Posts tagged as ‘Generative Tools’

Creative Sessions: Playing with serious stuff

Creative Session photos (11)A creative session is a gathering of people who, following some steps and rules shaped by a facilitator (or organizer), let their creativity loose. Working together, in one or more teams, they eventually generate ideas for the subject matter in question. The session doesn’t need to have very strict guidelines in order to work. As long as it is well organized most likely creativity and inspiration sooner or later emerge (Grudin & Pruitt, 2004).

I have participated in a couple of creative sessions and always found them extremely useful as a means to let your mind go free and be creative in solving problems or in generating ideas and so I wanted to share with you the process that I followed while organizing one such activity during my Design for Interaction MSc. graduation project in which we were dealing with emotions in hotel environments.

Beerbuddies: Using the personality of cartoon characters to define people’s personalities

As a part of my Design for Interaction Master’s degree, I took part of a project called Exploring Interactions, for which I was trying to empower bartenders against unwanted behaviour in their bars.

As a field research, I organized some group interviews with local bartenders and made use of some generative methods (such as collage making) in order to gain more information regarding their context and the interactions involved in their job, specially those regarding the customers and more specifically those involving customers showing some sort of unwanted behaviour. After thorough analysis and fiddling with different ideas, the Beerbuddies were born.

The BeerBuddies are meant as a tool to reflect the personality and mood of bar-goers through the use of beer coasters with cartoon characters on them.

Context mapping: A look at the advantages of applying generative tools “in situ”

Generative tools are an excellent means of acquiring information from your users, but it is sometimes
difficult for the participants of your research to get started with them. And although using sensitizing
techniques such as workbooks or disposable cameras are great ways of introducing your participants into the subject at hand, when there is a restriction in time these are not easy or desirable to apply.
In these cases a good way of getting the participants more involved into the subject is by conducting group sessions in the location where the actions are supposed to take place. The surrounding space and objects can trigger the memory of the participants more easily than if they are interviewed in a neutral location, and they get the opportunity to better illustrate their points by re-enacting certain actions in the right place. In situ sessions also have a positive effect in the quality of the