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Conflict is the Key to Great UX39:50 with Steve Fisher
It's time to kick all of the elephants out of the room. Letting go of preconceived notions is a requisite skill for creating whole-hearted user experiences. In his talk, Steve will help you look at your current projects through a vulnerable lens to see imperfections, pre-empt design oversights, and let go of personal defence mechanisms that interfere with the creative process. This session will give you the tools to free project teams to express true creativity, to bond and to connect at a deeper level with each other and the people using our products and designs. What is the best makeup of any given project team? Why should you mine for conflict and how does it enable you to produce better designs? Find out the answers to all these questions and more!
[MUSIC] 0:00 [APPLAUSE] >> Thank you and 0:13 it's a real privilege to be back here at Future of Web Design. 0:17 It's one of my favorite events. 0:21 Learn so much whenever I come. 0:23 Now I gotta start off with something cause this is a really unique room. 0:25 It's quite wide and not super deep here and it was really hard for 0:27 me to get a picture so I thought I would wait till I was on stage and 0:33 I'll get a picture but are you familiar with the concept of doing the wave? 0:35 Was that a known concept? 0:40 So we're gonna start on this end, here, and we're gonna move our way 0:42 through the middle and all the way over to stage right, or your left. 0:45 And, what you do is when I'm pointing my phone at you, as I do the panoramic so 0:49 that I can remember this moment, you just throw up your arms and cheer. 0:55 So let's do a practice cheer. 0:59 Ready? One, two, three. 1:01 >> [NOISE] >> Oh. 1:02 >> [LAUGH] >> Let' do one more practice cheer. 1:05 And I'm gonna use my daughter Emma whose over there. 1:10 She's 12 and see if she can out yell all of you. 1:14 So Emma do the cheer first. 1:16 >> [SOUND] >> Yeah, that was pretty good wasn't it? 1:18 [APPLAUSE] >> Okay, now one more practice cheer. 1:21 One, two, three. 1:23 [SOUND]. >> [SOUND]. 1:24 You're ready for it. 1:25 So, I'm gonna remember this moment. 1:26 Ready? 1:27 One. It's gonna be really. 1:28 Oh, it just reversed on me. 1:29 I didn't know it could do that. 1:30 We're gonna start over here [LAUGH]. 1:32 Ready, one, two, three. 1:35 >> [NOISE] >> That's super awkward. 1:38 No, thank you for that. 1:47 But today, I'm 1:48 going to talk to you about how conflict is the key to great experiences. 1:50 Which It may sound counterintuitive here. 1:55 It may sound like well that's not true but I believe it is. 1:58 Just a quick intro to me in case your not familiar I am at the Republic of Quality. 2:02 You can find everything about me at the republicofquality.com that 2:07 you'll need to know. 2:10 Or, you can follow me on Twitter or other social media. 2:11 I am @hellofisher, in fact, Twitter is my favorite. 2:14 If you want to get a message to me, or ask me a question, or hey, let's go for 2:16 a beer later, Twitter is where you can do that best. 2:20 The Republic of Equality is really just two people. 2:25 It's a very small state. 2:28 It's my wife and I. 2:30 She is a writer and content strategist. 2:31 And, if we expand it a little bit. 2:33 And if you do follow me on Twitter, just be prepared for dog photos and 2:34 photos of my daughter. 2:38 I'm also the founder of the Design and 2:39 Content Conference in Vancouver this summer. 2:42 So if you wanna come visit me, you can. 2:44 In fact, this is where I live and work. 2:46 This is the City of Vancouver in Canada on the West Coast. 2:48 We're surrounded by the ocean and mountains. 2:52 And, I moved there about three and a half years ago, and I love to snowboard. 2:54 And, so having mountains like this is amazing. 2:59 And then to be able to go hiking in the summers there, and 3:02 seeing some of the beautiful trails that we have was fantastic. 3:06 In fact, I'm from Canada, and I now live in a place that has palm trees. 3:09 And sunny beaches where we could go out. 3:14 I didn't think that was possible in Canada, even though I knew it to be true. 3:16 So we looked around for a home for a while and this is what it looked like, and 3:21 then we moved to Vancouver. 3:24 Yeah, raining all the time is what it feels like. 3:27 So I'm quite at home here in London sometimes. 3:29 And remember those palm trees? 3:31 Sometimes they're covered in snow in the winter. 3:36 This is actually a very, very rare occasion like that. 3:38 Anyways if you want to learn more about this just go to haveaproblem.com 3:40 it will solve all your problems. 3:43 But let's get back to work. 3:44 Now if you were in my workshop yesterday, you've already gone through this one 3:47 exercise, but how many of you are familiar with the game, rock, paper, scissors? 3:50 Put up your hand if you are. 3:54 Okay, maybe more accurately, 3:56 put up your hand if you're not familiar with that at all and that's okay. 3:57 So there's some shy people here. 4:02 No, that's good. 4:03 Okay, turn to the person next to you and you're gonna play the game, 4:04 rock, paper, scissors. 4:07 So if you're not familiar with it, we're gonna, 4:08 my daughter informed yesterday that you actually say, rock, paper, 4:10 scissors and then you put out whichever one that you're going to play. 4:14 So rock beats scissors, scissors cuts paper, paper covers rock. 4:18 So turn to someone next to you, work out how you're going to play this, 4:24 whether you want to do best of three or just once. 4:27 Depending on your comfort zone. 4:30 And go for it. And if anybody doesn't have a partner, 4:31 you can come up and play me. 4:34 Okay, that's enough fun. 4:59 That's enough, no. 5:02 How many of you feel like you won out of your pairing here? 5:04 Just put up your hand. 5:08 Ok how many of you feel like you didn't win? 5:10 That wasn't everyone so I don't know what happened there, maybe you tied. 5:14 Who threw rock first? 