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Hello.
I’m Geoff BarnesDirector of User Experienceat Elliance
I’m Geoff BarnesDirector of User Experienceat Elliance@texburgher on twitter, etc.
I’m Geoff BarnesDirector of User Experienceat Elliance@texburgher on twitter, etc.
It’s 2012               & I’m Still Writing   Should web designers know how to code?   On All My ChecksI want to talk to y...
It’s 2012               & I’m Still Writing   Should web designers know how to code?   On All My Checks :(I don’t know a s...
Should web designers know how to code?First of all, it’s not just when talking about web designers and code that we have t...
Why doesn’t my boss understand that we   should be doing responsive design?   Should web designers know how to code?What I...
Why doesn’t my boss understand that we   should be doing responsive design?   Should web designers know how to code?   How...
How come my neighbors don’t realize that   blasting their country music is offensive?   Why doesn’t my boss understand that...
We prosthelytize to our coworkers...
Tweet 24//7...
Top 10  Reasons    You ShouldWrite blog post upon blog post    Uninstall Photoshop
Write blog post upon blog post
Attend and present at conferences...
Write memos and emails, hoping to win (the neighbor) over to your point of view...
Read ferociously, scan, distill, and share at a frenetic pace...
And if at first, you don’t succeed... (we all know the rejoinder)
Because change is hard...
And the unknown is scary...
Jean-Paul SartreAnd people are stubborn.Sounds familar, doesn’t it.
Other people,                              amirite?                                 Jean-Paul SartreAnd people are stubbor...
Not So Fast  The Effortless Art of Self-SabotageI guess in one way it would be nice if our inability to effect change were ...
!Let’s [SLOW DOWN] take a little closer look at what we’re doing during the persuasive cycle I just described, and seewher...
Problem Statement                                                          !Let’s [SLOW DOWN] take a little closer look at...
Problem Statement                                                          !                  There’s a skills chasm betwe...
?Great, so how do we fix that? <next build>
Brainstorming                                            ?                Should we rearrange our office?Great, so how do we...
Brainstorming                                                     ?                      Should we hire a “rock star”?Who ...
Brainstorming                                 ?                    Should we kill the designers?Maybe it was the best.
Brainstorming                                                          ?    Should web designers know how to code?Was anyo...
.What we all know at this point <next build>though, is that it was sufficiently favored that it became the position <next ...
Position Formulation                                                          .What we all know at this point <next build>...
Position Formulation                                                          .     Designers probably should learn to cod...
.With the position as impetus, we collectively (and many of us individually) went to work developing the supportingrationa...
Build                                                           .With the position as impetus, we collectively (and many o...
Share                                                          Build                                                      ...
Strengthen                                                          Share                                                 ...
Strengthen                                                          Share                                                 ...
... you started to get really excited.Because I’ve watched an awful lot of Law & Order, and I’m pretty sure that STRONG CA...
.But here’s the thing. Seen from a psychological perspective rather than a rhetorical one, <next slide>
.                                                   Build...when we’re building an argument, <next slide>
.                                    Sharesharing our beliefs, <next slide>
.                                                        Strengthenand strengthening our case...Instead of piling on prote...
Dialogic Rigidity                                                           .The stronger we feel our argument to be, the ...
Confirmation BiasTo complicate matters, there’s this thing called confirmation bias, whereby once we’ve decided we like a p...
Confirmation Bias     (noun; real) tendency of people to favor     information that confirms their beliefs or     hypothese...
Right vs. WrongOne reason has to do with our own attitudes about what it means to be wrong.Raise your hand if you enjoy be...
Who’s read this book by Kathryn Schulz?If you have, bear with me. If you haven’t, stay with me. There are a few very salie...
What does being wrong feel like?                                                                                          ...
The feeling of realizing you’re wrong                                                                                     ...
The feeling being wrong                          http://beingwrongbook.com
The feeling being right                                                    http://beingwrongbook.comBeing wrong, she asser...
Error BlindnessShe calls this “error blindness,” and we’re all affected by it.We broadly accept that everyone is wrong som...
Being Wrong is WrongConsider how readily we paint others’ wrongness as a character flaw. We really, really don’t like being...
Our fear of being wrong is really tragic. Because right up to the moment you realize you’re wrong about something,there is...
So, to summarize Ms. Schulz...
Being wrong is common.So, to summarize Ms. Schulz...
Being wrong is common.  We identify negatively with being wrong.So, to summarize Ms. Schulz...
Being wrong is common.  We identify negatively with being wrong.  We’re terrible at knowing when we’re wrong.So, to summar...
Being wrong is common.  We identify negatively with being wrong.  We’re terrible at knowing when we’re wrong.  Being wrong...
Expertise• We tend to get entrenched in our positions to the detriment of exploration. (passionate)• We favor information ...
Where Are We GoingSince we’re using the question about web designers and code as our case-in-point, let’s revisit it one fi...
Where Are We Going               Wrong?Since we’re using the question about web designers and code as our case-in-point, l...
Should Web Designers know how to code?And let’s consider the potentially unnerving prospect that, at as fundamental an infl...
Should Web Designers know how to code?First - the origin story.While we can only guess at specifics, we can be pretty sure ...
Web Designers Should know how to code.So, it’s not a huge leap to realize we’re dealing with a rhetorical question.Now thi...
Now, sentence diagramming is one of the better tools for this job, but it’s also not my sharpest tool, so this comes tous ...
Assumption #1: Web Designers (not developers or project managers or creative or UX directors or any other of thepotentiall...
The declaration, of course, asserting that what Web Designers SHOULD DO is know how to code.Now that they should know ABOU...
