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Inform to Inspire

Inform to Inspire

A talk I presented at #fowd 2012 on using problem framing and research to enhance our creative process.

Steph Troeth

May 16, 2012
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  1. Future of Web Design 2012, London
    Stephanie Troeth
    Inspire
    Inform
    to

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  2. Hi! I’m Steph.
    @sniffles

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  3. Sorry for the funny accent.
    Born here
    Grew up here
    Lived here
    Living here

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  4. Who are you?

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  5. The best way to think about epiphany is to
    imagine working on a jigsaw puzzle. [...] The only
    reason that the last piece is significant is because
    of the other pieces you’d already put into place.
    —”The Myths of Innovation”, Scott Berkun

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  6. We can get too
    attached to ideas.

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  7. Ownership is not limited to material things. It can
    also apply to points of view. Once we take ownership
    of an idea—whether it’s about politics or sports—
    what do we do? We love it perhaps more than we
    should. We prize it more than it is worth. And most
    frequently, we have trouble letting go of it because
    we can’t stand the idea of its loss.
    — “Predictably Irrational”, Dan Ariely.

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  8. Idea.
    ?
    a way to a solution

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  9. “Well, I gave my mind a thorough rest by
    plunging into a chemical analysis. One of our
    greatest statesmen has said that a change of work
    is the best rest. So it is. When I had succeeded in
    dissolving the hydrocarbon which I was at work
    at, I came back to our problem of the Sholtos,
    and thought the whole matter out again.”
    — “Sherlock Holmes: The Sign of Four”, Arthur Conan Doyle
    “You recollect how annoyed I was at
    being baulked by so small a thing?”
    “Yes.”
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/wsmonty/4182466358/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/wsmonty/4182466426/

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  10. Giving your
    mind a rest.

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  11. Idea.
    a way to solution
    ?

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  12. Idea.
    a way to solution
    Incubation?

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  13. Ҫఈ೭֝
    A frog at the
    bottom of a well.

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  14. Expand our world.
    (crawl out of our well)

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  15. Inspiration by (free) association

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  16. Tony Buzan’s “Radiant thinking”
    Brian Eno’s “Oblique Strategies”
    The Standardistas’ “Double Whammy”
    Stephen Anderson’s “Mental Notes”
    The Standardistas’ “Pic’n’Mix”
    @standardistas’ workshop
    “Good Ideas Grow On Paper”:

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  17. Similar or different?

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  18. Idea.
    ?
    solution space
    problem space

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  19. Problem
    framing

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  20. The problem frame is your
    point of departure.
    (And where you return.)

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  21. What problem(s) are we solving?
    Who are we solving it for?
    Why are we solving it?
    What impact do we want to have?
    How do we measure success?

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  22. business model canvas
    What are the most important costs inherent in our business model?
    Which Key Resources are most expensive?
    Which Key Activities are most expensive?
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    Through which Channels do our Customer Segments
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    Which ones are most cost-efficient?
    How are we integrating them with customer routines?
    For what value are our customers really willing to pay?
    For what do they currently pay?
    How are they currently paying?
    How would they prefer to pay?
    How much does each Revenue Stream contribute to overall revenues?
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    HXT[SATP[cX\TThis work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
    To view a copy of this license, visit http:/
    /creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/
    or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.

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  23. Understanding who you
    are designing for.

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  24. User matrices
    Hat tip: David Rollert, whose original method I adapted
    (one tool among many)

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  25. Example:
    The “Run Collector”

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  26. 1. Establish your axes
    social individual
    explore compete
    frequent occasional
    visitor local
    curious engaged

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  27. 2. Choose two key axes.
    3. Identify questions.
    ✦ What do they need?
    ✦ What do they want?
    ✦ What can they do?

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  28. set a record
    stalk other
    runners
    visitor
    local
    explore compete
    What can they do?

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  29. find new
    routes
    share local
    insight
    create most
    popular
    route
    set a record
    find new
    routes
    set a record
    stalk other
    runners
    find new
    routes
    set a record
    visitor
    local
    explore compete
    What can they do?
    (acquainted)

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  30. 4. Vary your axes, then your questions.
    5. Rinse and repeat.

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  31. User modelling with user matrices
    Uncover your underlying assumptions
    Uncover assumptions on behaviour, needs and motivation
    Establish hypotheses
    Validate with research
    Find out what you know and what you don’t know

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  32. Research
    (and conquer)

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  33. Ask questions.
    Look for some answers.
    I wonder if ...?
    Would it..?
    Can it..?
    Hypothesise.
    Know your assumptions.

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  34. Common user research methods
    open-ended
    close-ended
    “listening labs”
    “contextual enquiry”
    interviews
    scenario testing
    remote testing tools
    surveys
    focus groups
    card sorting
    exploring the
    problem space
    improve the
    solution
    heuristic evaluation
    personas
    A/B testing
    analytics

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  35. Someone else might have done
    relevant research.

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  36. Try it for size.
    Sketch.
    Prototype.

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  37. Leah Buley’s six-up.
    Sketch six different
    versions of an interface
    within a limited time.

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  38. http://webstandardssherpa.com/

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  39. http://webstandardssherpa.com/

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  40. Take a well-
    deserved rest.
    (do something
    completely different.)

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  41. solution space
    problem space
    incubation
    inspiration &
    research
    problem framing
    prototyping
    Ideas

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  42. solution space
    problem space
    incubation
    inspiration &
    research
    problem framing
    prototyping
    Ideas

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  43. Rinse, repeat.
    Swap in, swap out.

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  44. How do we plan for this?

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  45. Problem
    framing
    Monday
    Inspiration
    & research
    Prototype
    Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
    Incubate
    Incubate
    Incubate Incubate Incubate
    Incubate
    Prototype

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  46. Problem
    framing
    Monday
    Inspiration
    & research
    Prototype
    Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
    Incubate
    Incubate
    Incubate Incubate Incubate
    Inspiration
    & research
    Prototype

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  47. Problem
    framing
    Monday
    Inspiration
    & research
    Prototype
    Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
    Incubate
    Incubate
    Incubate Incubate Incubate
    Problem
    framing
    Prototype

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  48. Delay the decision.
    Get unstuck from your first idea.

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  49. Your creative process is not an
    assembly line.
    design

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  50. Inspiration is not magic.

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  51. Inspiration is in your hands.

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  52. Thank you!
    (Yes, these slides will be online.)

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  53. My eternal gratitude to great shoulders I stand upon:
    David Rollert, Johanna Kollmann, Olivier Thereaux, and my sister Samantha who drew the proto-frog.
    Stephanie Troeth
    @sniffles
    http://about.me/stephtroeth
    funny cat
    photo
    “It’s not that I’m smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”
    — Albert Einstein

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