5:18 Who threw scissors first? 5:22 Oh a few more. 5:26 So, about a quarter there threw rock, about half threw scissors. 5:26 And paper? 5:29 That worked out onto another quarter of the people. 5:32 In the rock, paper, scissors world, which there is a league in the United States, 5:34 they say that rock is for rookies and paper is for pros. 5:40 In fact if you play, most men will throw rock. 5:43 Actually most people will throw rock first, 5:46 so it was interesting that that didn't happen here. 5:47 And of course paper covers rock. 5:50 But when I used to play this game with my brother as a kid, 5:52 he's six years older than me, much smarter, he would always win. 5:56 And so I eventually would just throw dynamite. 6:00 >> [LAUGH] >> And it would blow up everything. 6:01 And so I was always kind of mining for conflict. 6:05 Now when we work on the web and we're working with people, sometimes we can get 6:08 into our routines, the things that we're just used to, how we see the web. 6:12 And this is why conferences like Future Web Design are so 6:16 fantastic because we come, and we hear, and learn from each other. 6:19 And from the speakers that are here, ourselves, the workshops we can attend, 6:24 it's fantastic, and it gets us outside of our normal zone. 6:28 But I'm seeing an issue and 6:32 Kendra Green talks about this if you've ever read some of her stuff or gone into 6:34 one of her talks, the zombie apocalypse of devices is upon us right now. 6:38 We used to try to design very specifically for things and 6:43 we really can't unless we're building a native app or something like that. 6:46 Because there are thousands and thousands of devices now. 6:51 Well, as soon as she started to talk about zombies she got my attention because I 6:56 love the zombie genre. 6:59 If you've ever been to one of my talks you'll know that, or read some blog posts. 7:00 And I love it because it talks about humanity and how we interact. 7:04 It tells the same story over and over and over, no matter which movie or 7:07 show you watch, its basically the same thing. 7:11 Someone may wake up in a hospital, let's say in London. 7:14 They've been in a coma for 28 days. 7:17 It's 28 days later now. 7:19 There's no one out in the streets when they get out there until they run into 7:21 a monster. 7:24 This monster is deformed missing legs or something they eventually fend it off. 7:25 Hit it in the head that probably kills it. 7:29 They're not sure what's going on. 7:32 They meet up with some other people to tell them that's a zombie, or a walker, 7:33 depending on what show you're watching. 7:36 And that small group eventually becomes smaller, and smaller, and smaller. 7:38 And they slowly start to dwindle. 7:43 And you realize the world is lost. 7:45 And then recently I saw a different movies about zombies, and it got my attention 7:47 because I started to think about the web as you do when you watch zombie genre. 7:52 So let me show you this clip. 7:56 [MUSIC] What am I doing with my life? 7:58 I just wanna connect. 8:01 Why can't I connect with people? 8:02 Oh, right. 8:05 It's cuz I'm dead. 8:06 [MUSIC] 8:06 I wish I could introduce myself, but I don't remember my name. 8:08 I think it started with an R, but that's all I have left. 8:11 It's kind of a bummer. 8:14 [SOUND] I shouldn't be so hard on myself. 8:15 I mean we're all dead. 8:18 This is my best friend. 8:19 We even have almost conversations sometimes. 8:20 [NOISE] They call these guys bonies. 8:22 They'll eat anything with a heartbeat. 8:29 I mean I will too but [NOISE] at least I'm conflicted about it. 8:31 [NOISE] 8:36 [MUSIC] 8:37 [SOUND] Nice watch. 8:40 [MUSIC] 8:41 [SOUND] 8:42 [MUSIC] 8:44 [SOUND] 8:46 [MUSIC] sh. 8:55 [MUSIC] 8:56 Be dead. 8:59 [SOUND] It's too much. 9:02 [MUSIC] 9:08 Don't be creepy. 9:10 Don't be creepy. 9:11 >> What are you? 9:12 >> This is a corpse. 9:15 Infected with the plague. 9:17 It is uncaring. 9:18 Unfeeling. 9:20 Incapable of remorse. 9:21 I don't understand but he's changing, and he feels, and 9:23 he's learning to be human again. 9:27 >> Oh my god is that him? 9:29 >> Yeah. 9:30 >> Sup? 9:31 >> We started something here. 9:34 Whatever it is that you two have, it's infecting the others. 9:36 >> Dad, they're somehow curing themselves. 9:40 >> They are not curing themselves. 9:42 [MUSIC] 9:44 [SOUND] >> Come with me. 9:45 [MUSIC] 9:48 [SOUND] >> Kill on sight. 9:50 We have a breach. 9:57 [MUSIC] 9:57 This movie, somehow in it, the zombies, as they begin to interact with this 10:04 one that brings back a piece of their humanity, his heart starts beating. 10:09 Spoiler alert, obviously. 10:14 They begin to cure each other, that scene where they join hands, 10:16 and the zombies' hearts all start beating. 10:21 I think that that's something that we can start to do on the web together. 10:24 But the problem is we've got this conflict. 10:27 John Malkovich's character in that movie is sort of perfect. 10:29 In fact, I can picture some people I've worked with that are kinda like that. 10:32 That said, no, no. 10:36 This is never gonna change, we just have to do it this way. 10:37 This is the way I want it done. 10:40 Maybe, you've been that person. 10:42 I know I have at times. 