#designthinking

Designing For Social

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A member of our team spent two weeks in England and found some creative social benches. We are very interested in the use (and occupation) of public spaces that incentivise social gathering. Tim Lucas wrote a book on the subject focusing on how Brazil deals with social, both online and offline - an interesting read on the subject. Here in São Paulo we have a government program to activate spaces lie this one:

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What are your experiences on the city you live? Are actions like this working? Would you like to see something like this near you? we wold like to hear from you in the comment section!

(This post comes from our Designing Deeper blog
(Este post foi retirado do nosso blog Designing Deeper) 

Artist Creates Masks For Traffic lights in Brazil

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Narcelio Grud, an urban artist from the Brazilian state of Ceará, decided to take action regarding the high death rate related to traffic on his home state. According to oficial numbers in 2015 2.620 deaths occurred due to traffic accidents. With this on mind the artist decided to give traffic lights a new ‘face’ in an attempt to get drivers attention.

The artists transformed traffic lights with masks made out of fabric resembling pop culture characters like David Bowie, Bart Simpson, Batman, Banksy, amongst others.

The state government released an official statement calling the action an act of vandalism. It’s rally interesting to see the point of friction of the artist disruption. He planned behavioural nudges to interrupt default daily behaviours. He modified the urban landscape to cause reflection.

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Do you think this kind of action can make a difference? What are your experiences in you home city? Would you like to see something like this on the traffic lights around your neighborhood? Do behaviourla nudges like this one help make a city safer? Let us know in the comments.

(This post comes from our Designing Deeper blog
(Este post foi retirado do nosso blog Designing Deeper) 

Mental Health and the Advertising Industry

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Writing for Contagious the Head of Copy at R/GA London talks about her experience with mental heath disorders and how the ad industry deals with it. According to the author the industry is overtaken with the promised of connectedness. Yet her argument is that even tough we plan for a connected world we are not experiencing the connections.

As she writes:

I wonder if, the more that we say the word ‘connected’, the harder it is to question. And the more that we’re literally digitally connected, telling stories designed for collective consumption (and likes), the more shadowy our quiet, vulnerable, messy, ugly internal worlds become.

She goes further and argues that:

In spite of mindfulness apps aplenty, and the ever-expanding wellness industry, actual conversations about mental health in adland remain hushed. The closest we seem to get is talking about running, spinning, yoga, kale – the need to calm the mind sanctioned under the guise of self-care, but still unnamed.

She explains that we are in need a more honest relationship with ourselves and our work colleagues but acknowledges difficulties:

It’s hard to be honest in an environment like advertising. For the most part, it thrives on competition and awards. […] If we can start by naming our failures, by being honest, then perhaps the state of our mental health has more of a chance.

To stress her point she comes to an honest conclusion,

If we aren’t able to name and talk about the pain we’re experiencing we can’t be supported to recover. Speaking openly is our best chance to address mental health, and more than this, it’s our collective responsibility.

What is your experience while at work? Do you feel there could be an open conversation about mental health? If you work at an ad agency, are people interested in the subject? What about being connected, do you feel we are working toward a more understanding workplace? Let us know in the comments.

(This post comes from our Designing Deeper blog
(Este post foi retirado do nosso blog Designing Deeper) 

Has Our Smartphone Obsession Became the Norm?

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Think about your daily life. How often do you see yourself or those around you completely absorbed by the screen of their cellphone instead of the people around you? If you put yourself in that category, thanks for your honesty. You are not alone.

As the number of people using smartphones and who are conected to the internet permanently we are increasingly creating new behavioral norms and new “social movements” as a result.

According to a new study from researchers at the University of Kent, in the UK published in Computers in Human Behavior, “phubbing” — snubbing someone in a social setting in favor of a phone — has evolved from a psychological habit and sign of technological maladjustment to an acceptable social norm. 

The researchers argued that, How-ever, little is known about what causes phubbing behavior, andhow it has become an acceptable or normative feature of moderncommunication. In the current study, we develop and test a modelexplaining these factors. Their study surveyed 251 smartphone-using participants, asking them how often they have ‘phubbed’ friends and how often they’ve experienced smartphone-related snubbing in their daily life.

