Posts Tagged ‘Dave Gray’

Gamestorming: Design Practices for Co-creation and Engagement – Dave Gray talk at UX Week 2010

February 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Just watched Dave Gray’s Gamestorming presentation at UX Week 2010, shown below:

I gotta say I really like the subtitle of this presentation – Design Practices for Co-creation and Engagement. I’m really warming up lately to the value of games and collobarative design – having attended a Business Model Gameference in San Francisco this past weekend. The workshop really impressed upon me the value of collaborative idea generation and visual thinking in innovation and problem solving.

Oh, and I loved this slide from the presentation:

As is probably obvious, it’s a cartoon drawing of workers in office cubicles. Says Gray:

And this is the way we’ve designed our workplaces. … [The modern office cubicle] is designed not for creativity, but for efficiency. We need to move … from thinking of our workplaces as factories to thinking about them as collaboratories, or environments for collaboration.

Amen to that.



Gamestorming – XPLANE’s Dave Gray talks about his new book

August 7, 2010 2 comments

Dave Gray of XPLANE has a new book out titled Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers – a book that he has co-authored with Sunni Brown and James Macanufo.

Gamestorming is a book about creating an environment for creativity and innovation in organizations through playing team-oriented games. I currently have the book on order, so I can write about it yet. But here’s the blog that inspired the book. And here’s a wonderful video of Dave Gray at IxD10 presenting the ideas that motivate the book:

There is one segment of the video that I particularly like, starting around 26:40 – and it’s on the topic of Artifacts. Here’s Dave Gray:

What is an Artifact? Usually an artifact is something we find in an archeological dig. … But artifacts are usually portable, as opposed to the Parthenon. An artifact is usually something that people have imbued with meaning of some kind and we may or may not know what is it. But it’s an object that has meaning to people, that meant something, and they used it to carry meaning around, like we do with our laptops or books.

So what Artifacts do for us in knowledge games, is artifacts give us a way to make information tangible, so we can put our meaning into motion and make it portable.

So when you’re trying to have a meeting, and all the stuff is just floating around in the air and people are just talking about it and there are no tangible artifacts … you’re expecting everyone to hold all this information in their head, and it’s very hard [for people] to actually think what they want to do with this information, when they’re just trying to track it.

In a nutshell, artifacts “anchor” meaning so that it’s tangible, explicit and can be communicated/shared.

I’ll update this post once I’ve had a chance to read the book.


Developing deep insight into your Customers – XPLANE’s Empathy Maps

August 2, 2010 9 comments

OK, more thoughts on Alexander Osterwalder‘s new book Business Model Generation – see my previous related blog posts here and here.

The topic of this post is an innovative technique for developing a “deep” understanding of your customers – their environment, behavior, concerns, and aspirations – called the Empathy Map. The Empathy Map is presented by Osterwalder in his book, but was originally developed by Dave Gray at XPLANE .

Introducing the Empathy Map

Here’s a snapshot of what the Empathy Map looks like:

The Empathy Map is both a framework and a technique, and it’s typically developed collaboratively by a diverse team by placing sticky notes on a wall. If you’d like to download a template of this poster, you can do so here.

Developing a deeper understanding of your customers by understanding:

  • Who they are in their world
  • Where they spend their time
  • Who their friends are
  • Whose opinions influence them
  • What they SAY their deepest aspirations and beliefs are
  • What feelings and beliefs ACTUALLY guide their behavior

You get the idea. Also, pay special attention to potential conflicts between what a customer might say, and what they may truly think or feel.

Empathy Map in Action

The image below is an example Empathy Map taken from the Business Model Generation book that models the customer profile of a CIO.

The motivation, in this instance, for creating the CIO profile is to understand the key factors that weigh on their decision to renew Microsoft Office product licensing agreements.

The details are not so important, and they’re a bit hard to read, but the important points are:

  1. The value of formally modelling a customer’s beliefs and motivations in their world
  2. To assemble a diverse group of stakeholders to develop this profile of the customer
  3. And to use this profile to gain insight into new Value Propositions that speak to a customer’s most important problems, values, aspirations, beliefs.

Osterwalder has a nice blog post titled The Power of Immersion and Visual Thinking, where he describes a workshop he hosted with Dutch company JAM that led a group through the Empathy Map exercise. It’s a nice post.

In conclusion …

So that’s the Empathy Map – a simple and easy way to gain deeper insight into your customers to develop new value propositions and products and services.