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Wednesday, February 11 • 2:00pm - 4:00pm
WORKSHOP: Kapow! Participant Led Insights Full

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You want to truly know the people you’re designing for. But how can you get deep fast? How do you mine a rich history chock full of routines, worries, motivations, beliefs and native language to boost that observation or interview you’ve got planned?

You need to embrace participant co-created exercises, whether as pre-work or done together during a research session, whether in an individual interview or as part of a focus group, whether over WebEx, in a lab, or on a participant’s coffee table.

Participant exercises, part of the ethnography tool kit, take the form of drawings, diagrams, maps, lists, timelines, comparisons, prioritizations, focused narratives, and more. Such tools let participants tell you what’s important about the topic of inquiry, what’s relevant in their personal story, and the insights they themselves can contribute to your understanding. This takes the pressure off you to always be asking the right questions and lets you engage, absorb, feel, reflect and just plain “get it”.

This workshop will introduce a range of participant exercise types, each yielding different data about routines, tools, environments, relationships, past experiences, processes and journeys, needs and wants, goals and motivations, beliefs and attitudes. I’ll share examples of each exercise type that I’ve used from range of research projects on financial services, education, hospitality, social media and more.

We’ll review useful guidelines, such as: how to align participant exercises with research objectives, how to create visual and conceptual variety in exercises, how to avoid being too open-ended or too prescriptive, and how to integrate a guided interview with participant exercises.

Lastly, you’ll choose the best exercise types for a research topic you want to explore more deeply, prototype one or more exercises and share with other workshop attendees. 

You’ll take home a hand-drawn (by me!) booklet of types and tips for later reference.

avatar for Leah Rader

Leah Rader

Principal Researcher, Spring Studio

Wednesday February 11, 2015 2:00pm - 4:00pm
7. 111 Minna Gallery: Zappa Room 111 Minna St, San Francisco, CA 94103