Posts tagged “approach”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Stereotyping people by favorite authors – In our Reading Ahead research, we heard about how people were both exploring and communicating identity through their choices of reading material. Identity is a complex internal and external mechanism, where we (explicitly or implicitly) project outwards to imagine how we might appear to others…an internal act that feels or draws from the external. So the existence of lists like this, while tongue-in-cheek, validate that this process is real.
    (via @kottke)
  • Scott Baldwin on the fine art of listening – Try changing how you listen. Try to capture the message (listen with your ears, mind, eyes and heart). Make eye contact, use an open posture and be attentive to body language, volume, tone and pace. Look deeper than just the meaning of the words and try to understand the reason, feelings or intent beyond the words. Be empathetic, objective and analytical.
  • An iPhone app for ethnography – Really? I haven't tried it but I am not encouraged by the description. What we're looking for doesn't always fit into predetermined categories (indeed, how are you to be innovative if the type of data you are gathering is already classifiable?) and there's a danger in conflating data with insights (or as the blogger here writes "outcomes"). Raw data is overwhelming and takes time and skill to process, if you want to find out anything new. Now, we spend a lot of our time just wrangling (copying, renaming, organizing, sharing, etc.) all sorts of data, so I'm up for tools that can help with that; but I think it's easy to go overboard and create tools for uninteresting – or unreliable – research results
  • Lisa Loeb Eyewear Collection – Not an SNL parody ad from 1997, it's a real product line for 2010 (via @CarlAlviani)

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Whitney Quesenbery's workshop on selecting user research methodologies (PDF) – This is definitely an FAQ and this paper gives some good frameworks for choosing. Best stuff starts on page 9.
  • A business will gain from 10 to 50% more customers using a air dancer inflatable puppet. – Drivers tune out the surrounding signs. They are focused on the road and ahead. If a driver was to read and look at each business on every block he or she drives by, they would simply have sensory overload. An air dancer placed within their field of vision, dancing and waving around with your message simply can not be tuned out.

    Only the best air dancer material (1.3 oz coated ripstop), artwork is cut and sewn with boat sail insignia material. We make them right here in our California facility. Unlike other units that last 6 weeks, our unit will last 6 months. Dancer warranty / 90 days and workmanship warranty / 6 months. Fan warranty is one year. The best dancing balloon warranty in the industry. We only use the 18” fan. Some companies use only a 12” fan.

    Including Air Dancer, Arrow Dancer, Fly Guy and 2 Leg Patented Dancing Man

  • Kaboom Advertising – Street Stunts – Whether it’s a huge gorilla chasing a banana through the streets of a major market or a giant smile running and hugging a donor at a major high-end fundraising gala, we create circumstances that attract the attention of the local market and publicity to fuel peer-to-peer recommendations. By inviting or leaking the event to the press, the brand is given a bit more credibility and prolonged exposure to the community at large.

Todd calls for “A new framework”

Todd writes, over at the adaptive path blog

Focusing exclusively on tasks and goals means that you tend to ignore or de-emphasize all of the activities that people engage in that are specifically not goal-oriented. It also means that you will often ignore the messy jumble of activities that take place around but are not oriented toward your system. This is not always problematic but it quickly becomes so when you are designing for multiple contexts and mediums. When it comes to designing for the total experience, the activities that have little to do with the system you are designing are often just as important as those that are central to it. More than ever before, people switch from one context to another rapidly and often. They were in the outskirts of Cleveland mowing their lawn then the cell phone rang and suddenly they’re planning a trip to Thailand.

The thesis of the piece, as I read it, is not simply to shift methodologies (do ethnography and forget usability) but to change the fundamental way that we structure and act on the information we gather about the people we are designing for.

It’s a great challenge for organizations, and for consultants, because there’s powerful cultural infrastructure that drives what is an acceptable piece of new knowledge, and of course, what isn’t. In order to see how you might act on something – what do we DO with this information – requires a shift in perspective. And those don’t happen overnight, when they do happen.


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