we are not therapists, we go out and study people without that level of self-insight!

A lack of self-insight sometimes manifests itself as passion, commitment, or being driven by a mission. While those have their place, it’s easy to become blinded by what we can’t let ourselves see. Sometimes this shows up as discomfort at the micro level, when we react to something a user might tell us about themselves; sometimes it’s a macro issue, when we’re uncomfortable with people who hold different values, preferences, or beliefs than ourselves. And it crescendos as know-it-all douchebaggery, when we think our job is to tell other people what’s best for them — when phrases like “frictionless sharing” fall from our lips as naturally as “what time is dinner?”

In this workshop, you’ll tap into a new level of personal authenticity to unlock a powerful boon. Together, we’ll explore this point of view and participate in a range of exercises to learn more about these ideas — and about ourselves.

Published in: Design, Business, Technology
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The Designer Is Present (Fluxible 2013)

  1. 1. 1 The Designer Is Present Steve Portigal @steveportigal
  2. 2. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style We help companies discover and act on new insights about their customers and themselves Portigal
  3. 3. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Resources, presentations and to purchase http://rosenfeldmedia.com/books/interviewing-users/ • Use discount code: PORTIGAL
  4. 4. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Introduction
  5. 5. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Your name! What are your hopes/goals/expectations for the workshop? The organization you work for. Who we are (Optional) A specific example of recently noticing something outside yourself?
  6. 6. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleResources Links „n more: http://bit.ly/15o6EiE Deck: slideshare.net/steveportigal
  7. 7. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleWhat do we mean by “presence?”
  8. 8. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleWhat do we mean by “presence?” Being aware of your own thoughts and feelings…so you can make choices about how to act
  9. 9. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Some Thoughts On Presence
  10. 10. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleThis is important to us
  11. 11. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleEmpathy
  12. 12. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleIn the Zeitgeist
  13. 13. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleMindfulness
  14. 14. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleIn the Zeitgeist
  15. 15. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleSelf-knowledge
  16. 16. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleMeditation (not always tied to spirituality/religion)
  17. 17. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleLet‟s do a micromeditation
  18. 18. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleSeven Attitudes of Mindfulness Non-judging We bring our own ideas to a situation. We can notice our own thoughts but not act on them. Patience Things happen in their own way and in their own time. Beginner‟s Mind Approach a situation having let go of what we already think we “know.” Trust Look to yourself – even if you make mistakes – rather than outside yourself. Non-striving Not trying to make things different but just allowing them to be as they are. Acceptance Seeing things as they are, now. Letting Go/Non-attachment Not holding on to how you want things to be. Adapted from Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn
  19. 19. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleIn interviews, the “exploding questions” Coping techniques • Wait until these issues come up organically, without you having to ask • Make notes on your field guide about what you want to loop back to so you don‟t forget • Triage based on what‟s most pressing for your topic • Triage based on what makes the best follow-up, to demonstrate listening – e.g., emotional cues
  20. 20. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleExploding questions can lead to a flow state
  21. 21. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleValidating is judging
  22. 22. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleRing my bell
  23. 23. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleMind and body
  24. 24. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleSelf-knowledge elsewhere
  25. 25. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleSelf-knowledge elsewhere
  26. 26. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleSelf-knowledge elsewhere
  27. 27. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleWe are bound by our aspirations/inspirations We think we know what the solution is. We think we know what other people are about. We can‟t hear them. We design for our “vision” not for their needs.
  28. 28. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleIt‟s Going To Be Okay
  29. 29. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Reframing
  30. 30. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleA shaggy-dog story
  31. 31. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleReframing fear “How do I change the power dynamic when I interview stakeholders so it's more peer-to-peer? They are business executives and I feel like with all their knowledge that I‟m going to embarrass myself or they'll laugh at me.” 1. Congrats for noticing your own fear. 2. The goal is to approach interviews knowing that the subject is your expect. You‟re already there! 3. What's the worst that can happen? Find a way to be okay with that fear.
  32. 32. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleCognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – the reframe How (negative) thinking affects feelings and behavior “She was totally furious when I handed her the letter!” [What else could be the reason for her action?]
  33. 33. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleExercise: Come up with a really bad idea Write or sketch the worst idea for a product, service, feature that you can come up with Tweet your idea use #Fluxible #Presence
  34. 34. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleExercise: Hand off your bad idea Pass your bad idea to someone else…
  35. 35. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleExercise: Hand off your bad idea Pass your bad idea to someone else… Design the circumstances where that bad idea becomes a good one. Tweet your reframe use #Fluxible #Presence
  36. 36. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Marina Abramović
  37. 37. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleMarina Abramović: The Artist Is Present xxx
  38. 38. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleMarina Abramović: The Artist Is Present xxx
  39. 39. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleMarina Abramović Made Me Cry xxx
  40. 40. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleExercise
  41. 41. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleIs it break time?
  42. 42. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Noticing
  43. 43. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleNoticing Our Users Noticing the noticing sensation Things that make you go “Hmm” Your attention is grabbed You stop what you are doing Laugh/point/cringe Furrow brow in confusion Whut tha…?
  44. 44. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleNoticing helps you to notice later
  45. 45. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleNoticing helps you to notice later
  46. 46. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleNoticing helps you to notice later
  47. 47. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleNoticing helps you to notice later
  48. 48. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleNoticing helps you to notice later
  49. 49. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleBuilding Noticing Muscles Carry a camera/notepad and use it Thinkaloud protocol – say what you‟re seeing • To a friend • To your device Get out of your regular/comfort zone
  50. 50. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleBuilding Noticing Muscles
  51. 51. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleExercise Group A Sit down, close your eyes Capture observations of other people using only sound Group B Observe behavior farther away, out of earshot You may want to go somewhere else, an atrium or upper level Capture observations of other people using only visual Take 5 minutes, then come back and we‟ll debrief
  52. 52. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Improv
  53. 53. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleImprov is not stand-up comedy In contrast to improv, stand-up is • Highly scripted • Rehearsed, with nano-second timing
  54. 54. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleImprov is... A highly-constrained performance with several open parameters Elements of problem solving Unscripted Specifics assigned right before performance starts “Your first idea is often your best idea” Emphasis on playfulness over being funny “I could never do that, because I‟m not funny” It can be (at times) funny to watch, but not about trying to be funny “The funny will come” “Don‟t let logic impede your fancy” Cheaper than therapy
  55. 55. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Corporate training on collaboration and creativity Compare with popularity of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain Meeting facilitation/ideation warm- up Informance (from Interval Research) User research methods Improv finds it way into many areas At Pixar, when someone suggests an idea, others should respond with “Yes, and ...” They‟ve used improv to create the most trusting environment possible where people can screw up. Pixar tells story behind 'Toy Story„, SF Chronicle, 8/23/05
  56. 56. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleImprov and collaboration Throwing an idea Accepting offers/saying yes Trust Listening Setting up the spike Chris Miller emphasizes that your task in improv is to make your partner look good.
  57. 57. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleImprov Dark Patterns
  58. 58. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleImprov can bring Insights about humor Confidence in public speaking Timing Did I mention therapy? Building skills in listening
  59. 59. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleGame: Accepting Offers
  60. 60. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleGame: Storytelling Circle (Time Permitting)
  61. 61. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleGame: Storytelling Circle (Time Permitting)
  62. 62. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Wrapping Up
  63. 63. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleTakeaways What did you get out of this workshop? How will you apply it?
  64. 64. The Designer Is Present ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Portigal Consulting www.portigal.com @steveportigal steve@portigal.com +1-415-894-2001 Thank you!

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