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- Design with Intent toolkit
Workshops, training & speaking
Requisite Variety’s Design with Intent toolkit has been developed through a series of workshops since 2008, and we have developed some expertise in running a range of different types of workshops, focused on design and behaviour. All of the below workshop formats can be customised for your organisation, and indeed new workshops developed. Please get in touch for more information, or to discuss how we could work together: firstname.lastname@example.org or @danlockton on Twitter.
Design with Intent workshops
Using the toolkit in either card or worksheet form, in these sessions we explore the background to design for behaviour change, and different ways of thinking about behaviour, before using the eight lenses of the toolkit to generate and explore, in groups, possible concepts addressing briefs set by the participants or host organisation. Ideal participant numbers: 8 to 40. Outputs are a wide range of brainstormed concepts making use of behavioural principles to address particular issues through design. The sessions usually end with groups presenting and reviewing their preferred concepts, either through sketches / wireframes or through acting out use scenarios (often with basic paper prototypes).
In industry and the public sector, we’ve run Design with Intent workshops with teams from Philips Research, West Sussex County Council, Jaguar Land Rover (with WMG), Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, with the RSA and IDEO for the National Policing Improvement Agency, for Clearleft at UX London, and for the Technology Strategy Board’s Modern Built Environment Knowledge Transfer Network. More academically focused workshops include those for Brunel University (School of Engineering & Design and School of Information Systems, Computing & Mathematics), WMG (University of Warwick), NTNU (Norwegian University of Science & Technology), TU Delft / TU Eindhoven / University of Twente (as part of the Design for Usability project), and for Stanford University’s Persuasive Technology Lab at the Persuasive 2010 conference.
Other organisations who have run their own Design with Intent sessions include, most notably, Autodesk’s Sustainability Workshop team. A number of companies and universities have also used the toolkit for internal workshops.
Black boxes and mental models
First run at dConstruct 2011, this exercise uses ‘black boxes’ — unknown electronic devices with unlabelled interfaces of buttons, ‘volume’ controls and LEDs. Internally the boxes contain an array of components and functions enabling both a range of light and sound outputs, and a number of hidden functions (including communication with the other boxes). The aim is for participants to devise strategies for working out what’s going on — what do the controls do? — and construct a representation of the system model, in a form that can explain it to a new user who hasn’t been able to experiment with the device. The aim is both to help participants see interaction behaviour from the perspective of new users unfamiliar with a device, and to show how models of complex systems may need to take into account the behaviour (or effects on) other actors, systems or contexts. More details and images.
Heuristics, behaviour decomposition and personas
First run at Interaction 12, in this exercise we use the technique of behaviour decomposition [PDF] to deconstruct the mechanisms behind existing examples of design for behaviour change, extracting behavioural heuristics. Groups then construct ‘behavioural personas’ around these heuristics, and design a new intervention for a different behaviour change brief, to match each persona. More details and images.
Future versions of this workshop will use a revised approach to extracting heuristics and generating solutions, linked more directly to the Design with Intent patterns.
Rules of interaction
Run so far at UX People 2011 and dConstruct 2011, this exercises involves participants playing the role of either ‘device’ or ‘user’, trying to achieve particular objectives through strategies including cooperation, deception, and so on. Facing each other via a ‘screen’ made out of card, and each having a bowl of mixed sweets / chocolates / toffees, each person picks up a ‘set of rules’ for how to interact with the other — both an objective and a strategy for how to achieve it. The device’s objectives all involve behaviour change. The combination of objectives and strategies embodies ‘assumptions’ about how the other (user or device) will act; a product or service influencing a user’s behaviour can work best when the objectives of each side and the designer’s and user’s model of the system are compatible. More details and images.
Exploring (and annotating) the environment
Inspired by both processes we used during ethnographic research for CarbonCulture and Adam Greenfield and Nurri Kim’s Walkshops, in these sessions we explore the local environment — indoors and outdoors — with a ‘behaviour’ lens. Finding and examining both design features intended to influence behaviour, and annotating features which are worthy of more investigation — for example to understand the systems behind them — the aim is to understand better the diversity of effects that design has on behaviour, and perhaps how to intervene to redesign elements where different effects are desired.
Speaking and training
Requisite Variety’s Dan Lockton regularly does internal talks for organisations — most recently, R/GA, Dyson Appliances, Ubisoft Entertainment and Philips Research — focusing on design, behaviour change and understanding users’ interactions with systems. He also speaks and runs workshops at industry conferences and other events, including UX London, dConstruct, Innovate, Interaction, UX People, Design for Conversion, Design for Persuasion and London IA. Slides are (irregularly) posted on Slideshare.
Dan has taught on design-related undergraduate and postgraduate courses at Brunel University and WMG, University of Warwick (a module for Jaguar Land Rover staff), is a recurring visiting speaker at Central Saint Martins and the Judge Business School (University of Cambridge), and has also given guest lectures at Saïd Business School (University of Oxford), Parsons The New School for Design (New York), Norwegian University of Science & Technology (Trondheim), University of Twente, Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design and the Royal College of Art (London).