Where good ideas come from?

When you think about good ideas, people often think ideas that come through an “Eureka!” moment. But Steven Johnson shows us a different story. His suggests that ideas evolve like “liquid networks” and that when one’s “hunches” is connect with other people’s hunches; that’s when magic happens. When you have half of an idea and somebody else’s other half, as well as the “right environment”, idea mature.  When I viewed the video it reminded me of the theory behind Spigit’s system – which I think is the ‘right environment’ for ideas to be connected with other ideas .

Steven concludes with the comment that ‘ Chance favours the connected mind’,

BTW – I wanted to also ask you all how things are going with your road on the innovation? What is your biggest challenage?   Love to hear your comments….

This presentation focuses on a Mental Models created on the NSW City Rail system. Using a Mental Model, I was able to discover core issues and opportunities to improve.

 

A Mental Model is essentially a visual representation of how users view a flow (i.e. consumer journey). It allows us to easily get behind the business problem and gain insight. It also allows us to easily conduct a gap analysis between the consumer action (i.e. does, think and feel) vs. how we as a business can support that task.

Enjoy and feel free to ask any questions or email me for a copy. Happy to share.

So how do you really a solve business problem from a customer-centric approach and discover innovate ideas in the process?

 

You might be revamping your website, looking to develop a new financial or health service or enhance an existing product, web or mobile application? In this presentation, I explore my 4 Design Tools and explain my 10 step Design Process.

 

Key feature of this presentation is a case study of NSW City Rail that I did focusing on the business problem of ’overcrowding’ on platforms. Using a Mental Model, Persona and Concept Scenario Design, I was able to discover core issues and opportunities to improve. I key secret of the Mental Model is the need to segment users into ‘task-based’ audiences (not demographics) in order to gain better insight to the consumer train travel experience.

 

A Mental Model is essentially a visual representation of how users view a flow (i.e. consumer journey). It allows us to easily get behind the business problem and gain insight. It also allows us to easily conduct a gap analysis between the consumer action (i.e. does, think and feel) vs. how we as a business can support that task.

 

I am a BIG fan of Indi Young, a Founding Partner of Adaptive Path, who developed the concept of a Mental Model.

 

Enjoy and feel free to ask any questions or email me for a copy. Happy to share.

In this presentation we explore the link between business need and customer need and how to innovate (and remove business problems or discover business opportunities) through persona creation and Design Thinking

The below presentation was prepared for IDEO as part of my application for Intership with the company in USA.  It took me couple of months each to prepare for my idea, prototype and come up with the two concept in the presentation
Persona-lene

Step 1: Finding the Users:
The data can originate from several sources: interviews,  observations, second hand information, questionnaires, reports, cultural probes right through to ethnographic studies.

 

Step 2: Building a Hypothesis:
As you start to talk to people, users, customers, stakeholders, you start builld a proposal in your mind. You concern certain facts or observations and what they mean.  Building a Hypothes is entative comes from syntheisis of pattens and themes.

 

Step 3: Verification:
Here we are focus is on finding data that supports the initial patterns and at the same time supports the personas descriptions and the scenario we are thinking of.  Verification is a reality check. When these data are collected, we ask yourself whether do they then support or go against the initial data or hypothesis.

 

Step 4: Finding Patterns: 
Once you have collected raw data from your sources (eg obversation, interviews etc), we start to categorize them.  I good way is via affinity diagram.  The techinque helps make sense of data.

 

Step 5: Constructing Personas:
Once you complete your affinity analysis and group data together, you start to notice distinct charaterics. For example, of the 16 interviews you
conducted, you start to see a person that has elements is “Ambitious”, likes to “Works the system” , “expects to be rewarded for loyalty” and “Doesnt trust advice”.
Once you formed these elements you build a ‘body’ (ie a photo of how this person would look) demographics information, background (education, upbringing which influence our
abilities), Emotions and attitudes and Personal traits.

 

Persona to work very well need to capture not only what a person ‘Says’, ‘Do’ or ‘Think’  but what they are ‘feeling’.

 

Persona Construction is about discovering, understanding and recording peoples behavour, feelings and philosophies.

 

Step 6: Defining Situations: 
This step is a preparation for the scenarios where it is described in which situations the persona will use the system/site/service or which needs the persona has that will lead to a use situation.

 

Step 7: Validation and Buy-in:
This is very important step especially with large corprate orginsation. By asking everybody their opinion and let them participate in the process ensure better buy-in and use. We dont want to be in a sitution we are asking:

 

  • “ What functionality should the app provide?”
  • “ What if the user needs to …?”
  • “ Someone may want to …”
  • “ The system needs these data elements to complete the function.”

Rather you should be asking:

 

  • “ What functionality should the app provide?” to “ Which user goals should this app support?”
  • ” What if the user needs to …?” to “ What is Alice’s primary goal in this scenario?”
  • “ Someone may want to …” to  “ How important is it for Alice to…?”
  • “ The system needs these data elements to complete the function.”  to “ How can we make it easier for Alice to log this event?

Step 8: Dissemination of Knowledge:
Like Step 7, Persona need buy-in and the better you show your stakeholders how and why these are important design tool, the better usage.  To do this requires you to communicate to them. Many projects forget to inform and teach developers and designers how to use the personas, how to think in scenarios or how to use them in the use-cases.

 

Do you know if Step 7 and 8are done?  Once all stakeholders really empathize with your persona –  that is they can really imagine what it he or she is feeling inside.

 

Step 9: Creating Scenarios: 
Scenario or pathway is used to run or apply your persona through.  It is here where your persona becomes most valuable. A scenario is like a story, it has a main character (the persona) a setting (somewhere the action takes place), it has a goal (what the persona wants to achieve), it has actions that lead to the goal (interactions with the system/site/device), and assoicated obstacles that blocks their way to completing their goal.

 

Step 10: Ongoing Development: 
Life keeps changing and so to Personas.  Persona should be revisited to ensure its in touch with reality.  Ideally, if Persona(s) require change step 7 and 8 need to be repeated.

 

Source: http://www.hceye.org/HCInsight-Nielsen.htm

So, what is a Persona?

 

I came across this description about Persons which I find very useful written by the guys at adaptivepath.com. Personas are fictitious people who represent the archetypal qualities of your audience.  They provide targets for design and are generally very effective for communicating design and research activities throughout an organization.

 

Personas are:

  • Drawn from field research
  • Named as individuals
  • Developed for specific contexts
  • Typical and believable

Personas are not:

  • Based on demographics or market segments
  • Drawn from gut feelings about your audience
  • User profiles or stereotypes e.g. “Soccer mom”
  • A magic bullet

Source: http://www.adaptivepath.com/services/casestudies/paycycle/

How do you create personas?

  • Persona are best created from contextual or Individual Interviews often refer to as ethnographic research. You only need to interview around 16 individuals of your target segment to formulate ”archetypes’ (ie model of a person, ideal example).
  • The results of your interview are analysis via affinity diagram to identify and group common patterns and characteristics or attributes. Once the attributes are discovered, you start to apply more of demographic information to your persona and personality.

What are some of the important elements to a personas?

  • Personas are more then just demographic information, a persona needs to capture behavior, belief and philosophy of person. More importantly their motivation or intentions.
  • For example a persona might decide to ‘Join a gym’, the intention is not getting fit (although a good side effect), the primary intention is to ‘put themselves in a place there are might met interesting people. Another is ‘Hungry Person’, their might decide to go a grab fast food, but there intention is to save time to spend with partner.
  • Therefore a persona’s intentions are just as important as the task at hand