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Language for Transition, WIAD 2018 Utrecht

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What are the language skills of UX designers today? Language and conversations are at the heart of our current design practice. There is the growing importance of voice UIs and AI in the form of voice assistants (and the growing need for dialogue designers). The design process nowadays is all about co-creation and facilitating conversation between stakeholders. Language is also crucial when you try to bring about change in a system or organisation. An organisation is its language. You cannot innovate an organisation if you stick to its current language. During this talk, I will link the subject of language and conversation to the systemic design toolkit we have developed at Namahn in the past two years, and more specifically to the tool 'transition by design'. What role does language play in the transition of an organisation towards a new way of working?

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Language for Transition, WIAD 2018 Utrecht

  1. 1. Namahn Language for Transition Koen Peters, WIAD 2018, Utrecht kp@namahn.com - @2pk_koen WIAD 2018, Utrecht: Language for transition 1
  2. 2. “We tackle complexity through our understanding of human behaviour, organisational processes and whole systems” w w w.namahn.com
  3. 3. Why this topic? Paul Pangaro Victor Klemperer Kristel Van Ael
  4. 4. In projects of transition, what is the role of language?
  5. 5. Namahn Language in today’s world of design(er)… WIAD 2018, Utrecht: Language for transition 5
  6. 6. thinking in words vs. images
  7. 7. What are her language skills? Can she write? Can she present? … Can she moderate a conversation?
  8. 8. “Designing conversations is at the heart of 21st century design” Paul Pangaro
  9. 9. Namahn Conversations and co-creation WIAD 2018, Utrecht: Language for transition 12
  10. 10. Namahn Framing workshop Understand the context and frame the project Understand the current culture and current language of the organisation WIAD 2018, Utrecht: Language for transition 13
  11. 11. Namahn Cultural dimensions Dimensions that outline systematic differences in (national) cultures  Power distance (high vs. low)  Individualism (vs. collectivism)  Uncertainty avoidance (high vs. low)  Masculinity (vs. femininity)  Long-term orientation (vs. short-term)  Indulgence (vs. restraint) WIAD 2018, Utrecht: Language for transition 14 Geert Hofstede
  12. 12. Namahn Language and transformation… WIAD 2018, Utrecht: Language for transition 20
  13. 13. Language shapes our perspective on society and our perspective on the world. Words are always coloured, never neutral…
  14. 14. Repatriation vs. deportation
  15. 15. Words can disguise, mask meaning. Or they can dramatize, amplify…
  16. 16. LTI (Lingua Tertii Imperii)
  17. 17. Namahn Characteristics of LTI:  Regulated and repeated  One-sided, one-dimensional, narrow  No difference between spoken and written language: you can only shout it…  Neologisms: aufnorden, Blitzkrieg, Endsieg…  Prefixes: Volkswagen, Volksgemeinschaft, Weltanschauung  Abbreviations: SS, KZ, …  Connotations to military world, sports, religion, machines  Euphemisms: Sonderbehandlung, Krise, Evakuierung WIAD 2018, Utrecht: Language for transition 28
  18. 18. LTI was (is) poisonous for the mind
  19. 19. Never underestimate the power of language…
  20. 20. “ Innovation Intelligenc e” ( 2015)
  21. 21. “Foster change by adapting the language. Hold a conversation to create a new language.” Paul Pangaro , Hugh Dubberly
  22. 22. “We are going agile…”
  23. 23. Fill in name of any large bank
  24. 24. Namahn Systemic design WIAD 2018, Utrecht: Language for transition 37
  25. 25. © Namahn 2017 What Definition Systemic design integrates systems thinking and human-centred design thinking, with the intention of helping designers cope with complex problems. WIAD 2018, Utrecht: Language for transition 38
  26. 26. Donella Meadows Peter Senge Peter Jones