Because it’s not just saying that Web Designers should know how to code, it’s saying they don’t know how to.Now, that may ...
In making the assertion - that Web Designers should know how to code - the speaker is implying a precedingconclusion:That ...
Yet, by accepting this assertion - even in question form - as a fulcrum of our professional dialog, we have effectivelylim...
Should Web Designers know how to code?So when you consider the question from that perspective, it begins to be less perple...
So the Kings Quest, and the reason weve just devoted 20 minutes to a 7-word question is:HOW CAN WE ASK BETTER QUESTIONS?
Better Questions  How do they work?Let me recall something I said about the Web Designers question, because it’s important...
How come my neighbors don’t realize that   blasting their country music is offensive?   Why doesn’t my boss understand that...
How come my neighbors don’t realize that   blasting their country music is offensive?   Why doesn’t my boss understand that...
Should web designers know how to code?For one more moment, let’s talk about the question, “Should Web Designers Know How T...
I understand how this could be a troubling, if not seemingly absurd, proposition, so I want to tell you a story.It’s a tao...
Call Me MaybeMaybe isn’t a cop-out.Maybe is simply an acceptance of the potential that not only might we not have a monopo...
1. Don’t Be So SureFind the difference between “knowing” and “seeking” and plant yourself in opposition to knowing.Why?The...
Suspend judgment. Discovery is a process during which judgment effectively kills.Picasso and light paintings.
That’s the worst damn music I’ve ever heard  in my entire life!Rephrase judgements as introspective questions.
Why do I react so strongly to my neighbor’s  choice of music?Rephrase judgements as introspective questions.
Seek out and nourish relationships with challenging colleagues. These are your friends.Build arguments with them. Have a p...
2. Playhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VShmtsLhkQg
In a breathtakingly good presentation about creativity, John Cleese discusses at length what it means to play.
A mood, not a skill.Of approaching the world as one of possibilities, not as one of good and bad ideas.Not a skill that yo...
Open, not closed.Wherein the mind is open, vs. closed.
Open, not closed.That’s more than the bumper-sticker version of open-mindedness.
Open, not closed.It’s being open minded to being thrown entirely off course for the sake of exploration, of play.
Open, not closed.Unconcerned whether the play is “good” or “bad,” or whether you might get hurt or embarrassed.
Open, not closed.Think of Picasso suspending judgment.
For adults, it’s rare that play just happens like for kids.So as “adults,” one of our jobs is to create the conditions for...
Conditions for PlayFor adults, it’s rare that play just happens like for kids.So as “adults,” one of our jobs is to create...
Conditions for Play  SpaceFor adults, it’s rare that play just happens like for kids.So as “adults,” one of our jobs is to...
Conditions for Play  Space  TimeFor adults, it’s rare that play just happens like for kids.So as “adults,” one of our jobs...
Conditions for Play  Space  Time  ConfidenceFor adults, it’s rare that play just happens like for kids.So as “adults,” one...
Conditions for Play  Space  Time  Confidence  HumorFor adults, it’s rare that play just happens like for kids.So as “adult...
Artistic Play
Artistic PlayExquisite Corpse drawing
Artistic PlayExquisite Corpse drawingChain-of-consciousness writing
Artistic PlayExquisite Corpse drawingChain-of-consciousness writingFree-style rap contest in the break room
Artistic PlayExquisite Corpse drawingChain-of-consciousness writingFree-style rap contest in the break roomInterpretive da...
Heady Play
Heady PlaySubvert everything for humor.
Heady PlaySubvert everything for humor.Be ridiculous on purpose.
Heady PlaySubvert everything for humor.Be ridiculous on purpose.Take literally everything literally.
Heady PlaySubvert everything for humor.Be ridiculous on purpose.Take literally everything literally.Literally.
3. Get Uncomfortable
Routine is the death ofI have no idea if this is true.
Routine is the death of poutine?I have no idea if this is true.
Like suckling pig...
...or passion fruit
Take an alternate route
Even small variations matter. Notice what you notice along the way. Out loud, for that matter.
There is a mind-boggling array of routes you can take from any point A to practically any point B.
This means it’ll sometimes take you twice as long to get to work.Make the time.
Sleep outside.
Learn a musical instrument.Learn a musical instrument
or a new language.or a new language.
or a new language.  ou une nouvelle langue.Don’t buy into the idea that only kids can learn new languages. it’s not true.
or a new language.  ou une nouvelle langue.  o un nuevo idioma.You have the neuroplasticity to learn new languages until q...
or a new language.  ou une nouvelle langue.  o un nuevo idioma.  atau bahasa baru.And you’re not limited to romance or ger...
Dancing makes a lot of people uncomfortable. Maybe learn to dance.If dancing doesn’t take you out of your comfort zone, tr...
If you’re a designer, learn to program.
If you’re techier than that, take up art.
Make out with your shadow.Jungian concept.
Make out with your shadow.Jungian concept. Explain + what is its therapeutic value?http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_(ps...
4. ReframeUnderstand problems more fully by forcing yourself outside of your existing vocabulary, patterns, and habits.In ...
The first, of course, involves a truck, the driver of which has attempted to drive it under a bridge that affords ALMOST- b...
And of course we’ve all heard about the million-dollar space pen developed by NASA, and how the Russians bestedthe America...
So, where did this hooey about the Russians’ low-tech ingenuity come from? Certainly reeks of Soviet propaganda,but its ef...
IN SOVIET RUSSIA PENCIL USES YOUSo, where did this hooey about the Russians’ low-tech ingenuity come from? Certainly reeks...
