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Tim Dixon - Bet you didn’t know you’re a (UX) philosopher? Improving our craft by exploring our past.

Tim Dixon - Bet you didn’t know you’re a (UX) philosopher? Improving our craft by exploring our past.

What is the research tradition that underpins the world of UX we know today? How has the current understanding of our discipline inherited ideas from its history? And what can we learn from some of those ideas that have come before us? We'll explore 150 years' of ideas and more in this journey that will help us ladder up from sympathy, to empathy, to compassion for our craft and our clients/customers.



March 17, 2022

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    Bet you didn’t know you’re a (UX) philosopher? Learning from our past to improve our craft
  2. Agenda Part 1: From philosophical to user experience Part 2:

    UX Research: Today’s experience Part 3: Phenomenological experience Part 4: Authentic lived experience Part 5: Laddering up our experience

  4. Our journey begins… The 1870s.

  5. Wilhelm Wundt (University of Leipzig) Physiological 
 psychology William James

    (Harvard University) Experiential 
 psychology …the 1st experimental psychology lab is founded Twice!
  6. Radical empiricism We perceive more than just a ‘stream of

    data’ : it’s a ‘stream of conscious experience’ that we interpret via existing memories, and build causal relations on. “We know things because we’ve experienced them through our senses and we link them causally to each other and to other things we know.” Physiological 
 psychology Experiential 
  7. [W]e have every right to speak of [experience] as subjective

    and objective 
  8. Pragmatism The theory that ideas can never be completely proven

    true or false. 
 We should consider how useful an idea is: how practical, how productive. “We can never be 100% sure about things, 
 and that’s okay if what we know is useful.” Physiological 
 psychology Experiential 
 PSYCHOLOGY UX Late 19th Century Early-Mid

    20th Century Mid-late 20th Century End 20th Century https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/the-law-of-similarity-gestalt-principles-1 Craig Swanson © https://www.perspicuity.com/ http://olivalab.mit.edu/ COGNITIO N PERCEPTIO N 1ST EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY LAB(S) Physiological 
 psychology Experiential 
  10. https://abetteruserexperience.com/2011/12/hierarchy-of-needs-the-deprecated-pyramid/ https://sparkleclass.com/author/sparkleclass/ https://www.maqe.com/insight/the-design-thinking-process-how-does-it-work/ https://clutch.co/agencies/ui-ux/resources/three-user-experience-frameworks-better-websites-apps https://bootcamp.uxdesign.cc/hmntycntrd-book-club-10-books-to-help-you-be-more-human-centered-in-your-work-f5c330a443f4

  11. Sympathy and our community PART 2 UX RESEARCH: 

  12. https://dscout.com/people-nerds/how-to-set-up-a-user-research-framework-and-why-your-team-needs-one https://uxdesign.cc/user-research-work-frame-for-lean-startups-6117f16f81d2 https://a16z.com/2021/04/06/the-market-for-user-research-platforms/

  13. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/how-to-get-ux-buy- in-tickets-274628720897# • UX is NOT focusing only on aesthetics.

    • UX is not UI • UX is not just “one thing.” • UX is not design thinking. • UX is not UX if it does not include insights from actual users - Darren Hoo “Researchers are wildly under- resourced, causing us to survive by mastering the fine balance of democratizing our practice and executing primary research on
 the most strategic projects. “This framework attempts to help navigate that fine balance.” -Jeanette Fuccella https://uxdesign.cc/building-a-framework-for-prioritizing-user-research-ed46622ead99 https://uxuncensored.medium.com/overcoming-ux-misdirection-e3efc7b47764 “Many companies design for their users without speaking to them, leading to frustrating products.” - UX Glasgow event BUT…
  14. https://uxdesign.cc/user-research-work-frame-for-lean-startups-6117f16f81d2 “Perceived 
 qualities” “Empirically observed 
 qualities” “Perceived 