  27. 27. © Namahn 2017 Systems thinking What is it about? Systems thinking aims at understanding and influencing the behaviour and the dynamics of a system. The core of systems thinking is about examining the linkages and interactions between the elements (or variables) that compose the entirety of the system. This is needed for wicked problems (climate change, migration, depletion of natural resources …) We are in the midst of a fundamental shift where the conventional ways of problem solving don’t work anymore - they even make it worse WIAD 2018, Utrecht: Language for transition 40
  28. 28. Wicked problems are systemic problems: problems due to issues inherent in the overall system, rather than due to a specific, individual, isolated factor.
  29. 29. © Namahn 2017 Systems thinking Why?  Design is hands-on and solution- oriented but misses the approach to handle complexity  We must enlarge our skills with systems thinking habits WIAD 2018, Utrecht: Language for transition 42
  30. 30. Namahn Namahn Three lenses: designing… WIAD 2018, Utrecht: Language for transition 43 INTERACTION S SERVICES SYSTEMS
  31. 31. Namahn Namahn systemic design toolkit WIAD 2018, Utrecht: Language for transition 44
  32. 32. “Our systemic design tools are workshop tools, tools for conversation…” Kris tel Van Ael
  33. 33. © Namahn 2017 Possibility space Paradoxical ideation How can we design for multiple needs and points of view?  Working with paradoxes  It is about AND thinking instead of OR thinking. WIAD 2018, Utrecht: Language for transition 47 Based on a paper by Kees Dorst
  34. 34. © Namahn 2017 Transition Transition by design How can we enfold our interventions in the existing system?  Creating the right conditions for change to happen:  Experiment (short term, small scale)  Scale up (long term, larger scale Building capability to adapt WIAD 2018, Utrecht: Language for transition 49 Based on a paper by Frank Geels and the ideas of David Bohm
  35. 35. Namahn Horizon 2020 project (EU): “SME instrument” Request: “Design the SME dashboard” WIAD 2018, Utrecht: Language for transition 50
  36. 36. Namahn “System lens”: co-creation of a system map WIAD 2018, Utrecht: Language for transition 51
  37. 37. Namahn “Service lens”: mapping the user journey WIAD 2018, Utrecht: Language for transition 52
  38. 38. Namahn Extra request: Project officer transition map  What impact will our newly designed SME dashboard have on the daily work of the Project officers (POs)?  Our extra tasks:  Validate the designs of the SME dashboard with the project officer (to get buy-in)  Map the user journey of the PO  Make a transition map: how will we plan our interventions to change the PO’s job, to enable to PO to support the SME using the newly offered services. WIAD 2018, Utrecht: Language for transition 54
  39. 39. Namahn Towards a language for transition… WIAD 2018, Utrecht: Language for transition 57
  40. 40. Foster conversation using a systemic lens
  41. 41. © Namahn 2017 Foster conversation, using a systemic lens  First, understand the current language of an organisation  Bring people together in one room (people with different backgrounds)  Use a systemic lens to find the connections between different parts of the system (including their different languages)  As a moderator: Improve your social skills (recognize social styles) WIAD 2018, Utrecht: Language for transition 59
  42. 42. Create a new language
  43. 43. © Namahn 2017 Create a new language  Mix different languages used in your organisation together, make new, unique combinations  Look for metaphors that help establish new concepts  For your interventions in the system, use verbs (active) rather than nouns (static)  Look for “constructive” words WIAD 2018, Utrecht: Language for transition 61
  44. 44. “prejudice vs. racism”
  45. 45. “sustainable vs. regenerative” Sc huyler Brown
  46. 46. © Namahn 2017 Creating a new language  Mix different languages used in your organisation together, make new, unique combinations  Look for metaphors that help establish new concepts  For your interventions in the system, use verbs (active) rather than nouns (static)  Look for “constructive” words  prejudice vs. racism  sustainable vs. regenerative (Schuyler Brown)  Beware of misuse and manipulation (euphemisms, negative connotations…) WIAD 2018, Utrecht: Language for transition 64
  47. 47. Namahn Thank you WIAD 2018, Utrecht: Language for transition 65 kp@namahn.com - @2pk_koen

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