Things like lack of impulse control and “anxiety about being left out of the information circuit” are some reasons why people are addict to their smartphones. But all this has become acceptable by society.

[..] bad behavior begets bad behaviors in a vicious cycle of strategic reciprocity: If you’ve ever been ignored by a friend who just can’t tear his eyes away from Twitter, you’re likely to pull out your phone and do the same.

The phubbing phenomenon has not gone unnoticed by the creative community. Perhaps the most famous reflection on the trend came from the American artist Eric Pickersgill, from North Carolina, who decided to illustrate how dependent people have become on mobile phones.

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The photographer asked subjects to pose with their mobile phones and then removed them to take the image. His series, called Removed, shows people posing in every day settings with imaginary mobile phones. Meanwhile, in Brazil Caio Andrade created a project called “Cartão Zona Off” which allows people to use parking ticker inspired vouchers to request friends not use their mobile phones.

If you reflect on your own behavioral changes in the last few years, what do you  observe about  how you and those around you are creating new social norms as a result of the technologies in our hands?

(This post comes from our Designing Deeper blog)
(Este post foi retirado do nosso blog Designing Deeper)

Smalltalk or Smarttalk?

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The elevator once served as a cliche for symbolizing a zone of societal smalltalk. Do you remember the last time you had a meaningful conversation at an elevator of any type? Increasingly the reality is that you get in, another person gets in and you don’t even bother talking about the weather. If you don’t zone your eyes in on the screens passing 20 second adverts and newsflashes you probably dig into your pocket and pull out your cell-phone in autopilot without even thinking about the probable lack of coverage inside the elevator.  

We found an interesting article on Medium written by Omid & Pete, two friends and fellow Googlers that like to talk about the intersection of life, tech, creativity and the future. Their article is about a new social phenomenon called a “Conversation Gala”.

‘ My friend had invited me to this event where I barely knew anyone. I was encouraged to meet new people and have meaningful conversations — all subject to one single rule: I could not talk about things I could discover through the person’s Facebook profile’ 

In writing about the experience of talking about deeply intimate subjects with complete strangers they found the event weird, “but it was awesome at the same time. And it got me thinking. What if we could redefine the way we meet each other and how we initiate conversations? How could we design this moment of two people introducing themselves to each other to be more interesting, meaningful and worthwhile? What if we moved from Smalltalk to “Smarttalk”?


Their learnings about the way we use conversations in our daily life include the following: in order to make yourself memorable, you need to work on both content and delivery. Their tips are valuable for creating more meaningful interactions in different social situations…

1) Don’t ask about things you could learn through their Facebook profile
2) Listening > Speaking.
3) Address people by their name!
4) Be intentional about making them comfortable
5) Finish strong

How are communications technologies impacting upon your conversation culture? Are you ready for some smart talk? Would you attend such an event in your own city if it existed?

(This post comes from our Designing Deeper blog)

(Este post foi retirado do nosso blog Designing Deeper)

Earlier this year we were lucky enough to attend the Wisdom2.0 event in San Francisco along with a lot of people interested in the intersection between technology and Mindfulness. As we are always interested in where people centric innovation fits into this cultural moment we wanted to share some of the videos from the summit from the presentations which we found most inspiring or challenging. 

The first video we want to share came from a debate titled: Mindfulness and Medicine: The Future of Healthcare.

The discussion includes Mark Bertolini, the inspirational CEO of Aetna, Jon Kabat-Zinn famous in mindfulness circles and creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and Tim Ryan the highly engaging U.S. Representative for Ohio’s 13th congressional district. They discussed in detail their experiences with health care and asked a lot of provocative questions about how as individuals. companies and society as a whole, we will need to deal with mental health and wellness in increasingly technological context. Amongst the many insights we took here are some selected quotes from parts of the discussion which we found most revealing…

“We don’t have a health care system, we have a disease care system.”

“Why don’t we create a mindful medical treatment that goes into the bones, genome, soul?”

“Why do we believe we are in a community by using the devices inside of our pockets?”

