Yes, we do user centered design but where is the desiger himsellf lies in this picture. We cannot say that the designer don’t put himself completely in his product. No designer designs what the user wants, but what they think the user wants. We are hightly integrated in our designs. (but i think that wasnt the point i was trying to make.)
We talk about the sustainability of design, sustainability of the work we do. But what about the sustainability of the worker, the designer? If we continue pushing ourselves through deadlines, take fast decisions, contribute to a cirlce that we don’t even know if we wanted to contribute’ because we never had the chance to reflect, will we last?`When will the burnout come? Put aside the late nights, no breaks and carrying your work with you all day, the fact that you need to create a design that you aim to change the world with, in a few months? wouldn’t you really want to put some more time in? or some more depth? understanding? engaging? what happens to your designs after you make them? yes, we do user tests during the process. but what about after? have you ever followed up with your design? how did it touch people, how did people interact with your design?
We had a fun workshop today! The participants were asked to first identify the symptoms and how the virus may have spread. They were then split in 3 groups; two representing slow activists and one representing the fast system. They were all asked to create kits to promote their values (the activists to cure the fastness disease and the system to spread it). Funnily enough the behaviour of the groups was interestingly parallel to the roles they were assigned to. The system group loudly stated how they were enjoying the activity and started producing various tools very fast, whereas the activist groups brainstormed for possible solutions before taking action to produce.
The fast kits aimed at emotional behavior and included a “holy book of fastness”, herbal mixture for “premature ejacuation as a fashion statement” and slogans/posters with the hidden threat of exclusion from the society if you are not fast enough. Targetting of emotions made me realize the invisible fastness choices we make everyday without reflecting because it was more “acceptable” and triggered the ideas of making them visible.
The slow kits included tunnel vision glasses to avoid multitasking, booster break boxes that hide the computer mouse or motion limitation objects. “Bringing limitations to slow down” fuelled up interesting discussions on choosing your own pace vs being forces to slow down and the findings from these discussions paved the path to my later concepts.
Key Findings and questions:
Fastness is the norm and more accepted – How to make slowing down more attractive?
Fast choices kill the opportunity of reflection – How can we make the choices visible?
Fast is fun! – How can we make slow more fun?
Limitations make you slow down – How to balance the choice and the force?
We had our 4 minute kick off presentations that marked the start of the Degree Time. Since we had a few weeks to work on the briefs, we had started with a bit of preliminary research but now it is time to dig deep; Phase 1: Explore! Read stuff, talk to people, try to see a road forming in front of you instead of a general direction.
The brief writing course was quite helpful in defining the direction, though my brief ended up quite much longer than I would prefer it to be. During the presentation preparation, I had the chance to really look into the topic and structure it in a way that people will understand what I am trying to do. As a result, preparing the presentation helped me a lot. Oh, and listening to over 30 people talking about their degree topics was truly inspiring!! May the journey be filled with fun, laughter, learnings, experiences and amazement!
Note to self:
I will try to have in between imaginary presentations in order to tell my point in a short, structured fashion. Also, will try not to forget that “talking” about the topic helps a lot more than getting written comments!
Organizing the findings feels as difficult as starting the research! I have a lot of bookmarks, articles and directions and so little idea how to organize them to make a meaningful collection. The wide spread of things makes me unfocused and makes me wish I had a huge table to spread everything around and organize accordingly.
I found some online solutions but it feels like nothing actually is “perfect” to organize. Maybe this is again the problem, maybe instead of trying to find the perfect tool to organize, I should just start where I am. But, oh, how nice it would be to have an organized start 🙂
You know what they say, change is difficult at the beginning, messy in the middle and beautiful at the end. Guess I’m in the messy phase.
Edit (22.01.14): For now I feel like I got back the control or my mess!
I am using;
Evernote – collecting all the articles, taking notes, highlighting for my written resources.
Pinterest – organizing all the inspiration photos and photos I used in the presentations.
Excel – keeping track of my contacts.
My notebook – writing down everything else 🙂
I am now officially starting to do some research about my thesis work: Slowing down.
The project shaped in my mind in the transition phase of my life from the year away to back to school period. When we were asked to write down three directions, this was my first, but I still looked through my inspiration folder and wrote down two other ideas. As I wrote them, I thought they may be interesting so I got confused over the other possibilities and got indecisive.
I know I have a weak spot on making decisions, partially because I think “why leave all the nice looking candy away, I can eat them all” and partially the fear of missing out the opportunities they may provide. As a result, this is my first learning: Make decisions and don’t look back, don’t be afraid of letting the thought balloons fly away! I make up the road, so whichever road I pick, it is going to be as good as I make it be.
Let us slowly start 🙂