Finally, there’s the story I’m sure everyone’s heard about the priest who ignored warnings and refused evacuationassistanc...
All good reframing does the same thing. Take our idea seedling from earlier...
...and lets put it in perspective. Literally, just get clear about our point of view.
Reframing is how we can change our perspective on the thing, revealing often hidden aspects of it.
A lot of times, when we’re stuck on something, our problem is as simple as being too close to it. Reframing helps usget mu...
Through this practice, we will find it easier to prioritize inputs, to better separate situational signal from noise.
and through transforming our perspective on the world we thought we knew, we quite literally transform our world.
Paris is the Paris of things that other thingsare the thing of.                             - Dan Wineman                 ...
5. Don’t Be Fancy
Simplify.Remember Einstein who said, “If you can’t explain a thing simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
Draw and write with pencils and paper.Technology is great or whatever I’m supposed to say, but there’s no beating plain ol...
Utilize the least embellished linguistic  constructs required to effectively make your  point.Avoid lingo and terms of art...
Utilize the least embellished linguistic  constructs required to effectively make your  point.The Einstein test is pretty ...
Use plain language.The Einstein test is pretty easy to administer in my household. I just trap one of my children in a cha...
The PASS/FAIL result is instantaneous.
6. Love, Love, Love
Identifyyour user, boss, prospect, or client.
Get to knowyour user, boss, prospect, or client.
Relate toyour user, boss, prospect, or client.
Express gratitude toyour user, boss, prospect, or client.
Loveyour user, boss, prospect, or client.
Wait, I think I already forgot what you just      said.Okay, so that’s a lot of things. Maybe more than six things.But at ...
Wait, I think I already forgot what you just      said.                                                                   ...
Now these are six good bits of advice!But we’re not exactly in short supply of advice.What matters about stuff like this i...
1. Don’t be so sureNow these are six good bits of advice!But we’re not exactly in short supply of advice.What matters abou...
1. Don’t be so sure   2. PlayNow these are six good bits of advice!But we’re not exactly in short supply of advice.What ma...
1. Don’t be so sure   2. Play   3. Get UncomfortableNow these are six good bits of advice!But we’re not exactly in short s...
1. Don’t be so sure   2. Play   3. Get Uncomfortable   4. ReframeNow these are six good bits of advice!But we’re not exact...
1. Don’t be so sure   2. Play   3. Get Uncomfortable   4. Reframe   5. Don’t Be FancyNow these are six good bits of advice...
1. Don’t be so sure   2. Play   3. Get Uncomfortable   4. Reframe   5. Don’t Be Fancy   6. Love, Love, LoveNow these are s...
FinallyOur profession is filled with some of the brightest people most of us will ever meet.A fair number of the people who...
No McFly ever amounted to anything in the history      of Hill Valley.                                                    ...
And the more rigorous our questions, the braver our actions, the freer our hearts to dream,the brighter the future we’ll c...
That’s it.
I love you.
It's 2012 & I'm Still Writing "Should web designers know how to code?" On All My Checks
It's 2012 & I'm Still Writing "Should web designers know how to code?" On All My Checks
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It's 2012 & I'm Still Writing "Should web designers know how to code?" On All My Checks

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For the last few years, three questions have, in one way or another, driven a disproportionate number of the web-related presentations I've either attended or seen online:

Should web designers know how to code?
How do I convince my boss that we should be building our [thing] responsively?
How do we get clients to pay for [new thing du jour]?
On the surface, these are good and relevant questions. Ours is an industry in upheaval, and we're all trying to figure out how to cope with revolutionary change and its implications. But a deeper examination of questions like these reveals a dangerous and shared achilles heel: In the name of community, we have built around us a professional echo chamber so tight, it's weakened our ability to do the very synthesis required to advance the causes that drove such questions in the first place. In this presentation, we get to the bottom of some of our most common challenges, and focus on practical ways to wrestle ourselves and our profession from this straightjacket of regurgitative nonthinking, and stop creating needless Sisyphean drama where progress, play, and growth ought naturally to dwell instead.

If this version appears mangled, you can view an HTML version on my site at http://www.texburgher.com/WD2012

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It's 2012 & I'm Still Writing "Should web designers know how to code?" On All My Checks

  1. 1. Hello.
  2. 2. I’m Geoff BarnesDirector of User Experienceat Elliance
  3. 3. I’m Geoff BarnesDirector of User Experienceat Elliance@texburgher on twitter, etc.
  4. 4. I’m Geoff BarnesDirector of User Experienceat Elliance@texburgher on twitter, etc.
  5. 5. It’s 2012 & I’m Still Writing Should web designers know how to code? On All My ChecksI want to talk to you about what I think is a very common shared experience for web professionals.
  6. 6. It’s 2012 & I’m Still Writing Should web designers know how to code? On All My Checks :(I don’t know a single word that adequately expresses this experience, so let me start by taking a few minutes to justdescribe it.
  7. 7. Should web designers know how to code?First of all, it’s not just when talking about web designers and code that we have this experience.
  8. 8. Why doesn’t my boss understand that we should be doing responsive design? Should web designers know how to code?What I’m talking about is a certain class of struggle - more like a battle.We’re trying to advance our field - pushing a valuable cause. It’s messy and disruptive.
  9. 9. Why doesn’t my boss understand that we should be doing responsive design? Should web designers know how to code? How can we keep clients from ruining the work we do for them?We know the way things should go - or at the very least, we have solid ideas and strong opinions.