10:43 And then, there's those bony characters. 10:45 The ones that are just the skeletons that are completely lost. 10:48 They're just not even thinking about anymore but 10:51 then there's these zombies that they actually start to come back. 10:53 Because they're finding their humanity again and 10:57 how we on the web need to be doing that. 11:01 So, we're a society of likes. 11:04 We like things on Facebook, we choose to be with like-minded people, 11:05 we do things we like because we can. 11:09 It sounds like a great system to find people and 11:12 good relationships, people we can develop time with and get this friendships. 11:16 But what if all we're seeing is everyone's highlight reel as a society of likes? 11:22 What if it's actually causing us to grow further apart, 11:27 instead of having deeper relationships? 11:29 What if being a society of likes is creating more elephants in the room, 11:32 than we can handle. 11:35 Unless you are extraordinarily self aware, how can it not make you feel worse to 11:39 spend part of your time pretending to be happier than you are and the other part of 11:43 your time, seeing people who are happier than you or at least they seem to be. 11:47 I've heard they said about Facebook, but 11:51 honestly I've discovered this as true about life. 11:53 That's how we feel in meetings, when we're in workshops. 11:56 Clients or colleagues seem to have it all together and 11:59 that can be both inspiring and a little bit depressing. 12:02 But there's always a back story, we just don't always know about it. 12:05 So, today, let me show you how by telling you four stories. 12:10 So, we had a talk earlier today that had three stories, 12:14 I'm gonna one-up it with four. 12:15 [LAUGH] So, one's about me. 12:18 Two about what I do and one about big boats. 12:20 Seriously, they're related. 12:23 So, I'm a user experience architect, and 12:25 when I [LAUGH] cross into a new country and they ask me what I do and I say that, 12:27 their eyes kind of glaze over and they look at me and say what does that mean? 12:30 Well, what it means is I research, plan, and design experiences for the web. 12:34 And I'm gonna talk about a methodology today about how I work 12:39 with people that on a more meaningful level. 12:42 My work is about people not about technology. 12:45 I happen to work with technology but that's not what I do. 12:48 And as I tell my stories, I want you to think about how they can apply to what it 12:51 is that you do but also your lives. 12:55 Make it yours. 12:58 So, working on the web is exciting for me, because the web and 13:00 the devices that we have in front of us, in our pockets, in our bags, 13:03 have changed how we communicate as much as the printing press did. 13:07 So, a quick history lesson. 13:13 Before the internet, does anybody know what it was called? 13:17 There's a very small prize. 13:21 Okay at the back. 13:23 >> The ARPANET. 13:24 >> The ARPANET, that's excellent. 13:25 Thank you. It was the ARPANET. 13:27 So, in 1969, the ARPANET started in three places in California and 13:29 one place in Utah. 13:34 So, the internet started in Utah if in case you didn't know that. 13:36 And then, in 1973, it went global, it's over in London now and in Sweden. 13:39 In 1984, the ARPANET became the internet. 13:45 That's when they saw that this network of networks couldn't really, like it's value 13:48 was beyond what the military could contain and they saw a greater value for that. 13:52 So, they started to expand, in fact right to where I live in Vancouver there. 13:56 And then, in 1993, it became a truly global network. 14:02 So, this is quite a while ago, but one year later, 14:06 something really important happened. 14:08 Ready, Val, there's animation. 14:11 >> [LAUGH] >> That's right. 14:14 I arrived on the internet in 1994. 14:15 That was my first year and 14:18 I was taking a university course where we did the entire course online. 14:19 I didn't even know what email was before I walked into that classroom and 14:23 it blew my mind and I fell in love. 14:27 In 2010, opte.org did these visualizations. 14:29 So, all these burst of colors online represent every connection 14:33 on the internet at that time. 14:37 If we zoom in, you could see that this is so incredibly complex. 14:39 There's so many connection points here and we can see this as machines to machines. 14:42 But this is people connecting to people. 14:47 All these bursts of color. 14:49 This is so complex, that it costs a thousand dollars just to print. 14:51 And so, often, we think of the web with our heads, but 14:56 today I wanna ask you to think of the web with your head and your heart. 14:58 So, that we can have these wholehearted experiences cuz 15:01 I spent time listening to people so I can decipher what it is they need 15:05 to have a great experience to this service or product online. 15:08 Often, this looks like me asking groups of people four basic questions. 15:12 Sometimes, it's one on one, usually, it's a group. 15:17 It's these questions, 15:19 I ask them every time on every single project, no matter what. 15:20 What do you do? 15:24 What is painful? 15:26 What do you love? 15:28 And what do you wish? 15:30 Those four questions are what start off the discovery on every project as I 15:33 get to know people. 15:36 Cuz these four questions create space for people to open up. 15:37 This applies to what I do but it also applies to any situation. 15:40 I shared with my workshop group yesterday that I believe that the therapist I've met 15:43 with uses these questions with me. 15:47 And these are good for relationships, business settings, or problem solving. 