newsletter #8  |  05-Apr-2016

I attended the Managing Experience Conference last week, where, for the first time ever, I heard from researchers who already believe in “going broader” in the scope of their studies. That felt awesome!

Janaki Kumar gave a talk titled Diversity by Design, about the correlation between team member diversity and innovation. Alas, the money in Silicon Valley apparently gravitates toward the “brogrammers.” She showed us some stats, and showed us details of what a diverse team acts like, with photos and videos of her own team members sharing foods from their culture and feeling respect and interest for one another … even while they disagree about a current design decision. One of the stats she mentioned was 60% of women in tech have experienced sexual harassment. After the conference that evening I was chatting with someone about this, and correlation naturally came up.

I’ve been writing about demographics and correlation a lot this year. Also, the word diversity relates to what I was saying about Describing Personas: a mindset that naturally reflects diversity is one that thinks of underlying thinking, behavior, and guiding principles first, and recognizes that one pattern can represent a huge range of demographics.

diagram showing multiple solutions that then map back to the same journey

Above is Brandon’s slide from MX Conference 2016 in San Francisco.
Brandon Schauer of CapitalOne mentioned something which has been important to me. In his summary of #MX16, he said, “The way of the future is to serve/support people in a variety of ways, for their different approaches and thinking at that point of their journey.” (The silhouette of the hills above represents the journey.) This is what Practical Empathy and Mental Model Diagrams are all about. I call it “branching,” but Brandon depicted it as paths that split and then come back to the same point. Interesting! Glad to see this message gain attention–although I recommend going deeper than “big data” into the actual thinking of individuals.

diagram showing the progress of technology v. human support

Above is my slide from ConveyUX 2016 in Seattle. Both my slide and Brandon’s show how difficult it is to visually convey this idea.

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