  10. 10. How come my neighbors don’t realize that blasting their country music is offensive? Why doesn’t my boss understand that we should be doing responsive design? Should web designers know how to code? How can we keep clients from ruining the work we do for them?Chances are, a lot of us in this room are engaged in one of these struggles right now.And we employ a pretty standard cadre of activities in our persuasive attempts.
  11. 11. We prosthelytize to our coworkers...
  12. 12. Tweet 24//7...
  13. 13. Top 10 Reasons You ShouldWrite blog post upon blog post Uninstall Photoshop
  14. 14. Write blog post upon blog post
  15. 15. Attend and present at conferences...
  16. 16. Write memos and emails, hoping to win (the neighbor) over to your point of view...
  17. 17. Read ferociously, scan, distill, and share at a frenetic pace...
  18. 18. And if at first, you don’t succeed... (we all know the rejoinder)
  19. 19. Because change is hard...
  20. 20. And the unknown is scary...
  21. 21. Jean-Paul SartreAnd people are stubborn.Sounds familar, doesn’t it.
  22. 22. Other people, amirite? Jean-Paul SartreAnd people are stubborn.Sounds familar, doesn’t it.
  23. 23. Not So Fast The Effortless Art of Self-SabotageI guess in one way it would be nice if our inability to effect change were this simply attributable.“Nice,” but not in a meaningful way, right? After all, our point is to effect change.So then it’s very good news, actually, that our Sisyphean nightmare continues not simply because of others’resistance to change, but in service of our own.
  24. 24. !Let’s [SLOW DOWN] take a little closer look at what we’re doing during the persuasive cycle I just described, and seewhere things are breaking down. <next build>Now, obviously, whoever first proposed “Web Designers Should Know How To Code” was trying to solve a problem.<next build>And the problem was something to this effect. <next slide>
  25. 25. Problem Statement !Let’s [SLOW DOWN] take a little closer look at what we’re doing during the persuasive cycle I just described, and seewhere things are breaking down. <next build>Now, obviously, whoever first proposed “Web Designers Should Know How To Code” was trying to solve a problem.<next build>And the problem was something to this effect. <next slide>
  26. 26. Problem Statement ! There’s a skills chasm between designers and developers!Let’s [SLOW DOWN] take a little closer look at what we’re doing during the persuasive cycle I just described, and seewhere things are breaking down. <next build>Now, obviously, whoever first proposed “Web Designers Should Know How To Code” was trying to solve a problem.<next build>And the problem was something to this effect. <next slide>
  27. 27. ?Great, so how do we fix that? <next build>
  28. 28. Brainstorming ? Should we rearrange our office?Great, so how do we fix that? <next build>
  29. 29. Brainstorming ? Should we hire a “rock star”?Who knows if “Should Web Designers Know How to Code?” was the first idea?
  30. 30. Brainstorming ? Should we kill the designers?Maybe it was the best.
  31. 31. Brainstorming ? Should web designers know how to code?Was anyone here there? I wasn’t there. So I don’t know.
  32. 32. .What we all know at this point <next build>though, is that it was sufficiently favored that it became the position <next build>of greatest rhetorical (if not practical) prominence driving search to close the skills chasm between web designersand developers.
  33. 33. Position Formulation .What we all know at this point <next build>though, is that it was sufficiently favored that it became the position <next build>of greatest rhetorical (if not practical) prominence driving search to close the skills chasm between web designersand developers.
  34. 34. Position Formulation . Designers probably should learn to code!What we all know at this point <next build>though, is that it was sufficiently favored that it became the position <next build>of greatest rhetorical (if not practical) prominence driving search to close the skills chasm between web designersand developers.
  35. 35. .With the position as impetus, we collectively (and many of us individually) went to work developing the supportingrationale. <next build>(with the prosthelytizing and the blogging and the demo construction and the infographics and and...)...and as we got close to having something akin to a solid case for our position, <next build>we began sharing with our colleagues and friends. And we got feedback - some encouraging, some disheartening,and with it <next build>we strengthened our argument. PILED ON THE PERFECTION. Did away with the weaknesses, bolstered the strengths,getting closer by the iteration to the apparent holy grail of <next build> Rhetorical Impenetrability.Now, this is the point where, if you’re like me, <next slide>
  36. 36. Build .With the position as impetus, we collectively (and many of us individually) went to work developing the supportingrationale. <next build>(with the prosthelytizing and the blogging and the demo construction and the infographics and and...)...and as we got close to having something akin to a solid case for our position, <next build>we began sharing with our colleagues and friends. And we got feedback - some encouraging, some disheartening,and with it <next build>we strengthened our argument. PILED ON THE PERFECTION. Did away with the weaknesses, bolstered the strengths,getting closer by the iteration to the apparent holy grail of <next build> Rhetorical Impenetrability.Now, this is the point where, if you’re like me, <next slide>
  37. 37. Share Build .With the position as impetus, we collectively (and many of us individually) went to work developing the supportingrationale. <next build>(with the prosthelytizing and the blogging and the demo construction and the infographics and and...)...and as we got close to having something akin to a solid case for our position, <next build>we began sharing with our colleagues and friends. And we got feedback - some encouraging, some disheartening,and with it <next build>we strengthened our argument. PILED ON THE PERFECTION. Did away with the weaknesses, bolstered the strengths,getting closer by the iteration to the apparent holy grail of <next build> Rhetorical Impenetrability.Now, this is the point where, if you’re like me, <next slide>
  38. 38. Strengthen Share Build .With the position as impetus, we collectively (and many of us individually) went to work developing the supportingrationale. <next build>(with the prosthelytizing and the blogging and the demo construction and the infographics and and...)...and as we got close to having something akin to a solid case for our position, <next build>we began sharing with our colleagues and friends. And we got feedback - some encouraging, some disheartening,and with it <next build>we strengthened our argument. PILED ON THE PERFECTION. Did away with the weaknesses, bolstered the strengths,getting closer by the iteration to the apparent holy grail of <next build> Rhetorical Impenetrability.Now, this is the point where, if you’re like me, <next slide>
  39. 39. Strengthen Share Build . Rhetorical ImpenetrabilityWith the position as impetus, we collectively (and many of us individually) went to work developing the supportingrationale. <next build>(with the prosthelytizing and the blogging and the demo construction and the infographics and and...)...and as we got close to having something akin to a solid case for our position, <next build>we began sharing with our colleagues and friends. And we got feedback - some encouraging, some disheartening,and with it <next build>we strengthened our argument. PILED ON THE PERFECTION. Did away with the weaknesses, bolstered the strengths,getting closer by the iteration to the apparent holy grail of <next build> Rhetorical Impenetrability.Now, this is the point where, if you’re like me, <next slide>
  40. 40. ... you started to get really excited.Because I’ve watched an awful lot of Law & Order, and I’m pretty sure that STRONG CASES WIN.