15:49 Anyone can talk about what they do. 15:54 We could all share, I could point to you and what do you do Steven? 15:57 >> I do the same thing you do. 16:00 >> He does the same thing I do, that was the easiest question ever. 16:04 But no, we could all answer what do you do. 16:06 And we're keen to. 16:10 It's usually easy then to move into pain points. 16:12 In fact, people often wanna share what is painful with what they're working on. 16:15 So, if we were to ask, hey, you've got this CMS, 16:19 you're working with Oracle right now, are there any pain points? 16:22 And they begin to open up with that. 16:27 And it'd be tempting to jump ahead to the positive, but 16:29 you need to stay in those pain moments at the start. 16:32 You need to really hear what people are struggling through. 16:35 Cuz once they've shared their struggles, it's natural and 16:39 good to talk about something they love. 16:41 And it's usually something about their life, their job, their organization, or 16:43 the company website that they love. 16:46 And I try not to redirect too much, like we're not there to discover about their 16:50 personal relationships, but I do want to know how their lives are impacting using 16:54 their software, and working at their job, and interacting with the organization. 17:00 What is it that they love? 17:04 And then, they share their wishes. 17:05 So, this is the blue sky thinking. 17:09 The dreams for the website and the organization. 17:10 Now, if they could do this with their CMS, what would that be? 17:13 If they could provide this to their customers, what would that be? 17:16 And what emerges is this strangely, random story line that starts us on our journey. 17:19 People share their hearts and thoughts in a safe place. 17:25 And I've spent time listening for what if. 17:28 And we have an opportunity to see the real story. 17:30 So, the key to every project or project, and to finding deeper connections 17:34 is uncovering and addressing that river of conflict that goes through our stories. 17:39 And it's my job to mine for that conflict. 17:45 In fact, I think it's a lot of our jobs to mine for that conflict. 17:48 In some ways, to be a design therapist. 17:51 This works best for me in a workshop setting. 17:54 And which is why I loved that we got to have a workshop yesterday 17:56 here at Future Web Design. 17:59 And so, we lock ourselves in a room for as much time as possible. 18:00 This actually works for me on projects. 18:04 One, two, three days, sometimes more. 18:06 I use a workshop to push the team and the people there through tough decisions, 18:08 about the priorities of their projects and what their users are needing. 18:13 And the future design system for their website. 18:17 So, I come in and help facilitate that. 18:19 So, quickly a story about what I do. 18:22 So, back in 2010 and 2011, I worked for a province in Canada called Alberta. 18:24 So, Alberta, Canada. 18:29 And I worked with their government there. 18:30 Now, per capita, Alberta is by far the wealthiest province in Canada. 18:33 Their fifth largest industry is tourism. 18:37 So, if you've ever been to Alberta, that's where Calgary is. 18:40 If you've heard of that, or the Calgary Stampede or Banff in the Canadian Rockies. 18:43 The fifth largest industry is tourism, which brings in about $10 billion a year. 18:47 And this for a province of three million people. 18:51 So, per capita, their GDP is double that of the next province in Canada. 18:53 They barely experienced recession till recently. 18:58 Oil, of course, dropping, but it's the oil and gas capital of Canada. 19:01 They have lots of money. 19:06 Now, the issue was at that time, they're projecting 150,000 person worker shortage. 19:08 So, this is their immigration site. 19:13 Them working with the government. 19:15 And this is in a relatively short amount of time, 19:17 and they needed to reach out beyond the country. 19:19 They couldn't have people just coming from other provinces, need globally. 19:22 In fact, the UK was one of the places they were reaching out to. 19:26 The majority of people coming to the site, even in 2010 or 2009, 19:31 were from other countries, were trying to access it from mobile devices. 19:35 So, this is pretty early on for that to be happening in the majority. 19:40 But the site wasn't optimized for mobile. 19:43 In fact, one of their key features, so 19:45 this is what the site looked like at the time. 19:47 Just a very self-contained, small penchant zoomed site on an iPhone. 19:49 This is a screenshot. 19:53 But their key feature was this map. 19:53 It was built entirely in Flash. 19:55 They helped you discover the province. 19:57 So, of course, this is what it looked like on the iPhone and some other devices. 19:59 It tells you to go get Flash. 20:02 You couldn't see anything. 20:04 So, not good. 20:05 So, I arrived at the team, and we started to ask those four questions. 20:06 What do you do? 20:10 What is painful? 20:10 What do you love? 20:13 And, what do you wish? 20:13 One of the first things that someone told us was, we want to make it more difficult. 20:14 Yeah, I laughed. 20:21 Ahaha. 20:22 Of course, cuz I thought they were kidding. 20:23 And then I realized they were being serious. 20:25 And I said, wait, what? 20:26 Up until a minute ago you seemed like a good person to me. 20:27 But I stopped and thought, and began to use my user experience training 20:31 to ladder, to ask why over and over and over, cuz I was mystified. 