August 10, 2016, Community Meeting

General Discussion

We want to invite participation to using and contributing to the guide:

  •  by providing examples of how to use the guide in a particular environment or context (bring the guide to them), in order to “hook” people in 
    • this could be done with how-to examples of using the guide, or possibly through specific activities (e.g. like Microsoft's use of the inclusive design mapping tool)
  •  by making the structure of the guide more of a “scaffold” or “trellis” 
    • these provide structure while allowing for growth / not constraining or creating boundaries/limits
  •  we want to resist a “standardization” of the process, avoid step-wise rules and the idea that we are all-knowing
  •  want instead to convey and suggest new “ways of looking” and self-insight (who is at the table? where is the table? etc)

Card-Specific Discussion

Virtuous Cycles

  • The group needed some time to fully understand what we meant by virtuous cycles, the concept was not very clear.
    • no direct definition is provided in the guide - they had to “read between the lines"
  • The cause and effect activity was also difficult to understand. Although they managed to complete the activity they needed further assistance, e.g. a visual diagram of the completed activity. 
    • (Jutta mentioned that she has used an activity specific to Virtuous Cycles in her class that we can use).
  • they thought the cause and effect examples provided were somehow directly linked to each other
  • might be helpful to walk through the steps or give an example


  • Although they tried the activity, they did not find it fulfilling. They referred back to the main concept of interconnectedness and were not sure if the activity was really relevant. 
    • (Jutta mentioned that she has a good activity for interconnectedness). 
  • Pointed out necessity of collaboration
  • A student also mentioned that sometimes the user and the agent are different. For example, immigrant parents had got their son to fill out the online forms. Although the website was originally designed for adults, the teenager was using it as an agent. 
  • In doing the activity, all participants felt that they would still rather use the intended tool, rather than the unintended tool - how to find an activity that gets at the idea of innovation through unintended use?

Integrated Solutions

  • The group suggested removing the word “all” from the activity since there is no way of knowing all user groups.
    • Perhaps replace it with “unexpected” users, or “target” users?
  • Also listing different user groups' common needs seemed to be difficult for them and they were puzzled and not sure what to do. They were also discussing how it is possible to have an integrated solution and still address one-size-fits-one. This came up particularly based on built space, such as stadiums or playgrounds. They mentioned that integrated solutions may ultimately result in excluding some users. 

Autonomous User

  • The title was problematic, and it implied that user has the ultimate power, however, user may still need to collaborate with others to achieve adaptation or personalize different products/solutions. The group suggested replacing the title with something else such as “Personal Discovery”, or perhaps user agency, however, agency may not be a familiar term for many.
  • Perhaps something that reflects being an expert of your own needs

User Continued Design

  • This group discussed different and personal experiences of user-continued design. 

Diverse Participation and  Perspectives

  • In the larger group discussion, students mention that we could come up with a complaint mechanism in order to include more people in the process.
  • As Jutta suggested, looking at the complaints list could help identify those users who were not happy about a product/solution
  • This was related to the challenge of accessing and getting feedback from those who DON’T use or like your product, rather than those who do (and to whom you are already connected as a result)

Additional discussion Aug 11:

  • perhaps use the term “Perspectives” instead of “Principles”
  • include Examples (show how the guide is applied to specific projects)
  • use “Stories” in some way (instead of Personas)?
  • could the structure be Dimensions / Perspectives / Examples / ? (can we completely avoid using the “typical” language of design guides?)