  41. 41. .But here’s the thing. Seen from a psychological perspective rather than a rhetorical one, <next slide>
  42. 42. . Build...when we’re building an argument, <next slide>
  43. 43. . Sharesharing our beliefs, <next slide>
  44. 44. . Strengthenand strengthening our case...Instead of piling on protection, we’re digging ourselves into a pit.
  45. 45. Dialogic Rigidity .The stronger we feel our argument to be, the more entrenched we become. And we develop dialogic rigidity.Now this is a huge problem on a lot of levels.Rigidity like this decreases the likelihood that we’ll succeed in convincing someone to see things our way.So, ironically, the better we are at building persuasive arguments, the less likely we are to win people to our side.
  46. 46. Confirmation BiasTo complicate matters, there’s this thing called confirmation bias, whereby once we’ve decided we like a position -once we’ve made it a belief <next build>we see evidence of its rightness everywhere.Evidence of its wrongness could be everywhere, and we don’t even see it.This is irrational, though! Why would we behave this way?Reference:(definition) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias(in politics) http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/30/hope-for-reason/?hp
  47. 47. Confirmation Bias (noun; real) tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs or hypothesesTo complicate matters, there’s this thing called confirmation bias, whereby once we’ve decided we like a position -once we’ve made it a belief <next build>we see evidence of its rightness everywhere.Evidence of its wrongness could be everywhere, and we don’t even see it.This is irrational, though! Why would we behave this way?Reference:(definition) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias(in politics) http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/30/hope-for-reason/?hp
  48. 48. Right vs. WrongOne reason has to do with our own attitudes about what it means to be wrong.Raise your hand if you enjoy being wrong.
  49. 49. Who’s read this book by Kathryn Schulz?If you have, bear with me. If you haven’t, stay with me. There are a few very salient points I want to visit.http://beingwrongbook.com/
  50. 50. What does being wrong feel like? http://beingwrongbook.comFirst, consider what it feels like to be wrong. Awful? Embarrassing? Shameful? Stupid? Whatever words we use, there’sa lot of agreement that it’s unpleasant.
  51. 51. The feeling of realizing you’re wrong http://beingwrongbook.comSchulz points out that, actually, all those negative feelings are feelings of realizing you’re wrong - not of beingwrong.
  52. 52. The feeling being wrong http://beingwrongbook.com
  53. 53. The feeling being right http://beingwrongbook.comBeing wrong, she asserts, feels like being right.
  54. 54. Error BlindnessShe calls this “error blindness,” and we’re all affected by it.We broadly accept that everyone is wrong sometimes, but us? Not that often. And especially not right now, at leastregarding anything that comes to mind.
  55. 55. Being Wrong is WrongConsider how readily we paint others’ wrongness as a character flaw. We really, really don’t like being wrong.
  56. 56. Our fear of being wrong is really tragic. Because right up to the moment you realize you’re wrong about something,there is precisely one possibility - that you’re right. If you’re searching for a solution to an intractable problem, aworld of one possible solution - that isn’t even working - is an awfully bleak prospect.
  57. 57. So, to summarize Ms. Schulz...
  58. 58. Being wrong is common.So, to summarize Ms. Schulz...
  59. 59. Being wrong is common. We identify negatively with being wrong.So, to summarize Ms. Schulz...
  60. 60. Being wrong is common. We identify negatively with being wrong. We’re terrible at knowing when we’re wrong.So, to summarize Ms. Schulz...
  61. 61. Being wrong is common. We identify negatively with being wrong. We’re terrible at knowing when we’re wrong. Being wrong feels like being right.So, to summarize Ms. Schulz...
  62. 62. Expertise• We tend to get entrenched in our positions to the detriment of exploration. (passionate)• We favor information that reinforces existing beliefs over information that informs growth. (well-informed)• We are terrible knowing, let alone admitting, when we’re wrong. (confident)This is what we call Expertise.
  63. 63. Where Are We GoingSince we’re using the question about web designers and code as our case-in-point, let’s revisit it one final time.
  64. 64. Where Are We Going Wrong?Since we’re using the question about web designers and code as our case-in-point, let’s revisit it one final time.
  65. 65. Should Web Designers know how to code?And let’s consider the potentially unnerving prospect that, at as fundamental an inflection point as this, we gotsomething wrong.Now, I’m not especially interested in this question - and for our purposes right now, I’m explicitly disinterested intrying to definitively answer it.What interests me about this question are:1) its origin story, and2) its performance in the dialogic marketplace
  66. 66. Should Web Designers know how to code?First - the origin story.While we can only guess at specifics, we can be pretty sure that this didn’t start life as a question.Both the asker’s belief and rhetorical intent are made pretty clear here...