How do you see the future relationship to wellness and health care in your country? Are you satisfied with the relationship between yourself and your physician? Do you feel medicine is created with patients in mind? How will we as a society deal with such issues going forwards? We’d love to hear from you.

(This post comes from our Designing Deeper blog)

(Este post foi retirado do nosso blog Designing Deeper)

What Can I Do To De-stress During The Day?

Every person has their own unique ways to relax. In my case, to tends to revolve around good music. If that’s not enough then maybe I’ll try to watch a movie.  What do you do to control stress?

We in a cultural moment in which there are an ever increasing number of apps for mobile devices that promise to help us de-stress or focus ourselves. Some of them help you to meditate, create deep-breathing exercises, give you calming sleep related sounds and everything that you need to be more relaxed and focus at any time of the day. 

Some of the newest and most popular apps on the market right now include:

1. Omvana
2. Headspace  
3. Hear And Now
4. Pacifica
5. Buddhify 2
6. Pause
7. Rain Rain Sleep Sounds
8. Stop, Breathe & Think
9. Prune
10. Wa Kingyo
11. Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector

If you wanna to know more about the apps above, click here.

If you have tried any of the apps above or any others for such purposes we would love to know your experiences and how you found them? Also if you prefer to meditate without technology what is your opinion of these social apps? 

(This post comes from our Designing Deeper blog)

(Este post foi retirado do nosso blog Designing Deeper)

As we previously posted, we were year Wisdom 2.0 conference in February. We want to share some of the best moments of the experience and one which we especially enjoyed was that with the amazing Russell Simmons, Hip Hop mogul,  entrepreneur, producer and author amongst other things. 

In the session Russell starts by leading a 5 minute mantra meditation and we encourage you to do it just to see how long, or short, those five minutes feel. Go, do it, and tell us what you felt.

After the meditation Russell talks about his experience with mindfulness meditation and how he is applying the Transcendental Meditation technique with kids in schools in some of the most deprived neighborhoods in Los Angeles.

Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

(This post comes from our Designing Deeper blog)

(Este post foi retirado do nosso blog Designing Deeper)

The Death of Empathy? Brands, conversations and ethnographic insight - a manifesto?

One of the things that most interests us here at #designingdeeper are the questions of how our behavior is being impacted by technology and this article from The Right Brain Studio which was inspired by the writing of Sherry Turkle is very interesting. Turkle, is a specialist in the psychology of online connectivity, and her focus for the past five years has been, “What has happened to face-to-face conversation in a world where so many people would rather text than talk?

We already know that our smart phones are are addictive and distracting. Our devices connect us to others and the world at large, but can be isolating as well.  Not only is texting no substitute for real conversation, but the mere presence of a phone on the dinner table, at home or in a restaurant, is proven to dramatically reduce the odds that a conversation will ever transcend the superficial.

Citing a recent column by Turkle about empathy and technology the post states that…

“Across generations, technology is implicated in this assault on empathy. We’ve gotten used to being connected all the time, but we have found ways around conversation — at least from conversation that is open-ended and spontaneous, in which we play with ideas and allow ourselves to be fully present and vulnerable. But it is in this type of conversation — where we learn to make eye contact, to become aware of another person’s posture and tone, to comfort one another and respectfully challenge one another — that empathy and intimacy flourish. In these conversations, we learn who we are.” 

The provocation by the The Right Brain Studio that - It seems that Big Data may be the empathy-killing, marketing equivalent to texting - is very interesting. At a recent event by IBM called ‘Amplify’ the company presented technology that focus on cognitivity. This an emerging area that integrates data mining, pattern recognition and natural language processing to mimic the way the human brain works or in short making computers “think” more like humans.  90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. That’s a huge number and much of it’s coming from consumers. Much of this is dark data, messy, human information and it’s passing right by marketers unnoticed and unused. It is not hard to see why cognitive computing is so incredibly important. This at a time when face-to-face talk is getting more difficult. The Right Brain Studio however argue that marketers need to find ways to start a conversation and be part of this new world. 

