Inclusive Iterations: How a Design Team Builds Shared Insights – Emily Ulrich

Emily talked about using the Elito method to capture design research and observation. This method consists a team of people from Sales, Marketing, Product, Design doing research together and doing a collaborative analysis session together filling out columns on a spreadsheet consists of the following. As the design researcher, Emily moderates the sessions and leads the research effort:

[Col 1] Metaphor [Col 2] Observation [Col 3] Insight [Col 4] Value [Col 5] Concept

[1] Metaphor – make it memorable

[2] Observation – one at a time

[3] Insight – what did we learn about people?

[4] Value – what does that tell us about the people and what their values are? Why is this important to us?

[5] Concept: it’s ok to have opinions before they know where they come from but just don’t get tied to them. See if it relates back to the observation and insight and how it provides value.

Why she likes this method?

  • Get Sales, Marketing, Product Managers, Designers, Researchers involved in the research and synthesis creates buy-in.
  • This method allows people to have judgements.
  • People can be creative without being held back from research even if it’s backed up
  • Everybody can add insights to the project
  • Bringing people back to the Elito, showing blank cells on the screen gets people back to the task at hand.  People want to fill in the blanks.
  • The process brings democratization to the design process and creates buy-in to the design focus.
  • Gets people focus on the task at hand instead of getting distracted by arguments.
  • Insights and metaphors have longevity

Example: “Access to innovation”

She talked about an example to help us see how insights can be translated into drivers for the rest of the design effort. For one of her projects (which was succesful), they were studying how people work in cubicles. One day her and her team were interviewing a senior architect and saw a pile of books by his desk. She engaged in a conversation about how he uses the books and turned out that they don’t have space in the office for an  library. But he uses them as resources to educate and inspire the younger architects in the office. She wrote that down and didn’t think much of it.

During the Elito session with the team, she brought it up to put into the observation notes column. They talked about it and someone called it  “Access to innovation”.  A bit more into the research, they kept seeing “Access to innovation” creep up in different contexts in the rest of the sites they went to during the research. Eventually it ended up driving a whole concept to solve a problem.

TODAY’S THEME: OBSERVATION + EMPATHY = INNOVATION

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