  67. 67. Web Designers Should know how to code.So, it’s not a huge leap to realize we’re dealing with a rhetorical question.Now this isn’t to say the question is disingenuous, but to point out that it makes some significant assumptions,whether phrased as a question or a statement.
  68. 68. Now, sentence diagramming is one of the better tools for this job, but it’s also not my sharpest tool, so this comes tous courtesy of my seventh-grade english lab teacher, Mrs. Sitton.
  69. 69. Assumption #1: Web Designers (not developers or project managers or creative or UX directors or any other of thepotentially connective members of a team) are the subject of this declaration.
  70. 70. The declaration, of course, asserting that what Web Designers SHOULD DO is know how to code.Now that they should know ABOUT code.Not that they should teach developers (or project managers or creative or UX directors, etc) how to design.Not that they should act as overseers of the implementation of their design work.That they should KNOW HOW TO CODE.That’s Assumption #2.Assumption #3 is a little harder to spot, and to do so, we have to ask what this assertion here is implying.
  71. 71. Because it’s not just saying that Web Designers should know how to code, it’s saying they don’t know how to.Now, that may seem pretty benign and obvious, but I think it’s very significant, and here’s why.
  72. 72. In making the assertion - that Web Designers should know how to code - the speaker is implying a precedingconclusion:That the reason for the *skills chasm* is an insufficiency in the skill sets of Web Designers.Now, how many of you here right now are comfortable with that inference - that assumption - that the challenges oftaking a web project from design to implementation arise (maybe not wholly, but at least primarily) from aninsufficiency in Web Designers’ skills?(assume not many hands up)Not a lot, right? Any?
  73. 73. Yet, by accepting this assertion - even in question form - as a fulcrum of our professional dialog, we have effectivelylimited the scope of our search for solutions to those which solve the “problem” of Web Designers not also beingprogrammers.
  74. 74. Should Web Designers know how to code?So when you consider the question from that perspective, it begins to be less perplexing that a change agenda bornof it might be a little challenging to push.Yet, here we are. We’ve constrained ourselves to a binary world of one proposed solution, the answer to which iseither YES or NO, and I think we’ve done that quite by accident.This, I believe, is a big problem.
  75. 75. So the Kings Quest, and the reason weve just devoted 20 minutes to a 7-word question is:HOW CAN WE ASK BETTER QUESTIONS?
  76. 76. Better Questions How do they work?Let me recall something I said about the Web Designers question, because it’s important and it’s fundamental for ourquest:I said I was expressly disinterested in definitively answering the question, “Should Web Designers know how to code?”And while at least one reason for that now hopefully seems obvious, I actually extend that disinterest to all of thequestions I flashed on the screen earlier...
  77. 77. How come my neighbors don’t realize that blasting their country music is offensive? Why doesn’t my boss understand that we should be doing responsive design? Should web designers know how to code? How can we keep clients from ruining the work we do for them?They’re not all YES/NO questions, but they all make assumptions that...
  78. 78. How come my neighbors don’t realize that blasting their country music is offensive? Why doesn’t my boss understand that we should be doing responsive design? Should web designers know how to code? How can we keep clients from ruining the work we do for them?...from a persuasive standpoint if not from a logical one, are likely to do more harm than good.So my disinterest in answering them is deliberate and practiced.
  79. 79. Should web designers know how to code?For one more moment, let’s talk about the question, “Should Web Designers Know How To Code?”-----And forget whether you’re with me or not regarding problems with the question itself, and consider that any answerof either “yes” or “no” assumes control over too many variables to be useful.Does the designer WANT to learn how to code?Would that encroach on others’ responsibilities?Is it practical considering constraints?-----Really, outside the confines of the idealism of our own mind, a “yes” or “no” answer here is nonsensical.A sensible answer is something closer to “depends,” or, because I’m still young enough to shudder at the prospect ofeventually ending up in adult diapers, “maybe.”
  80. 80. I understand how this could be a troubling, if not seemingly absurd, proposition, so I want to tell you a story.It’s a taoist fable about an old farmer who’d worked his crops for many years.One day, horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.“Maybe,” replied the farmer.The next morning, the horse returned, bringing with it three wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed.“Maybe,” replied the farmer.The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. Again, theneighbors came to offer their sympathy at the misfortune. “Maybe,” replied the farmer.The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg wasbroken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.By now, you already know the farmer’s reply.
  81. 81. Call Me MaybeMaybe isn’t a cop-out.Maybe is simply an acceptance of the potential that not only might we not have a monopoly on the correct answer,but that we might not even be asking the right question.Nothing counterproductive about Maybe.In my experience, “Maybe” stimulates productivity by relaxing our egoic grip on “rightness,” and that makes it aninestimably practical answer to hold.
  82. 82. 1. Don’t Be So SureFind the difference between “knowing” and “seeking” and plant yourself in opposition to knowing.Why?There is precisely one precursor to discovery, and that is a lack of knowledge. The longer you can not knowsomething, the more you’ll explore.
  83. 83. Suspend judgment. Discovery is a process during which judgment effectively kills.Picasso and light paintings.
  84. 84. That’s the worst damn music I’ve ever heard in my entire life!Rephrase judgements as introspective questions.
  85. 85. Why do I react so strongly to my neighbor’s choice of music?Rephrase judgements as introspective questions.
  86. 86. Seek out and nourish relationships with challenging colleagues. These are your friends.Build arguments with them. Have a point system. Score importance of things.