20:37 There had to be a reason for this. 20:41 Okay, but why? 20:44 Sure, but why? 20:45 And this laddering went back and forth, and this isn't just in one meeting. 20:46 This is over weeks. 20:50 We're really digging in to discover what is going on here, 20:51 because the site was already difficult to use, in fact impossible for some people. 20:54 And then finally, someone said, we have people coming to our province. 21:00 And they end up leaving because they can't be successful. 21:06 It's not that they're doing anything wrong. 21:10 They just couldn't adapt. 21:12 They either couldn't learn the language. 21:13 They didn't have the right skills. 21:15 They couldn't adapt to the culture, so, and sometimes the weather. 21:17 And so they couldn't be successful in our province. 21:20 It was this heartbreaking confession. 21:23 I wish they led with that, but they didn't. 21:26 And so it was buried under confusion and embarrassment. 21:30 And after mining through that conflict, 21:33 we were able to uncover the truth behind we want to make it more difficult. 21:35 What they actually wanted was for 21:40 people to understand what it takes to be successful to come to the province. 21:41 Doesn't that sound a little better? 21:45 Yeah, but what they were doing was, they were making the website a test. 21:47 If you can make it through this website, you can come to the province. 21:51 That's what they thought, let's make it more difficult, which I also understand. 21:54 Anyways, people were struggling with the site. 21:59 And we're not talking about people that have not used the web before. 22:02 We're talking about people that are old and young, doctors, 22:04 engineers, nurses, people who have studied years to become great at their profession, 22:09 some of them working in technology. 22:15 Highly educated, skilled workers struggling to use a website. 22:16 Well, many of the stakeholders still believed that they wanted to make it 22:20 more difficult. 22:23 I invited them to come observe people using the website. 22:23 So we watched as these doctors, nurses, engineers, 22:27 other people all struggled to use this site. 22:29 Struggled to understand the language, 22:31 the flow, basically the story of what it would take. 22:35 Sorry. 22:39 I didn't this would be emotional but it is. 22:40 To come to Alberta. 22:42 It was so heartbreaking to watch this. 22:43 And then something else happened. 22:46 The stakeholders saw that usernames are people. 22:49 And they realized, this isn't a test. 22:54 And at that moment their hearts grew three sizes. 22:57 And then they said, we want to tell the right story. 22:59 We don't want to make it more difficult. 23:02 So while the discovery was great, it took too long. 23:04 We spent so much time and money on this, which is a little embarrassing to me. 23:07 But, because every project has a finite amount of time and 23:12 money, there's no way to get around the budget and the timeline. 23:15 Those things will exist there no matter how big your organization is. 23:18 And so I vowed to never do it this way again. 23:22 There had to be a better way. 23:24 The story, the conflict, simply took too long to uncover. 23:25 So let me tell you another story. 23:30 There was a follow up to this one. 23:31 A little bit later, same province, but it was for a city, City of Red Deer. 23:32 So they had contracted myself and a team to come in and 23:38 to help redesign their site. 23:42 Now, I'm a big believer in refreshes, but they had had this site for 23:44 11 years, which is basically a lifetime on the web. 23:46 And it is impressive that they had maintained it that long, but 23:51 it had become so difficult to use that the City of Red Deer residents and 23:54 businesses had lost trust In the city of Red Deer's online presence. 23:57 To find something, they had to go to Google or a search engine. 24:01 Search for it. 24:05 It would take them to a page on the site. 24:05 And then they would go from there. 24:07 Even I had to do that while working on the project. 24:08 So the team at the city of Red Deer was really excited about the bells and 24:10 whistles of this new, responsive, mobile-friendly, 24:14 whatever they wanted to call it, site that was gonna come out. 24:17 And for good intentions. 24:19 But I knew that there had to be some reason why it took 11 years. 24:21 Maybe there was some conflict underneath it all, 24:25 something that held them back from moving forward earlier. 24:28 I didn't want to repeat the Alberta project, at least not how long it took. 24:31 So what I had been missing was a framework that could help us move forward together 24:35 as a team towards a common outcome, a safe place for us to address conflict earlier. 24:40 So my personal experience is in the web design, but I still want you to 24:47 think about that this could apply to business, relationships, anything. 24:50 So the four questions are key to people opening up, but so 24:54 is a safe environment to do so. 24:56 This framework has allowed me to look at my work, conflict, 24:59 and user experiences differently. 25:01 So let's take a look. 25:03 And picture yourself with us at the team in the city of Red Deer in this workshop. 25:04 So the first piece of four, 25:07 so there's four things we're gonna cover here, is audiences. 25:08 Seems like a no brainer, right? 25:12 But we start with the people, 25:13 the real people who are going to actually use the site. 25:14 So, we do look at analytics, we do look at past experiences, anecdotal information, 25:17 emails that had been sent in, but we talk to real people here. 25:23 We base our audience profiles, our personas, off of real people. 