    quantities” “Empirically observed 
 quantities” ‘Subjective ’ ‘Objectiv e’ Sam Ladner (2019). Mixed Methods: A short guide to applied mixed methods research
  15. Based on: Sam Ladner (2019). Mixed Methods: A short guide

    to applied mixed methods research Role of theory in research Methods 
 include… Underpinning theories of knowledge & existence (Epistemology & Ontology) Quantitative Deductive, 
 test theory, 
 validate Task-based hypothesis testing, statistical analyses Natural sciences/ positivism, 
 Objectivism Qualitative Inductive, 
 generate theory, 
 discover Contextual research, 
 Grounded Theory, affinity mapping Interpretivism, Constructivism A com m on 
 Yay social 
  16. Empathy in our community PART 3 PHENOMENOLOGICAL 

  17. https://www.instagram.com/philosophyminis/ What is it like to be a bat?

  18. What is it like to be a bat?

  19. None
  20. None
  21. None
  22. None
  23. But….does a bat know what it is to be a

  24. But….does a bat know what it is to be a

  25. Explore / users’ phenomenological experiences

  26. Triangulate the data / but also ask users to co-create

    with you!
  27. Share experiences / start your exposure hours program! Jared Spool

    (2011) https://articles.uie.com/user_exposure_hours/ Adrian Swinscoe (2019) Forbes, https://www.forbes.com/sites/adrianswinscoe/2019/09/20/how-many-exposure-hours-have-you-had-recently-with-your-customers/
  28. Become / an A11y! https://accessibilityuserresearchcollective.org/ https://dwpdigital.blog.gov.uk/2019/02/28/five-insights-from-my-research-with-assistive-technology-users/

  29. Compassion for self and community PART 4 AUTHENTIC LIVED 

  30. https://www.instagram.com/philosophyminis/ What is time?

  31. Time / quantitative, ‘spatialised’, calibrated, artificial

  32. Duration / fluid, continuous, immeasurable, authentic

  33. Duration / fluid, continuous, immeasurable, authentic

  34. Duration / ‘a qualitative multiplicity’, without beginning or end

  35. Tim Urban, How Covid Stole Our Time and How We

    Can Get It Back, New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/25/opinion/covid-pandemic-depressing-math.html How does this / relate to us?
  36. How does this / relate to us?

  37. https://theconversation.com/a-philosophical-idea-that-can-help-us-understand-why-time-is-moving-slowly-during-the-pandemic-151250 1.Challenge your vision 2.Test the edges, not just the

    averages 3.Build an ‘outside view’ into your process Sara Wachter-Boettcher & Eric Meyer: Design for Real Life https://www.uxbooth.com/articles/compassionate-ux/ https://www.atlassian.com/practices/use-cases/team-anywhere
  38. From sympathy to compassion PART 5 LADDERING UP 

  39. Based on: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/sympathy-vs-empathy- THE EMPATHY LADDER Understanding & engagement Effort

    I’m sorry for you I feel with you I’m moved to help you Size of bubble represents
 impact potential. Compassion Empathy Sympathy
  40. BUDDHIST PHILOSOPHY https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/distinguishing-compassion-from-sympathy-empathy-tony-zampella/ Thupten Jinpa, PhD: Dalai Lama’s principal English

    translator, creator of
 Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) course, posits a 
 four-step process to compassion: 1. Awareness of the true nature of suffering 2. Sensitive concern related to being emotionally moved by suffering 3. A wish to see suffering relieved 4. ‘Wise responsiveness’ or readiness to help relieve suffering
  41. Thank you! Dr Tim Dixon, Senior UX Researcher, Atlassian @TIMDIXON1980

    Any questions?
  42. REFERENCES 1/2 Part 1 Introduction to James and Wundt: https://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/wundtjames.html