For where are the real conversations now taking place between consumers and brands?In most enterprise-sized companies, simply making it to the next level or getting that next assignment often holds a strong priority over challenging the status quo in the search of true innovation. This puts a premium on process and conformity rather than the deep, soul searching conversations required to affect meaningful change. 

For those of us who work in ethnographic research, the article is to some extent preaching to the converted. “Marketers should be out talking to existing and potential customers, face-to-face, on a regular basis. In Turkle’s words, these should be “open-ended and spontaneous (conversations), in which we (can) play with ideas and allow (our customers) to be fully present and vulnerable. (For it is) this type of conversation…that (allow) empathy and intimacy (to) flourish.””

If Big Data is the equivalent of mobile devices when it comes to empathy, then the need for brands and marketeers in general to spend more time engaged in dialogic listening will only increase. However, in a culture increasingly obsessed with the immediate such practices require a culture shift rather than mere lip service. 

(This post comes from our Designing Deeper blog)
(Este post foi retirado do nosso blog Designing Deeper)

A New Breed of Designers? Designing for Experience

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Design has become incredibly multifaceted in recent years, encompassing subfields such as interaction design, user experience design, customer experience design and service design. Such is the assertion from the Swedish school Hyper island in it’s literature for its new course Designing for Experience.   Changes in the relationship between people and brands have shown trends in favor of an experience beyond just the product itself and its price. With this comes a market demand for what is known as experience design. This is a discipline that goes beyond graphic design or product design, requiring very different and complementary skills such as anthropology, psychology, ergonomics, computer science and marketing among others. Designers are required to design the ultimate user experience across a range of connected services and devices throughout an entire customer journey

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Data indicate that this is not a passing trend and we are experiencing a real change in the way of relating to the consumer, creating opportunities for new brands emerge more aligned to the new mindset of its audience or to traditional brands renew and incorporate new habits to its production. One of the challenges of this new mindset is the formation of multidisciplinary teams and professionals who must have a broader strategic vision about the user experience. The Digital Experience Design MA which Hyper Island offers allows students to create digital experiences, products and services at an advanced level. It identifies the skills, knowledge and experiences needed to thrive and lead the change within the industry. It provides ‘real-industry’ experiences through practical projects and live briefs from leading brands.

(This post comes from our Designing Deeper blog
(Este post foi retirado do nosso blog Designing Deeper) 

Would You Use A Brain Sensing Band?

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Does the photo above look like something out of an 1980′s futuristic science fiction novel? In reality the future is with us today in the form of the Muse brain sensing headband and the device is being used by Yale and Harvard university to improve brain fitness.

We first heard of this technology at the Wisdom 2.0 Summit. it seems to sit in the very popular sweet spot that lies between the mix of wearable technology and mindfulness. The product is increasingly available in stores across the USA.

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MUSE is a technology that wants to help you meditate, exercise your brain, and uses sensors to measure how your brain is reacting while you do it. Its main goal is to be a meditation companion according to MUSE website:

Muse is the first tool in the world that can give you accurate, real-time feedback on what’s happening in your brain while you meditate. It provides motivational challenges and rewards to encourage you to build a regular practice.

How do you feel using technology to help your meditation? Do you think technology and mindfulness go hand in hand? Do you use any device or app like this one? Fancy giving one a test drive?

(This post comes from The Listening Agency's Designing Deeper blog)

(Este post foi retirado do blog Designing Deeper da The Listening Agency)

Can a T-Shirt Help Express Your Current State Of Mental Health?

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In his influential book Enchanted Objects David Rose of MIT asks the question as to whether knowing more about what’s going on with those we love we could alter our behavior in response? The workplace can be a very tricky place for people with mental health conditions. Psychophobia - discrimination against people based on intelligence, mental health or mental disorder - is often disregarded as an issue by employers. Often people feel they need to hide their mental illness and some go as far as to say they felt they had to come out of the Bipolar/Depression/OCD closet at work.

We found a great project (via psfk) by Dani Balenson that incorporates mental illness into different t-shirt designs as a way to start a conversation on the subject.

According to the website:

The mission of this collection is to “encourage self-acceptance, change perceptions, and support new conversations about mental health.” Since wearing t-shirts are often reflections of people’s identities, beliefs and interests– these designs are meant to empower people and build community.
There are four t-shirt designs available at the moment: Bipolar Disorder; OCD; Depression and ADHD.