25:26 If you can't do that, your personas are essentially fake. 25:30 They're based on your opinion, your experience. 25:34 And we want to look at these people here because this is who we're creating 25:37 the website for. 25:41 It's about connecting people. 25:42 People to people, that's what the web is created for. 25:43 The second thing is the vision. 25:46 So I would call this the user experience vision for this project. 25:48 It tells us where we are trying to go. 25:52 It's this great tension between our reality and our future visions. 25:54 So this should be some overlap, so it's pulling us forward. 25:57 But not too much. 26:01 If it's too much our vision isn't far enough out. 26:02 We're not reaching far enough into the future and where we need to go. 26:04 And if there's no overlap, then we'll have incredible tension, 26:07 in fact dissidents where people just won't believe that we can move forward. 26:11 But we want to have some overlap that pulls us forward. 26:15 And we do this in a workshop setting. 26:17 So we crafted this vision together the first morning in our workshop. 26:18 This a team at the City of Red Deer. 26:21 So, a web first organization that empowers anyone to access City of Red Deer 26:23 information and services in any way they choose. 26:27 Sounds probably like a lot of other visions out there. 26:30 But if you think about this, 26:32 this is an organization that did not prior test the web, at all. 26:34 And now they want to be a web first organization. 26:37 They want their data to go out to other things, their brochures, their ads, 26:39 their printed materials, their apps from the web first. 26:44 That's pretty good. 26:48 That empowers anyone to access City of Red Deer information and services. 26:50 Meaning that this is for everyone. 26:53 Cities provide so many services to so many people. 26:54 And the last little phrase here is key, in any way they choose. 26:59 Meaning the site needs to accessible. 27:03 The site needs to be able to be opened on any device that someone wants to. 27:06 And they set a goal of meeting 97% of the devices out there. 27:10 So this was their vision that they crafted together. 27:14 This is the second part of that framework. 27:16 So with the audiences, we agreed to them and prioritized them. 27:20 All right, so we agreed to those priorities. 27:24 Who's the first priority audience? 27:25 Not that we're neglecting anyone, but so that we can have those in priority order. 27:26 And then we agreed to this vision saying this is the direction that 27:29 we're moving forward. 27:32 It's for common understanding, not for wordsmithing here. 27:33 Is this where we're going? 27:35 Yes. 27:37 Then we move on to the third thing, design principles. 27:38 How many of you work with design principles on your projects, or ever have? 27:41 Raise your hand. 27:44 Yeah, quite a few of you. 27:46 These are the guideposts, sort of the why statements, almost values for 27:48 our projects that help us make good decisions. 27:51 They redirect us towards our vision and towards our audiences. 27:53 They could be things like when someone says we need to improve this feature, 27:57 we can stop and see if it aligns with our principles, our vision, and our audiences. 28:01 So for the city of Red Deer, a few of them were this, users first. 28:06 Again this isn't just wordsmith. 28:09 This is what we came up with together as a team in the workshop. 28:11 Help users get the information they want by focusing on common user expectations. 28:13 You could think, if we start to implement a feature or 28:18 a certain type of content, is it organized in such a way that someone coming to find 28:22 out about their pet license could do that easily? 28:27 Or are pet licenses buried under city services somewhere where we'll 28:30 never find it? 28:33 It guides us towards a good decision. 28:34 Sustainable. 28:36 They had three people on their web team managing 10,000 web pages on this website. 28:37 Right so they need to plan for content, technical and 28:40 information architecture that can be easily maintained for the long term. 28:43 For real people. 28:46 Voice and tone. 28:48 They need to represent the real Red Deer here. 28:49 Passion for your content. 28:52 They have all this content to produce. 28:53 Well, if people don't care about it, if they don't love their content, 28:55 if they don't have a lovely content authoring experience, 28:58 it's hard to produce great content. 29:00 So we had, I believe, eight of these design principles for 29:03 the city of Red Deer, 29:06 these were just four of them, that helped us guide us towards the right decisions. 29:07 But we agreed on these too, based on our vision and our audiences. 29:11 So we're seeing this cascade. 29:14 Now the fourth thing are goals. 29:16 These are high level goals. 29:18 And it can be tempting for us to want to jump forward to goals, 29:20 cuz they're the things we can kind of get our hands on that we're used to, but 29:23 we should start with the why first. 29:27 We should start and address those things. 29:28 But these high level goals could be things like this. 29:31 For the city of Red Deer, it was to improve customer service. 29:34 Reduce call volumes to customer service and departments to answer basic questions. 29:37 They can measure that. 29:41 They can say, hey, we have saved $200,000 this 29:42 year on staff time because of the new website. 29:47 Another one was to do with content strategy, that content authors and 29:50 champions have ownership and accountability over their content. 29:53 This is measurable. 29:56 They can say, did you own this content. 