Posts tagged “presentation”

From ProductTank, video of The Power of Bad Ideas 

A few months back, I spoke at ProductTank SF about The Power of Bad Ideas. They’ve put the video online and I’ve also embdded it below.

Steve Portigal challenges product managers to re-think the idea-generation process by inviting in bad ideas.

In brain-storming sessions, we frequently see two surges in ideas. The first is where the low hanging fruit is identified. The second surge is where more innovative ideas are frequently found. Welcoming bad ideas can be an effective strategy for fast tracking past the low hanging fruit and into innovation.

Steve’s interactive talk encourages product managers to come up with the worst product ideas possible. Not the ideas that are just not that good, but ones that are really, truly terrible. By starting with a bad idea, Steve opens a safe, creative space for ideas sharing. He helps product people to unpack what is good and bad, why and who gets to decide. He encourages us to step away from the binary of good and bad to move around the problem space in a different way. His bad ideas approach also breaks the idea-generation ice – by starting with something terrible, space is opened for all ideas, allowing creativity to flow.

Interviewing Users: Link Roundup (Second Anniversary Edition)

interviewing-users

Wow. It’s been two years since my first book Interviewing Users was released. Here’s a roundup of links to various bits connected with the book. If you haven’t already, you should buy a copy here! It would be fantastic if you wrote a quick review on Amazon here.

The Book

Reviews

Interviews

Presentations

Other

Five Questions with Steve Portigal

This Friday I’ll be speaking at 18F in DC about The Power of Bad Ideas. The talk will be streamed here.

In advance of the talk, I answered a few questions about working with clients and planning research projects. Here’s a snippet; more at the 18F site.

SP: I’m intrigued by the user-centered theater — that is to say, people who have a design goal or a strategic need or a hunger for some insights, but who aren’t open to collaborating on how to accomplish that.

You often see this with projects where a client wants to understand something enormously complex and nuanced, and they don’t have any budget or time to do so. This is a big red flag. Sometimes, it’s worthwhile having a conversation to see if they [potential client] are open to feedback on their situation and on alternative ways to work.

In some cases, I’m pleasantly surprised; in many cases, though, I’m usually happy to pass on these projects. The kicker is that many of these folks have often already defined the method they want to use to reach their stated goal. It’s foolhardy to try to help people who have set you up to fail.

Designing for Unmet Needs, my presentation from Warm Gun

Last week I spoke at the Warm Gun conference, giving a short talk about Designing for Unmet Needs

Don’t be surprised if Steve Portigal, author of Interviewing Users, invites himself to your family breakfast or follows hotel maintenance staff to the boiler room. For more than 15 years, he’s led hundreds of interviews that help clients understand customers and turn insights into design opportunities.

Steve knows that our success depends on letting the unmet needs of our audience shape our designs. Okay—but how do we hit a target we can’t see? How do we design for people who aren’t us? How do we solve for the complexity of those people?

Dig into the details, ditch the guesswork, and join Steve to engage deliberately with the people we’re designing for. Look at ways to acknowledge the complexity of your users. Offer solutions rooted in the connections you make with people. Get unstuck and discover opportunities for design that adds value.

Below you’ll find slides, audio and a sketchnote.

The talk is 25 minutes long.

To download the audio Right-Click and Save As… (Windows) or Ctrl-Click (Mac)

Sketchnote by Lexi H (click for full size)

LEXI-H-B4Crtn5CcAA51R3

Portigal year in review, 2013

It’s time to sum up some of the noteworthy writings/happenings of the year. Let’s get to it!

All those years ago: 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008.

From my Los Angeles presentation on Interviewing Users

I had a wonderful trip to Los Angeles last week so speak at a combined IXDA Los Angeles/LA UX Meetup event. They gave me a really warm welcome (including a pint of cold Ben and Jerry’s ice cream all to myself) and the at-capacity room was filled with enthusiastic and thoughtful folks who contributed to an interesting discussion.

Here are the slides

And the video

Also, an alternate video is here and highlighted tweets are here.

Portigal year in review, 2012

Lots of emotions as the year winds down, with another one waiting just around the corner. Here’s some of what went down this past year.

Journey through the past: 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008.

Video from UX Lisbon: Discover and act on insights about people

The lovely folks at UXLx have just posted the video from my talk earlier this year, Discover and act on insights about people.

Some of the most effective ways of understanding what customers want or need – going out and talking to them – are surprisingly indirect. Insights produced by these methods impact two facets of innovation: first as information that informs the development of new products and services, and second as catalysts for internal change. Steve discusses methods for exploring both solutions and needs and explores how an understanding of culture (yours and your customers) can drive design and innovation.

If you don’t see the video embedded above, you can view it here

Vote for Steve’s SXSW proposal: “The Power of Bad Ideas”

I’ve got a proposal in for next year’s SXSW conference. The talk I’m planning to do is entitled “The Power of Bad Ideas”

In business and in life, we pursue the good stuff and champion people who are known for their good ideas. But when we place too strong an emphasis on just the good, we may neglect to consider the bad ones. In design and in brainstorming, deliberately seeking out bad ideas is a powerful way to unlock creativity. Generating bad ideas can reveal our assumptions about the difference between bad and good, and often seemingly bad ideas turn out to be good ones. Jotly and Cow Clicker were jokes/parodies (e.g., not good ideas) that have been surprisingly successful. Neil Young and Crazy Horse have covered folk songs. An action blockbuster features a US president swinging a silver axe against vampires. In this talk, I’ll explore how opening up the bad idea valve can lead unexpectedly to the kind of success we aim for with our good ideas.

This talk picks up where my Core77 article and some recent blog posts (here, here) left off. I’m looking forward to developing the material further and talking it through live.

Part of the consideration that SXSW uses in sorting out their 3200 proposals is voting. I’d really appreciate your help: check out the page for the talk, add any comments, questions, or words of encouragement, and vote “thumbs up” (you’ll have to sign in or create an account if you don’t have one).

Thanks for your help!

Slides from yesterday’s talk on Improv, Creativity and Design

Last night I spoke at the ACM Bay Area chapter’s monthly event. My talk was Yes, My Iguana Loves to Cha-Cha: Improv, Creativity and Design, another iteration of a talk I’ve been giving since 2005. For me, the topic continues to evolve and inspire and each time I talk to a group about this, some new things emerge. Last night, I talked (albeit briefly) about the power of Yes. In improv, we hear a lot about “Yes, and…” which is really an alternative to saying “no.” In “Yes, and…” you accept an idea and then add your own. But I really got to thinking about the fundamental reframe being about empowering ourselves to say Yes. The “and…” is about putting yourself back into it, but I thought there was something to focusing for a moment on the core idea of responding to things with yes. A few years ago we led an ideation training workshop and at the end we had everyone line up and one at a time come to the front and say something that they had learned, while everyone in the room responded with “Yes!” While it had a bit of a revival meeting about it, it was an interesting exercise. My challenge to the folks last night (a mix of old-skool Silicon Valley types and people in my network, all of whom jumped into the games and exercise) was to try responding yes in a situation where you might typically respond no. It’s a challenge I’ll have to take on myself as well.

The slides are below:

Series

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