  87. 87. 2. Playhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VShmtsLhkQg
  88. 88. In a breathtakingly good presentation about creativity, John Cleese discusses at length what it means to play.
  89. 89. A mood, not a skill.Of approaching the world as one of possibilities, not as one of good and bad ideas.Not a skill that you either have or you don’t.It’s a mood. A way of operating.
  90. 90. Open, not closed.Wherein the mind is open, vs. closed.
  91. 91. Open, not closed.That’s more than the bumper-sticker version of open-mindedness.
  92. 92. Open, not closed.It’s being open minded to being thrown entirely off course for the sake of exploration, of play.
  93. 93. Open, not closed.Unconcerned whether the play is “good” or “bad,” or whether you might get hurt or embarrassed.
  94. 94. Open, not closed.Think of Picasso suspending judgment.
  95. 95. For adults, it’s rare that play just happens like for kids.So as “adults,” one of our jobs is to create the conditions for play.What are the conditions?
  96. 96. Conditions for PlayFor adults, it’s rare that play just happens like for kids.So as “adults,” one of our jobs is to create the conditions for play.What are the conditions?
  97. 97. Conditions for Play SpaceFor adults, it’s rare that play just happens like for kids.So as “adults,” one of our jobs is to create the conditions for play.What are the conditions?
  98. 98. Conditions for Play Space TimeFor adults, it’s rare that play just happens like for kids.So as “adults,” one of our jobs is to create the conditions for play.What are the conditions?
  99. 99. Conditions for Play Space Time ConfidenceFor adults, it’s rare that play just happens like for kids.So as “adults,” one of our jobs is to create the conditions for play.What are the conditions?
  100. 100. Conditions for Play Space Time Confidence HumorFor adults, it’s rare that play just happens like for kids.So as “adults,” one of our jobs is to create the conditions for play.What are the conditions?
  101. 101. Artistic Play
  102. 102. Artistic PlayExquisite Corpse drawing
  103. 103. Artistic PlayExquisite Corpse drawingChain-of-consciousness writing
  104. 104. Artistic PlayExquisite Corpse drawingChain-of-consciousness writingFree-style rap contest in the break room
  105. 105. Artistic PlayExquisite Corpse drawingChain-of-consciousness writingFree-style rap contest in the break roomInterpretive dance
  106. 106. Heady Play
  107. 107. Heady PlaySubvert everything for humor.
  108. 108. Heady PlaySubvert everything for humor.Be ridiculous on purpose.
  109. 109. Heady PlaySubvert everything for humor.Be ridiculous on purpose.Take literally everything literally.
  110. 110. Heady PlaySubvert everything for humor.Be ridiculous on purpose.Take literally everything literally.Literally.
  111. 111. 3. Get Uncomfortable
  112. 112. Routine is the death ofI have no idea if this is true.
  113. 113. Routine is the death of poutine?I have no idea if this is true.
  114. 114. Like suckling pig...
  115. 115. ...or passion fruit
  116. 116. Take an alternate route
  117. 117. Even small variations matter. Notice what you notice along the way. Out loud, for that matter.
  118. 118. There is a mind-boggling array of routes you can take from any point A to practically any point B.
  119. 119. This means it’ll sometimes take you twice as long to get to work.Make the time.
  120. 120. Sleep outside.
  121. 121. Learn a musical instrument.Learn a musical instrument
  122. 122. or a new language.or a new language.
  123. 123. or a new language. ou une nouvelle langue.Don’t buy into the idea that only kids can learn new languages. it’s not true.
  124. 124. or a new language. ou une nouvelle langue. o un nuevo idioma.You have the neuroplasticity to learn new languages until quite late in life. As many as you want.
  125. 125. or a new language. ou une nouvelle langue. o un nuevo idioma. atau bahasa baru.And you’re not limited to romance or germanic languages.The more foreign the language, the more it expands your existing schemas.
  126. 126. Dancing makes a lot of people uncomfortable. Maybe learn to dance.If dancing doesn’t take you out of your comfort zone, try cross-dressing or nude modeling or public speaking.
  127. 127. If you’re a designer, learn to program.
  128. 128. If you’re techier than that, take up art.
  129. 129. Make out with your shadow.Jungian concept.
  130. 130. Make out with your shadow.Jungian concept. Explain + what is its therapeutic value?http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_(psychology)
  131. 131. 4. ReframeUnderstand problems more fully by forcing yourself outside of your existing vocabulary, patterns, and habits.In the world of common lore, three illustrative stories come immediately to mind.
  132. 132. The first, of course, involves a truck, the driver of which has attempted to drive it under a bridge that affords ALMOST- but not quite - enough clearance. So the truck gets stuck.At first, the driver tries to give it more gas, accepting that his truck will be damaged, but hoping to squeak through.No luck. Then he tries to back up, but it’s no use. He’s stuck.So he flags down passers by and asks them to climb up on the truck’s hood and attempt to weigh it down so he canback it up. No luck.Police arrive and so does a tow-truck. Hook up winch and try to drag him out. No luck.Finally, kid in back seat her parents car as it sits in the opposite lane waiting for the police to flag them through, rolls
  133. 133. And of course we’ve all heard about the million-dollar space pen developed by NASA, and how the Russians bestedthe Americans by using a 10-cent pencil. But how many of us know that story is apocryphal?The truth is that, initially, both the Americans and the Russians used pencils in space, but they were expensivebecause they had to be constructed of special fibers and they were bad for missions because they shed graphite dustand graphite dust, as you might intuit, isn’t something you want inside your space instruments.The space pen was invented by Fisher specifically because of this problem, and sold to NASA (and the Russians) for amodest $1.98 apiece.