29:56 These are high level things though. 29:58 We get in more detail later in the project. 29:59 But this framework, we need it to feel safe. 30:01 So we've got all these things that we've agreed to, this kind of funnel that's 30:04 coming in that starts with the audiences which are relatively easy to agree to. 30:07 Then we have our vision, our common understanding, our design principles, 30:12 and our goals. 30:15 So with the city of Red Deer we locked our project team in a room together for 30:18 three days and sketched out our ideas. 30:22 We covered every white board and wall in the room. 30:24 The room was about a quarter of the size of this one. 30:26 So it was a large boardroom, with sketches and notes. 30:29 It kinda looked like this and this is what our workshop looked like yesterday too. 30:31 Where we sketched out our content our ideas. 30:34 We had different audience personas up there. 30:37 And we used active listening so that whenever someone would say something or 30:41 not say something, and I could see that 30:45 there was a misunderstanding I would get them to repeat it. 30:48 And then I would get them to sketch it out. 30:51 Cuz with sketching, 30:53 we can see the concept to understand each other a little differently. 30:54 It helps us come to a better understanding. 30:57 What does that concept look like? 30:58 Why is it important? 31:00 To be honest though, there are so 31:01 many moments we were just staring at the floor or almost angrily at each other. 31:02 There were six of us in this core team, their IT manager, 31:06 their content lead, myself another content strategist, 31:09 a developer, and their communications manager for the city. 31:13 And we had trouble agreeing on things cuz someone would say something like, 31:17 you said this was priority item number one. 31:20 Great, but you said it was three. 31:25 Why did you say one and you say three? 31:27 In every case we came to agreement. 31:32 I never look for compromise in these workshops. 31:34 Compromise is relatively easy, but allows for 31:37 the conflict to continue under our surface, and keeps us from moving forward. 31:41 People might change their minds after the meeting if they haven't come to agreement, 31:45 send out that email that we've probably all seen or received. 31:49 Because they never actually found a way to agree because they 31:53 were thinking about themselves, their opinions. 31:56 And that's where this framework helps out. 31:57 We start to say, well you say you like blue, but do our audience care about that? 32:00 Is that aligned with our vision, our design principals, and our goals? 32:06 So if we don't find a way to agree, this leads to a deteriorated experience for 32:08 everyone that will use this website. 32:13 Which in this case could be everyone that lives in that city and that 32:15 case before that could be everyone trying to immigrate to that province in Canada. 32:18 It's my job and our jobs to mine for conflict so that we don't miss the chance 32:23 to find the highest peak that we could reach with our projects. 32:28 And the great thing is, we bond as a team, when we fight through these moments, 32:31 this conflict. 32:35 It's amazing. 32:35 It's almost magical how it bonds us. 32:38 So, another story. 32:41 This one is the one about big boats. 32:42 So, you may be wondering how this is relevant. 32:44 But if we think about transportation methods in the world. 32:46 So we've got cars, trucks, trains, planes. 32:48 And then of course we also have boats. 32:51 Now where I live, I live on a port city, Vancouver. 32:55 We have a lot of shipping that happens there and 32:58 I am constantly seeing these big shipping containers. 33:00 In fact, we just had an oil spill. 33:03 A pretty minor one, but it was devastating in its own sense in the, around the port. 33:04 But, did you know that boats produce 40% of the pollution in the world? 33:09 That's a lot. 33:16 So, if we look at the world, 40% of its pollution is from boats. 33:17 I had no idea, and I saw these boats around me all the time. 33:21 In fact, if we looked at the cars in the world and 33:24 we took every car in the world and combined its pollution, 33:27 it would be equal to that of the 15 largest shipping container boats. 33:31 Those 15 produce as much pollution as every car in the world. 33:34 Every car could stop driving. 33:38 And those 15 boats would take care of all that pollution. 33:40 So it was, what the fuck moment, right? 33:42 In fact this person, 33:44 this TED conference in Vancouver was, he was telling me about this before his talk. 33:46 And I was just, it was blowing my mind in horror, but 33:50 he was working for this company that was producing better ship hulls, so 33:55 lighter hulls, and lithium ion batteries, so hybrid ships. 33:59 And in fact, it would make, if every ship in the world had adopted this, 34:03 it would reduce the emissions by 15%. 34:05 All the cars in the world, almost. 34:08 Although, my math isn't actually quite right there. 34:10 But, I'll pretend like it is. 34:11 So, these boats look like this. 34:12 They're mammoth. 34:14 This is one of the largest boats in the world here. 34:15 No longer is because the new one just came out a few months ago. 34:17 But, when I heard Jeff tell this story, I just kept thinking why? 34:21 I was floored and inspired by what a difference a better ship could make, 34:26 but I also started to ask why? 34:32 Why are we shipping so much stuff over such great distances? 34:34 Well, let me give you two examples. 34:37 One's Singapore which has roughly 5.4 million people crammed in this space 34:39 the size of, not much bigger than Vancouver. 