Panel Report #2: Week 7

Jake Fleisher and Katie Derthick tell how they apply ideation and user research to the real world

Jake Fleisher works for Blink UX in Seattle as a Principal UX Researcher. On Tuesday, May 10th, Jake came into our class and taught us about ideation and brainstorming, and how he uses the two in his own work. As a researcher, he talks to tech sales in order to find out what they need. Once he does that, he communicates what he thinks of through sketching, which brings me to share what he shared with us. Sketching is the best way to communicate your ideas. It takes less time then writing a report, and you do not want to waste time. Sketching is a way of brainstorming, which he told us some of the main rules, like to be prolific and have crazy and wild ideas, there is no judgment. It does not matter if you are a bad drawer, for there is no such thing. He told us to “consume and create voraciously”, to make things with our hands and draw with no fear. The last thing, is to understand that nothing you design is created by accident, there should be a reason for everything.

Katie Derthick was the other speaker, and she shared with us the topic of User Research and how she uses it within her own work. She focuses her work on meditation, mindfulness, and Buddhism. She goes to programs and listens to other communities (say a Buddhist community) teaching, observes their practices and how they design and communicate things. She then does thinking based on her observations to understand how their views build the things they design or what they would want to be designed. To share how she brainstormed her ideas, she shared a picture of her apartment walls covered with parchment paper displaying quite a lot of them. She told us her big outlook on design, and that is people’s world views turn into the things we design. Designers and societies shape each other, and in order to avoid suffering, we must design from a non-materialistic mindset. In order to do this, you have to learn about people, make things and create art, and have an open mind (let your mind be changed by what you’re taught and what you observe from the people around you).

Jake Fleisher and Katie Derthick passed on knowledge about the principles of ideation (through brainstorming) and user research that would help me improve and modify my own work. Taking what Jake taught about ideation, I would be more free with my sketches- more wild and crazy ideas, making sure they all have an intended purpose. Katie taught me to be more observant and open of the world, taking my observations of them to create designs and ideas free of a materialistic mindset to help better the world and mindful of the different kinds of people within it.

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