Panel 2-Ideation & User Research

Today we received the visit of two important figures in this User Experience world. One of them was Katie Derthick, a PhD student in the HCDE graduate program who focuses her work on meditation and Buddhism. And Jake Fleisher, a UX Researcher at Blink UX.

Katie Derthick-The study of Buddhism

Katie has an incredible relationship with Buddhism. In fact, she is doing her doctorate project based on this religion and the power of meditation. It can be a very uncommon topic for a Human Design project, but after listening all the details and aspects of her work, you end understanding her decision and techniques used, like User Research.

For her, User Research is an important aspect of her work. She has to understand the values of Buddhism and the importance of meditation in order to relate it to User Design. And what a better way than taking field notes and sketches of her observations in meditation classes and conferences. However, taking field notes is not a simple practice, she said.

“…if you don’t open your mind to see more things rather than your particular interest, you can lose really important aspects.” I found this detail really important, since most of the time, we make observations focusing ourselves in one topic, but “important aspects” can be missed by ignoring the surroundings. Undoubtedly, this helped me a lot in my user research assignment.

Jake Fleisher-Ideation

After Katie finished her presentation, Jake went to the podium and prepared himself to talk about his work at Blink. Since he began to explain his slices, you could notice how energetic and passionated for this User Experience world he is. He explained his research work at Blink and how important Ideation is. Ideation is basically bringing to the table all the ideas you have on a specific topic. There does not exist limits for it. No matter how crazy the idea sounds, you can always save important and really interesting details of it. Besides the crazy ideas, another aspect that I liked from his presentation is when he mentioned the importance of physicalization. When you are producing hundreds of ideas in your head, it is always easy to discard some of them because you think they are unreal or weird. But actually, when you physicalize the things you are thinking, you can discover your ideas’ potential and their ability to be good inventions one day.

What I learned…

Doubtless, these two people and their work, have left really important things to consider in our user experience’s career. Katie taught me how important is to pay attention to our surroundings. To no limit our minds while doing research, but look for the hidden details everywhere. Because they can lead you to incredible an unknown things that you never thought about. Besides that, she taught us the value of art. We grow up with technology, it is part of our daily lives, but art can expand the borders of our imagination and creativity.

Additionally, Jake taught me how great is craziness in Ideation. No matter how wild your idea is, it could bring extraordinary benefits to your project. Moreover, nothing is by accident when you design, you always do everything for a reason.

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