    William James (1912), Essays in radical empiricism, Essay I: Does ‘consciousness’ exist? http://fair-use.org/william-james/essays-in-radical-empiricism/does-consciousn exist Behaviourism cartoon: Craig Swanson © https://www.perspicuity.com/ Gestalt: https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/the-law-of-similarity-gestalt-principles-1 Cognitive psychology: http://olivalab.mit.edu/ 3 User Experience Frameworks: https://clutch.co/agencies/ui-ux/resources/three-user-experience-frameworks-better-websites-apps Hierarchy of Needs: https://abetteruserexperience.com/2011/12/hierarchy-of-needs-the-deprecated-pyramid/ Design Thinking: https://www.maqe.com/insight/the-design-thinking-process-how-does-it-work/ Systemic inclusion: https://sparkleclass.com/author/sparkleclass/ HmntyCntrd Book Club: https://bootcamp.uxdesign.cc/hmntycntrd-book-club-10-books-to-help-you-be-more-human-centered-in-your-work-f5c330a443f4 Part 2 User Research framework for lean startups: https://uxdesign.cc/user-research-work-frame-for-lean-startups-6117f16f81d2 How to set up a user research framework: https://dscout.com/people-nerds/how-to-set-up-a-user-research-framework-and-why-your-team-needs-one The Market for user research platforms: https://a16z.com/2021/04/06/the-market-for-user-research-platforms/ How to get UX buy-in (past event): https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/how-to-get-ux-buy-in-tickets-274628720897# Building a framework for prioritising user research: https://uxdesign.cc/building-a-framework-for-prioritizing-user-research-ed46622ead99 Overcoming UX misdirection: https://uxuncensored.medium.com/overcoming-ux-misdirection-e3efc7b47764 Sam Ladner (2019). Mixed Methods: A short guide to applied mixed methods research: https://www.mixedmethodsguide.com/
  43. REFERENCES 2/2 Part 3 Philosophy Minis: https://www.instagram.com/philosophyminis/ Thomas Nagel (1974)

    What is it like to be a bat? https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/cross_fac/iatl/study/ugmodules/humananimalstudies/lectures/32/nagel_bat.pdf Bat navigation: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Bats-navigate-and-identify-prey-by-echolocation_fig1_258525053 Bat echolocation: https://elifesciences.org/articles/36561 Person and bat: https://i.imgur.com/QdLv0af.jpg Jared Spool (2011) https://articles.uie.com/user_exposure_hours/ Adrian Swinscoe (2019) Forbes, https://www.forbes.com/sites/adrianswinscoe/2019/09/20/how-many-exposure-hours-have-you-had-recently-with-your-customers/ Accessibility user research collective: https://accessibilityuserresearchcollective.org/ 5 insights from my research with assistive technology users: https://dwpdigital.blog.gov.uk/2019/02/28/five-insights-from-my-research-with-assistive-technology-users/ Part 4 Philosophy Minis: https://www.instagram.com/philosophyminis/ Henri Bergson (1889) Time and Free Will: An essay on the immediate data of consciousness: https://brocku.ca/MeadProject/Bergson/Bergson_1910/Bergson_1910_toc. Tim Urban, How Covid Stole Our Time and How We Can Get It Back, New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/25/opinion/covid-pandemic-depressing-math.ht The Conversation, Bergson and Covid time: https://theconversation.com/a-philosophical-idea-that-can-help-us-understand-why-time-is-moving-slowly-during-the-pandemic-1 The Conversation, Liminality and Covid time: https://theconversation.com/the-shifting-sands-of-covid-and-our-uncertain-future-has-a-name-liminality-166903 Atlassian, Team Anywhere: https://www.atlassian.com/practices/use-cases/team-anywhere Sara Wachter-Boettcher & Eric Meyer: Design for Real Life, & article on Compassionate UX: https://www.uxbooth.com/articles/compassionate-ux/ Part 5 NNg Sympathy vs. Empathy UX: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/sympathy-vs-empathy-ux/ Distinguishing Compassion from Empathy and Sympathy https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/distinguishing-compassion-from-sympathy-empathy-tony-zampella/