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Peter Jones Dialogic Design, Media Ecology, Wu Wei

Michael Brenner proposes Shut Up Wednesdays, and I like this idea. We all talk too much these days. With two huge cohorts of talkers (Boomers + Millenials), “social everything,” and the general anxiety to look good when all is crashing down around us, I find myself overwhelmed by trivial chat. Here’s the key blurb on speechlessness: Never before have we had so many means to communicate. Never before has there been more clatter and clamor. Never before have we communicated less. Especially in our political life. The shrillness of this year’s overwrought electoral campaign is a powerful reminder of the difference. It’s all about feeling rather than thought — either emoting to stimulate the feelings of sympathizers or emoting to grate upon the feelings of enemies. That certainly is true of most Republicans and their Tea Party hit men. Thought and ideas be damned. It’s the primal scream — twisted by fear, anger and confusion. We might all start listening to our own listening. What am I listening for? How can I encourage authentic speech and guide everyday dialogue?How might …

First Person Design for Healthcare Innovation

Peter Jones Wu Wei

As I’ve continued to develop material for the Design for Care project, I’m struck by the difference between design for practice and design for individual health-seeking. In designing for practice, ethnographic research and work domain analysis enable us to understand the range of activities and scope of work performed in professional work.  A rigorous analysis of an activity system enables us to design services and information products that fit the work practice and cultures of use. Professional work is highly  consistent, at least within institutions. As with other high-hazard, complex skilled work, healthcare practice is regulated by law and professional societies. While we can study medical and patient care practices in situ and on paper analysis, we will usually never design in the first person. We, design researchers, are not health professionals. And when we are, as many physicians by training are professional informatics specialists, we must separate our personal interaction needs from those of the designated practice being designed for. Designers must always maintain a cognitive on-guard system to ensure we don’t “go native” and believe we have the …

Hybrid Design Research Method: Roundtable Review

Peter Jones Design research, Wu Wei

[110] in the Methods You Don’t Use Yet series Expert Roundtable Review Problem:  For a product or service inquiry, we often see the need to rapidly gather highly relevant feedback and informed opinions on a new concept. A similar problem is noted when a project team is identifying the opportunities for innovation and must conduct a rapid but deep scan of the current products or competitors in the field. When the problem necessitates access to highly informed professionals, the focus group, field study, or survey methods are not feasible, at least within the timeframe necessary to make an initial business decision. Solution: The Expert Roundtable Review, based on the Heuristic Evaluation [35] and Videoconference Focus Group [42], provides a dialogic tool for engaging a small group of informed participants online and by teleconference at a time convenient to their schedule. Use When: Useful for collecting responses, opinions, and insights from busy professionals and respondents that may be difficult to recruit for focus groups, interviews, or even surveys. Also useful as a technique for convening an online focus group supported in …

Experience research: Making Sense of Sensemakers?

Peter Jones Design research, Sensemaking, Wu Wei

Consider design research – is it a discipline or no? Consider design researchers – researchers or are we really design consultants? A discipline has a body of knowledge, and a clear way of contributing to literature so that we know what we know.  A real discipline has a theoretical base, and ways of using that theory toward outcomes in line with accepted values of the field. In design research, what are the guiding theories and epistemologies that we recognize as credible and meaningful? What are the underlying philosophical assumptions that distinguish design research from market and user research? From social sciences or business research? Is it all really just (perhaps) a difference in methodology?  And if so, isn’t that just technique and an activity that only supports the instrumental goals of a design project? Even if design research is not leading innovation per se (see Don Norman’s Technology Leads and the recent DRC 2010) we should be leading with theories that help us make sense of what we’re inventing. If we are not creating contexts and joint understanding of impacts, …