Cards and Guidelines

Steve Lee steve at
Wed Aug 10 17:38:50 UTC 2016

PS I just found this by @dboudreau
Steve Lee

On 10 August 2016 at 18:31, Steve Lee <steve at> wrote:
> +1 for feel persona's are a useful but restricted tool. The danger is
> they are seen as representing the only representative 'user'.
> I wonder if IDEO's Design kit has any alternatives? I have a copy but
> never read it. You can get a free PDF version
> Steve Lee
> OpenDirective
> On 10 August 2016 at 17:23, Dana Ayotte <dana.ayotte at> wrote:
>> Hi Jutta,
>> Thank you for your reply! It’s very helpful.
>> I agree it would be good to replace the term Principles with insights or
>> facets growing out of the dimensions. I have been thoughtful about how to
>> present the dimensions and their relationship to the “Principles" as we have
>> been developing the guide. As you say, they are messy in a good way -
>> unbounded, overlapping, etc.  I’m excited to brainstorm some creative ways
>> we can present them in both the cards and the online guide.
>> I also feel a discomfort with personas and the conflict around encouraging
>> co-design while at the same time promoting personas as a tool. Your point
>> about how they remove the multi-faceted, unexpected requirements the users
>> may reveal is such an important one - I’m thoughtful about how we might
>> address this in the guide. Since personas are such a commonly-used design
>> tool, it seems like it might be a good idea to address the limitations
>> rather than just leave it out altogether. While at the same time encouraging
>> a co-design process.
>> We’ll give some more thought to how we can clearly communicate that the
>> activities and tools are extensible - particularly online. I can imagine
>> that once we get more of an authoring environment up and running with the
>> guide (one that allows choosing and printing a personal collection of cards
>> etc) it could also allow someone to temporarily author their own content, as
>> well as submit the content to our repository - perhaps we could add these to
>> the guide as community-generated contributions in some way (which would
>> encourage others to do the same).
>> We’ve now got the Inclusive Design Mapping Tool up on the site in the
>> Activities section
>> (,
>> but we’ve still got User States and Contexts in the Tools section. It sounds
>> like you’re suggesting that we remove User States and Contexts altogether,
>> is that right? Our thinking around it was that the US&C tool provides a way
>> to more quickly map out one or more users’ needs - and provides a way to
>> compare different users and ensure that a broad range of needs are being
>> covered. The Mapping Tool seems to be more of an in-depth process of looking
>> at how a specific design solution meets the needs of a particular user or
>> user-group. If we keep the US&C tool, perhaps we can communicate its
>> limitations more clearly in the guide and provide some cautionary
>> suggestions as to how to use it.
>> I look forward to discussing further at today’s community meeting!
>> Dana
>> On Aug 10, 2016, at 5:57 AM, Treviranus, Jutta <jtreviranus at> wrote:
>> Hi Dana,
>> I missed this message yesterday, apologies.
>> I can provide some input before the meeting.
>> Generally, I don’t want to give the impression that there is a fixed or
>> distinct number of principles. This is what I was trying to avoid when
>> choosing dimensions over principles. Principles communicate a hubris that we
>> are somehow all knowing and prescient and have somehow arrived at a cardinal
>> set of rules. Dimensions are not bounded and they are part of each other.
>> They also don’t claim to be of the same type or of the same weight. This is
>> why I expressed what you are calling principles as aspects of the
>> dimensions. I wanted to create a system that allowed an organic growth of
>> insights, these aha moments that drive a deeper understanding of the field.
>> I’ve certainly been experiencing this when I realize the aptness of the
>> dimensions each time I apply them.
>> Can we get away from using the term principles? Can we put in insights or
>> facets of the dimensions?
>> I also want to communicate the notion that activities and tools are
>> extensible, people can add to them and create new ones. The blank cards are
>> good for this. Can we do this in other ways as well?
>> I want to get away from any hint of deficit thinking and the idea that we
>> know all the facets of a user or their context that we need to consider.
>> This is one of my discomforts with the User States and Contexts tool and
>> part of why I wanted to morph it. I’ve discussed before why I want to
>> further explore the Inclusive Design Mapping Tool - to communicate that we
>> stretch our designs, include the middle or average in that stretching and
>> inclusion, etc.
>> I’m believing less and less in persona and the way we arrive at persona.
>> There is definitely an engagement of the design team (it is fun) but there
>> is also a smugness and self-satisfaction with our own creativity. The more
>> we add “life-like” qualities to the persona the more we think we have been
>> in some way right or better. It is a ruse for really talking to and engaging
>> real users who have difficulty using or can’t use the current designs. Even
>> when we base our persona on research regarding edge users, the process of
>> creating a persona removes the multi-faceted unexpected requirements the
>> users may reveal. The requirements are only as multi-faceted and dynamic as
>> our imagination and ability to keep complexity in our focus while we are
>> designing. I want to significantly rethink this area. I do not want to give
>> prominence to persona as a tool. I want to stress co-design.
>> We can discuss this more in the meeting as well.
>> Jutta
>> On Aug 9, 2016, at 11:49 AM, Dana Ayotte <dana.ayotte at> wrote:
>> Hi Jutta,
>> I wanted to follow up on this since we’ll be discussing the guide at the
>> community meeting tomorrow - I wondered if you could provide feedback about
>> the guide/principles structure before then, and/or would you like to discuss
>> it at the meeting tomorrow?
>> Thanks,
>> Dana
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