As David Rose reminds us, in Little Women, Jo, the character most closely associated with herself, Louisa May Alcott, has a pillow that she positions on a parlor couch to indicate her current mood… Leave me alone, I want to think. Low-tech, but effective.

“Enchanted technologies are just beginning to help with this kind of understanding. Today’s objects aren’t distracting and don’t attempt to probe into deep emotions, but they do encourage connections and enable the surfacing of emotional content with people you care about”

What are you doing to fight against Psychophobia in your workplace? How would you deal with a co-worker wearing one of this t-shirts? Let’s start a conversation.

(This post comes from our Designing Deeper blog)

(Este post foi retirado do nosso blog Designing Deeper)

How Millennials Relate to Their Workplace

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When it comes to workplace environment what are the perks you can’t live without? What would you perfer, granola bars, tree houses, slides or a quite place to focus in your work?  

To that effect, we found a great article (Via CITYLAB) about the kind of perks that are offered in modern workplaces.

The article questions how companies are investing their money with freebies and quirky spaces inside their offices.

[…] a new survey asks whether those accommodations are really what workers are after. What if the key to workplace contentment and productivity isn’t more stuff—sleeker desks, a cornucopia of food to fight over—but more quiet? 

A study by the Oxford University’s business college shows very interesting facts about how millennials relate to the workplace: 

More than half of the employees complained about noise. The researchers found that Millennials were especially likely to voice concern about rising decibels, and to wear headphones to drown out the sound or leave their desks in search of quieter corners. 

How do you feel about your workplace? Do you identified with the claims millennials are making on this study? Is the noise bothering you? Would you trade free food for a quieter place? And do you use your headfones to signal your availability to talk?

(This post comes from our Designing Deeper blog)
(Este post foi retirado do nosso blog Designing Deeper)

This Agency's Office Literally Disappears After Hours So You Can't Work Late

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What if at six pm your work desk vanishes? The agency Heldergroen found a way to do exactly that. According to the article (Via Adweek) overtime it’s discouraged and balance is required.

Once the chairs and other workplace paraphernalia are cleared away, the space is free for evening and weekend use as “a dance floor, yoga studio … or anything else you can think of—the floor is literally yours,” creative director Sander Veenendaal tells Fast Company.

On the article page you’ll find a timelapse videos of how it works. it’s very cool.

(This post comes from our Designing Deeper blog)
(Este post foi retirado do nosso blog Designing Deeper)

A meditation teacher’s 5 tips for breaking your screen addiction once and for all

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We really enjoyed this article by Jon Krop (Via Up Worthy) about how we can train ourselves to better deal with our addiction to technology. As he writes…

“Smartphones are amazing — I barely remember life before the poop emoji — but it’s time to admit that we have a bit of a problem. Think about the last time you had dinner with a friend, and she got up to go to the bathroom. Be honest: Did you reach for your phone? Was there something specific you needed to look at, or was it just a reflex”

As Jon quite rightly argues, “Most of us are addicted to distraction. It’s as if going a single second without something to occupy our minds would be intolerable. There’s a compulsion to fill the empty space with something to read, watch, listen to, eat, etc. This is a very old human problem. Scientist and philosopher Blaise Pascal nailed it back in the 17th century: “All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.”

Much as the work of MIT’s Sherry Turtle has identified, as individuals and as a society we will increasingly need to seek ways to evolve our behaviors to reflect this addiction. Krop offers up 5 ideas…

1. The next time you take the subway, try not to pull out your phone, a book, or any other distraction from the time you board until you reach the next stop. 

2. When you need to walk somewhere, experiment with leaving your headphones in your pocket.

3. Let’s keep it real: You probably read on the toilet.

4. Make your morning device-free.

5. Speaking of notifications, do you really need to hear about it every time someone Snap-grams your Yik Yak? (I’m old.)

Prepared to try them out and share your feedback with us!

(This post comes from our Designing Deeper blog)
(Este post foi retirado do nosso blog Designing Deeper)