  134. 134. So, where did this hooey about the Russians’ low-tech ingenuity come from? Certainly reeks of Soviet propaganda,but its effectiveness lies in how beautifully it illustrates the power of reframing.sourcehttp://io9.com/5838635/the-million-dollar-space-pen-hoax
  135. 135. IN SOVIET RUSSIA PENCIL USES YOUSo, where did this hooey about the Russians’ low-tech ingenuity come from? Certainly reeks of Soviet propaganda,but its effectiveness lies in how beautifully it illustrates the power of reframing.sourcehttp://io9.com/5838635/the-million-dollar-space-pen-hoax
  136. 136. Finally, there’s the story I’m sure everyone’s heard about the priest who ignored warnings and refused evacuationassistance as a monster storm engulfed his community...(tell)Brilliant example of reframing.
  137. 137. All good reframing does the same thing. Take our idea seedling from earlier...
  138. 138. ...and lets put it in perspective. Literally, just get clear about our point of view.
  139. 139. Reframing is how we can change our perspective on the thing, revealing often hidden aspects of it.
  140. 140. A lot of times, when we’re stuck on something, our problem is as simple as being too close to it. Reframing helps usget much-needed distance, to let broader contexts come into view.
  141. 141. Through this practice, we will find it easier to prioritize inputs, to better separate situational signal from noise.
  142. 142. and through transforming our perspective on the world we thought we knew, we quite literally transform our world.
  143. 143. Paris is the Paris of things that other thingsare the thing of. - Dan Wineman @dwineman
  144. 144. 5. Don’t Be Fancy
  145. 145. Simplify.Remember Einstein who said, “If you can’t explain a thing simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
  146. 146. Draw and write with pencils and paper.Technology is great or whatever I’m supposed to say, but there’s no beating plain old pencil and paper when it’s timeto cozy up to your thoughts.
  147. 147. Utilize the least embellished linguistic constructs required to effectively make your point.Avoid lingo and terms of art. You don’t have to “pack” and “unpack” clear and simple concepts.
  148. 148. Utilize the least embellished linguistic constructs required to effectively make your point.The Einstein test is pretty easy to administer in my household. I just trap one of my children in a chair, set a mentaltimer for 30 seconds (because that’s the most I’m going to get), and explain my idea.
  149. 149. Use plain language.The Einstein test is pretty easy to administer in my household. I just trap one of my children in a chair, set a mentaltimer for 30 seconds (because that’s the most I’m going to get), and explain my idea.
  150. 150. The PASS/FAIL result is instantaneous.
  151. 151. 6. Love, Love, Love
  152. 152. Identifyyour user, boss, prospect, or client.
  153. 153. Get to knowyour user, boss, prospect, or client.
  154. 154. Relate toyour user, boss, prospect, or client.
  155. 155. Express gratitude toyour user, boss, prospect, or client.
  156. 156. Loveyour user, boss, prospect, or client.
  157. 157. Wait, I think I already forgot what you just said.Okay, so that’s a lot of things. Maybe more than six things.But at a high level, it’s just a simple list of six strategies we can apply in daily life, in the pursuit of asking clearer,more creative questions.
  158. 158. Wait, I think I already forgot what you just said. - half the room including meOkay, so that’s a lot of things. Maybe more than six things.But at a high level, it’s just a simple list of six strategies we can apply in daily life, in the pursuit of asking clearer,more creative questions.
  159. 159. Now these are six good bits of advice!But we’re not exactly in short supply of advice.What matters about stuff like this is how you apply it.
  160. 160. 1. Don’t be so sureNow these are six good bits of advice!But we’re not exactly in short supply of advice.What matters about stuff like this is how you apply it.
  161. 161. 1. Don’t be so sure 2. PlayNow these are six good bits of advice!But we’re not exactly in short supply of advice.What matters about stuff like this is how you apply it.
  162. 162. 1. Don’t be so sure 2. Play 3. Get UncomfortableNow these are six good bits of advice!But we’re not exactly in short supply of advice.What matters about stuff like this is how you apply it.
  163. 163. 1. Don’t be so sure 2. Play 3. Get Uncomfortable 4. ReframeNow these are six good bits of advice!But we’re not exactly in short supply of advice.What matters about stuff like this is how you apply it.
  164. 164. 1. Don’t be so sure 2. Play 3. Get Uncomfortable 4. Reframe 5. Don’t Be FancyNow these are six good bits of advice!But we’re not exactly in short supply of advice.What matters about stuff like this is how you apply it.
  165. 165. 1. Don’t be so sure 2. Play 3. Get Uncomfortable 4. Reframe 5. Don’t Be Fancy 6. Love, Love, LoveNow these are six good bits of advice!But we’re not exactly in short supply of advice.What matters about stuff like this is how you apply it.
  166. 166. FinallyOur profession is filled with some of the brightest people most of us will ever meet.A fair number of the people who inspire me every day are in this very auditorium.My hope, in sharing what I prepared for today, is on one count ridiculously utopian and, on the other, shamelesslyselfish.
  167. 167. No McFly ever amounted to anything in the history of Hill Valley. Yeah, well, history is gonna change.Simply put, I want you amazing colleagues to challenge and nurture one another - to challenge and nurture me - asvigorously as you possibly can.Because we truly are in the business of changing futures. And we’re all in it together.
  168. 168. And the more rigorous our questions, the braver our actions, the freer our hearts to dream,the brighter the future we’ll create.
  169. 169. That’s it.
  170. 170. I love you.

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