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Skill Building For Design Innovators


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How can you broaden your sphere of influence within the field of human-computer interaction? You can start by building your muscles! Steve will take a look at some fundamental skills that underlie the creation and launch of innovative goods and services. He will discuss the personal skills that he considers to be “the muscles of innovators” and the ways you can build these important muscles, including noticing, understanding cultural context, maintaining exposure to pop culture, synthesizing, drawing, wordsmithing, listening, and prototyping. Along the way, he will demonstrate how improving these powerful skills will equip you to lead positive change.

Published in: Design

Skill Building For Design Innovators

  1. 1. Skill Building For Design Innovators<br />@steveportigal<br />
  2. 2. Portigal Consulting is a bite-sized California firm that helps companies discover and act on new insights about their customers and themselves<br />
  3. 3. The Promise of Mastery<br />
  4. 4. Methods vs. Muscles<br />
  5. 5. Today’s Session<br />I’ll review some of the muscles I think are important<br />Noticing<br />Listening<br />Understanding cultural context<br />Synthesizing<br />Wordsmithing<br />Drawing<br />Embracing pop culture<br />These muscles drive how we understand users, collaborate with each other, and create design solutions<br />For each, at varying levels of detail<br />What are we talking about<br />Why does it matter<br />How to build these muscles<br />I’ll talk steadily for the first 40 min. or so, then we’ll have Q & A at the end <br />
  6. 6. 1. Noticing<br />Noticing the noticing sensation<br />Things that make you go “Hmm”<br />Your attention is grabbed<br />You stop what you are doing<br />Laugh/point/cringe<br />Furrow brow in confusion<br />Whuttha…?<br />
  7. 7. Noticing Our Users<br />Gaps between self-reported and actual behavior<br />Workarounds, hacks and kludges<br />Process breakdowns<br />Artifacts or details to ask about<br />Not only what people say, but how they say it<br />
  8. 8. Noticing helps you to notice later<br />
  9. 9. Noticing helps you to notice later<br />
  10. 10. Noticing helps you to notice later<br />
  11. 11. Noticing helps you to notice later<br />
  12. 12. Noticing helps you to notice later<br />
  13. 13. Building Noticing Muscles<br />Carry a camera/notepad and use it<br />Thinkaloud protocol – say what you’re seeing<br />To a friend<br />To your device<br />Get out of your regular/comfort zone<br />
  14. 14. Building Noticing Muscles<br />
  15. 15. 2. Listening<br />Interpersonally, we’re trained to hear the breath signals that it’s our turn to talk. This is not really listening.<br />FI<br />NISHED<br />
  16. 16. Listening Body Language<br />Yes!<br />Not so much.<br />
  17. 17. You can demonstrate that you are listening by asking questions!<br /><ul><li>Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up
  18. 18. “Earlier, you told us that…”
  19. 19. “I want to go back to something else you said…”</li></ul>Signal your transitions: “Great, now I’d like to move onto a totally different topic”<br />This level of listening is not how we normally talk to each other<br /><ul><li>Remember that you are interviewing, not having a friendly chat</li></ul>This is really hard<br />Expert Listening in User Research<br />
  20. 20. Building Listening Muscles<br />Use serendipitous encounters with loquacious taxi drivers, airplane neighbors, or social-cue-missing party chatters<br />Even if we can’t repair society’s listening inequity, we can use it to provide endless practice space <br />Are you talking to me?<br />
  21. 21. 3. Understanding Cultural Context<br />
  22. 22. What is Culture?<br />
  23. 23. Culture Defined<br />How a group of people make sense of the world<br />Common<br />Experiences<br />Beliefs<br />Knowledge<br />Values<br />Attitudes<br />Behaviors<br />Meanings<br />Patterns<br />Symbols<br />