34:42 And not Vancouver, the greater Vancouver, just Vancouver proper which has about 34:46 700,000 people in it and which is the most densely populated city in Canada. 34:50 And so, this is the most densely populated country in the world, 34:56 Singapore, and this country does not have enough room for agriculture. 35:01 As you can see on this map here, if you're not familiar with where Singapore is, 35:04 it essentially this island state the southern tip of part of Malaysia there. 35:08 And it doesn't have enough room for agriculture, so 35:13 it imports over 90% of it's food from other countries all over the world. 35:15 So shipping is saving lives here. 35:19 It's keeping that country afloat so to speak. 35:20 But there's technology that's coming out that will have these floating farms so 35:24 they could have agricultural right next door. 35:28 This is great. 35:31 This will mean that so 35:32 much less will need to be shipped but right now that's not possible. 35:33 In fact that's decades away. 35:37 So shipping and saving lines, we need to there. 35:39 But let me give you an example from where I live, 35:42 which is slightly more embarrassing. 35:44 In Canada, so this is Vancouver again. 35:48 This is downtown Vancouver where I live and work. 35:50 We have a lot of trees, a lot actually. 35:53 In fact, our 1.2 million square miles of trees have been dubbed the lungs of 35:57 the planet, and produce more than 7% of the earth's forested lands. 36:01 There's a lot of trees in Canada. 36:05 Not a lot of people. 36:07 And of course we do have a lot of forestry industry there. 36:09 And there's a wood called hemlock, it's about 40% cheaper than oak. 36:11 So if you were to go to a home improvement store and 36:15 you were building a new fence, or something, banister or railing. 36:18 You could buy this for 40% less. 36:23 It wouldn't look much different when you were finished. 36:25 It's a bit of a softer wood though for 40%. 36:28 That's a big savings right? 36:30 Well the problem is our mill technology in North America is too powerful. 36:31 It's too new and so it would shred this wood. 36:34 It would blow it apart almost and rather than building new mills what we do 36:37 is we put it in these shipping container boats, 36:41 and we send it across the Pacific Ocean, which is a long ways as it turns out. 36:42 And so it gets shipped primarily to China 36:47 where it's milled because they have the right technology there that can mill this. 36:50 And then they package it back up and 36:55 ship it all the way back across to North America because this is a cheaper 36:56 option, than it is to create the new mills or 37:01 the old mills in North America and this is so that we can save 40% at the store. 37:07 So this is another what the fuck moment for me where I was saying, 37:12 do I really need to save 40% on wood so that I can ruin the planet? 37:15 The fuel in these boats is so low grade, 37:20 it's actually just one grade above asphalt, so 37:23 when it's cool, you can walk across it like you walk across the street today. 37:25 But what if we address this problem by tackling it through 37:30 this framework I mentioned? 37:33 Would we see it differently? 37:35 If we looked at our audiences, sure, some people need us to shift things. 37:37 In fact every country has some need that way, but 37:40 do I really need 40% cheaper wood at the store? 37:43 If our vision is to reduce the overall emissions in the world, 37:47 is it better boats and less shipping that will accomplish this? 37:50 Right, so it's not just the better boats, it's less shipping. 37:56 And for our design principles, 38:01 these guideposts that help us make better decisions. 38:03 What if we were creating better business practices and 38:05 then another design principle was solving problems for now and the future, right? 38:08 That would help us guide us toward better decisions. 38:12 And if our goals, which we need to measure, 38:15 better boats will happen before we change hearts and minds of business practices. 38:18 Both are important goals for us to work towards. 38:23 So, we move through this framework. 38:25 We go from being just a society of likes to a society that listens to hearts and 38:27 minds and thoughts of others. 38:32 Without this, we'll miss an opportunity to not only see better and 38:35 better solutions, but maybe the best. 38:37 So, it's not really conflict that's the key to wholehearted experiences online or 38:41 offline. 38:47 It's addressing that conflict and seeing beyond ourselves. 38:48 Having the courage and vulnerability to go through this challenge is key 38:52 on all of our projects and in our daily lives. 38:56 It allows us to become a team and to bond. 38:59 A true team that's looking for the best solutions for the world. 39:00 So I'm gonna continue to look for the elephants in my room and 39:04 on my projects and do whatever I can in that way. 39:07 And I wanna encourage you to do that. 39:09 In fact if we think of the video that we watched earlier. 39:11 I'm gonna mute it because we don't need sound for this. 39:15 When we saw those zombies come out, there is hope for everyone of them, right? 39:19 There is hope in here. 39:24 And I see this video differently when I begin to think about it through this 39:25 framework, and how we can address this conflict head on. 39:29 And how I wish I could just talk to the John Malkovich character, 39:32 and take him through this. 39:36 So thanks. 39:37 [APPLAUSE] 39:39 [MUSIC] 39:44
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