I did three new talks and workshops this week: for the University of Manchester Libraries' innovation group on Tuesday, for the first meetup of the Service Design Network UK group on Wednesday and finally for the Beyond the Smart City conference on Saturday.
All different audiences with their own ideas of what is needed, what can be delivered and how they can do it.
I have tried in all the talks and exercises I have run this week to help people understand how much it is their users who make meaning of their products or services.
When designing something, it's quite difficult to realise how much meaning is made when it is in the hands of the users. It is the customer, the citizen, the user who defines usability and utility and it is the meaning that they create that matters.
Watching, listening to and responding to users is how products and services are made usable. Intervention and questioning can too often prime test groups to believe in and follow the intent of the designers and not discover the meaning they would explore themselves.
Creating exercises that enable people to think about the user's viewpoint, how they find meaning and how we can support and enhance that experience is what I do in my SensoryUX workshops and in the new Innovation Lab (developed alongside Abhay Adhikari) rapid prototyping skills workshops.
Contact me to talk about how we can help you and your colleagues discover more about yourselves and the users you work with.