While writing a presentation recently I found myself intuitively using elements of a design process.
research and ideate
I started by closely examining the design brief – the blurb about my presentation in the conference handout. This meant that I was actually preparing content that my listeners would be expecting to hear about.
I drafted in a number of different ways:
- penultimate on my ipad allowed me to sketch out all my ideas, quickly without having to refine them to early, without spending too much time working out what to write on and where to save it
- I drafted a structure in evernote, adding in some details to be fleshed out later.
During drafting I realised that my focus was on what I wanted my audience to hear, what I thought was needed in the way of context - I had a real human centred design approach – rather than focussing on what would be easy for me to present and just being able to reuse resources I focussed on the audience and what would be worthwhile for them.
point of view
I thought about the talk from the point of view of the audience – I empathised – and this led me to the simplest and best way to generate participation (in the design brief). I decided to use a twitter back channel and finish with a very quick walk through the first three elements of the design process using linoit.com as a digital post it note collector.
For my initial drafting I chose prezi rather than other presentation tools, as it was the most flexible. It was liberating to choose my presentation tool after I had decided on the content. This allowed the presentation to be driven by the design brief and not software driving the presentation.
I drafted the presentation quickly focusing on the immediate purpose of the talk – case study of change at my school, and then made four or five refinements as I developed anecdotes and examples that would allow the audience to relate to the case study.
implementation and evaluation
I implement the talk tomorrow and no doubt I’ll get feedback from colleagues! And that is a full cycle of the design process.
In this instance the “ideate” phase was spread all the way through as ideas of the final presentation were generated immediately in the initial research phase, but the process forced me to evaluate each of my ideas from the perspective of the audience so I didn’t just go with the same old ideas I normally would. Having the ideate phase occurring in the other phases is simply a representation of the fact that the process can be iterative and cyclical, where different elements or phases continuously interact.