I-Spy an edge case

As a perpetually single guy and recent implant in Brooklyn it’s not hard to imagine that I can be found wandering Prospect Park observing people on one of the busiest days of the year, Independence Day. What I found is that regardless of ethnicity, social status and education, family and friends, they all pretty much like to do the same things. It’s just gone about a little differently.

There is: frisbee, football and baseball tosses, kicking soccer balls, volleyball and chasing games. Umpteenth barbecues, beer & soda. Towels, semi-circles, the occasional smell of reefer. Laughing and joking. It’s all very similar. Or is it?

How would you group them into personas?

I asked myself a question about designing experiences for diverse people in a park setting.

How would you group them into personas when they are all doing seemingly similar or the same things?

I thought about edge cases. In a sea of humans, I began to look for people doing slightly odd or unexpected things. And then the whole thing changed.

Amazing happened…

There was a couple sleeping in a hammock tied to two trees. A group of millennial’s playing some sort of crafted game, I’ve never seen before, but it reminds me of horse shoe, except these were small wood poles perfectly aligned in two rows. A couple laying in these inflated “bean bags” that basically immersed them in supreme comfort; one was reading a book. It was then that I began noticing something on a macro level that blew my mind. Almost nobody, nobody was on their phone! That was an unexplainable phenomenon. Regardless of age, race demographics. Nobody was on their phone! It was amazing to see in 2017.

In conclusion

While observing overwhelming numbers, I began to focus on the edge cases. And the animal brain I guess found an insight that was useable as an overarching theme if I was to begin asking questions and creating personas.