How do people REALLY make healthcare decisions?

Peter Jones Sensemaking, Wu Wei

Thomas Goetz in Wired Magazine highlights Alexandra Carmichael and her decision tree for health decisions, along with 2 other scenarios. Alexandra is the founder of the CureTogether open source health research community. CureTogether is an innovative service that facilitates finding effective ways to address health concerns by active participation by people living with certain conditions, especially those resistant to conventional treatment regimes, such as chronic pain.  (She is also an active and inspiring member in the Design for Care community, which is why I noticed and had affinity for her scenario). Goetz’s article on decision trees (methods of structured decision analysis) suggests that they are an effective tool making better everyday health decisions. The reasoning is essentially based on the assumption that better health is a matter of inputs and outputs, which can be mapped and judged to determine a preferred course of action. Better inputs – food, exercise, lifestyle decisions – lead to better outputs, which are improved health measures and a healthier experience of life. Wired online even provides a decision tree mapping tool you can try. Alexandra’s …

Why Future Thinking needs Sensemaking

Peter Jones Innovation, Sensemaking, Wu Wei

An OCAD  graduate student in the Strategic Foresight and Innovation program posted a compelling issue with innovation and design thinking in one of our online forums. The core of it read: “I find many of us get so caught up in “future thinking” and attempts to be disruptively innovative that we forget the success of anything new depends greatly on peoples’ “existing understandings” and how we leverage them.” Current practices in “future thinking” suggest the need for sensemaking research to support foresight studies. Sensemaking is grounded in the pre-understanding people bring to situations we are attempting to enhance by design intervention. Studying these “existing understandings” poses risks to foresight projects, strangely enough.  Sensemaking studies involve understanding the messy details of reality people face, which can reveal huge disconnects between the desired future state and the current reality. Designers often prefer to “design around”reality toward a desired future state that people will somehow gravitate to, as in the now-fabled iPod and iTunes case studies. In some consumer service ecologies, this works well because people expect obsolescence, to replace devices and systems …

Turning the Page: The Toronto eBooks Study

Peter Jones Information Ecology, Sensemaking, Wu Wei

Student Experience of eBooks: How they are found, used, and (not) read Presented at the 2009 OLA Superconference, Thursday Jan 29  10:40 a.m. We present findings of interest to librarians from the UTL eBooks user experience study conducted in 2008 at University of Toronto Libraries. Combining research from surveys, user interaction and observation, and design research, we share the hows and whys of student and scholar use of eBooks. This study will help illuminate the questions you have from watching the increase of collection and use of eBooks in the research library, such as: What do students prefer to read and use, and why? Are students actually reading the books? Are they reading online? How do they want publishers to improve eBooks? We also discuss how the research accommodated the ongoing implementation of the new eBooks platform, and the differences we found between the current platform and the new systems. We will also present eBook usage statistics at the University of Toronto and discuss our informed speculations about eBook adoption during the process of major technology change.