  24. 24. But First: Cultural Norms<br />Articulates what is normal<br />Seen in artifacts<br />Media<br />Products<br />Advertisements<br />Street culture<br />Trends and fads<br />Normal isn’t “right or wrong” – it’s the set of background rules that define much of what people choose or ignore<br />
  25. 25. What is Normal?<br />
  26. 26.
  27. 27.
  28. 28. Cultural Context Experiences<br />With these examples, think about your own experiences with culture<br />Is this outside your norm?<br />Is this something you have an analog for in your own culture?<br />Is it your own culture?<br />Have you observed this? Or something similar?<br />
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  35. 35. Cultural Context Muscles: Collect Your Stories<br />
  36. 36. Cultural Context Muscles: Collect Your Stories<br />
  37. 37. Cultural Context Muscles: Collect Your Stories<br />
  38. 38. Cultural Context Muscles: Observe Observers<br />
  39. 39. 4. Synthesizing<br />Synthesis is essential if we want to use customer information to do more than solve “point needs”, i.e., to innovate <br />
  40. 40. Idealized Synthesis Process<br />4<br />5<br />2<br />3<br />1<br />6<br />Objectives<br />Findings<br />User Experience Brief<br />IdeationQuestions<br />Possible Strategies<br />Possible Solutions<br />DetailedSolutions<br />7<br />
  41. 41. Building Synthesis Muscles<br />
  42. 42. Expert Synthesis Process<br />4<br />5<br />2<br />3<br />1<br />6<br />Objectives<br />Findings<br />User Experience Brief<br />IdeationQuestions<br />Possible Strategies<br />Possible Solutions<br />DetailedSolutions<br />7<br />
  43. 43. 5. Wordsmithing<br />Different than writing prose<br />We draw on this when<br />Writing PowerPoint<br />Creating effective hyperlink labels<br />Naming UI or product functionality<br />Articulate findings about customer mental models (i.e., difference between automatic and smart)<br />
  44. 44. Building Wordsmithing Muscles<br />
  45. 45. 6. Drawing<br />
  46. 46. Drawing<br />
  47. 47. Drawing<br />
  48. 48. Why Drawing?<br />The more ways you have to work out ideas (alone or with others), the more impactful you will be<br />Moving a pen on paper will to engage your brain (and your audience’s brain) in a different way than moving a mouse or typing on a keyboard<br />
  49. 49. Sketching and Beyond<br />
  50. 50. Sketching and Beyond<br />
  51. 51. Sketching and Beyond<br />
  52. 52. 1,000,000 Giraffes<br />
  53. 53. 1,000,000 Giraffes<br />
  54. 54. Building Drawing Muscles<br />Draw<br />It doesn’t matter that you “can’t draw”<br />Kate Rutter calls it putting marks on paper to take the fear out of it<br />Get other people to draw<br />
  55. 55. 7. Pop Culture<br />“Pop culture is a rich source of information that can often be crucial for our work. When the public begins to compare and contrast the voting for American Idol with voting for the American president, that’s something we want to pay attention to. Dismissing this cultural data by sniffing ‘I don’t watch American Idol’isn’t a relevant response.”<br />Steve Portigal<br />Living In the Overlap<br />interactions, Sep+Oct 2008<br />
  56. 56. Pop Quiz<br />
  57. 57. Pop Quiz<br />
  58. 58. Pop Quiz<br />
  59. 59. Pop Quiz<br />
  60. 60. Pop Quiz<br />
  61. 61. Pop Quiz<br />
  62. 62. To Know (About) Him Is Not To Love Him<br />
  63. 63. Building Pop Culture Muscles<br />Read/watch broadly yet shallowly<br />Go outside your interests<br />Not about being complete, but about expanding your base<br />Skim, surf, flip – TV, RSS, headlines, publications, etc.<br />
  64. 64. Building Pop Culture Muscles<br />Consume the meatConsume the meta<br />
  65. 65. Muscles and Where We’ll Use ‘Em<br />
  66. 66. Another muscle to consider might be…<br />Yeah, I’ve got a question for ya…<br />One new thing I learned today is…<br />
  67. 67. Thank You!<br />@steveportigal<br /><br />415-894-2001<br />Portigal Consulting<br /><br />