Gary Klein, Brian Moon, and Robert Hoffman, "Making Sense of Sensemaking 1: Alternative Perspectives." " Synthesis reveals a cohesion and sense of continuity; synthesis indicates a push towards organization, reduction, and clarity. Conf. Because synthesis is frequently relegated to an informal step in the overall process, it is practiced implicitly; a single designer forges connections in the privacy of her own thoughts, and performs only rudimentary sensemaking. Through multiple steps, this method first demands the articulation of individual design insights, and then forces a structured and formal pairing of insights with existing patterns. Johnson-Laird has argued contradictorily that, in the context of generative and creative problem solving, the insight is developed not in a "flash" at all. If the beginning state (the research data) is compared to the end state (the design idea), it is not immediately clear how one derived the latter from the former. a form of inference. Yet despite the acknowledged importance of this phase of the design process, there continues to appear something magical about synthesis when encountered in professional practice: because synthesis is frequently performed privately ("in the head" or "on scratch paper"), the outcome is all that is observed, and this only after the designer has explicitly begun the form-making portion of the design process. The designer will ask questions of each user about their jobs and record details of their responses. Liberal arts-based skills are important in âsensemakingâ activities, or cultivating insights for exploring new worlds. Radio Garden is drawing on other systems to pull together radio stations and providing the same content that can be found elsewhere, but it’s organizing it. By taking the data out of the cognitive realm (the head), removing it from the digital realm (the computer), and making it tangible in the physical realm in one cohesive visual structure (the wall), the designer is freed of the natural memory limitations of the brain and the artificial organizational limitations of technology. As an artifact, the map is intended to illustrate relationships. To an observer (commonly a client), the physical output, themes, and design ideas produced seem arbitrary, or magically derived. Intelligent Systems (IEEE) 21:4 (July/August 2006), 71.6 Brenda Dervin, "Sense-Making's Journey from Metatheory to Methodology to Methods: An Example Using Information Seeking and Use as Research Focus," in Sense-Making Methodology Reader (Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 2003), 141—46. Identify design patterns relevant to the core domain. Once externalized, the ideas become "real"—they become something that can be discussed, defined, embraced, or rejected by any number of people, and the ideas become part of a larger process of synthesis. Many changes in constraints lead nowhere, but, with perseverance, a change may be made that leads at once to a solution of the problem. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. But I like the idea of leaning into a sensemaking approach to help us address big challenges: âGood leaders understand that sensemaking is a continuous process, and they let the map emerge. Applied: Methods of Synthesis. By applying these methods in practice, by commonly and continually describing the role of synthesis, and by considering synthesis in Design Research, both practitioners and researchers can better realize how life experience drives design decisions, and how inferential leaps can systematically drive innovation. Consider, for example, a product designer tasked with creating an innovative new toothbrush. It has served its purpose in delineating the design space, has allowed for a collaborative process of sensemaking, and has provided a spatial understanding of structure. Abductive Thinking and Sensemaking: The Drivers of Design Synthesis I. There is a tacit consideration of the new constraints in the strategy. Both Peirce and Johnson-Laird agree that abductive reasoning is related to insight and creative problem solving, and it is this creative problem solving that is at the heart of the design synthesis methods that follow. These elements include people, places, systems, artifacts, organizations, actions, processes, methods, and other entities and activities. Cognition is the meaningful internal embellishment of â¦ Clients are left to trust the designer, and more often than not, the clients simply reject the insight as being "blue sky" or simply too risky. The methods and principles described later (in Section II) share a common grounding philosophy that is tied to both cognitive psychology and mathematics. Human Factors in Computing Systems, the Proceedings of CHI (Association for Computing Machinery, 2003), 225—32. Each chart will look like this: Reframe. Unlike deduction or induction, abductive logic allows for the creation of new knowledge and insight—C is introduced as a best guess for why B is occurring, yet C is not part of the original set of premises. Extrapolate design implications. Frame Reflection: Towards the Resolution of Intractable Policy Controversies (New York: Basic Books, 1994). An agile approach to innovation is intended to be flexible and dynamic, but it can also be flaky if we’re, We can’t change what we don’t understand and can’t understand what we can’t make sense of. During synthesis, it is not the discrete elements of data that are interesting so much as the relationship between these elements. We articulate these embellishments through speaking and writing â the âwhat I sayâ part of Weickâs recipe. This normative framing is a perspective that highlights "a few salient features and relations from what would otherwise be an overwhelmingly complex reality." Together, these three interconnected concepts form the bedrock for which intentional change is made. This is the form of logic traditionally associated with scientific inquiry: Each time I do A under the same conditions, B occurs.Inductively, the next time I do A under these conditions,B will occur. To better understand abduction, it's necessary to understand the duality of the forms of logic that have been more traditionally embraced by western society in argument: deduction and induction. The user research sessions will produce pages of verbal transcript, hundreds of pictures, and dozens of artifact examples. (Within the system each element is compared on a consistent basis.) Data prioritization will eventually identify multiple elements that can be seen as complementary, and thus a hierarchical data structure is created. - William James, It's hard to wrestle with sports knowing that it both creates a positive distraction and some joy for many people (â¦, Do you ever take stock of this year and find yourself laughing at the utterly overwhelming absurdity of all that'sâ¦. Creation of semantic connections between elements. Design thinking adopts the language of the humanities, but avoids deep understanding of context in favour of rigid rules, processes, and the â¦ The reframed design context will have produced new constraints or implications, or will have highlighted existing constraints and implications that may have been otherwise hidden or overlooked. An insight could then be developed—that mouthwash has an implicit connection of taste and smell with going to the dentist, which taints the product in a negative light. As it affords action-based understanding at both a gross and fine level, both its creation and its usage become tools for sensemaking. Sensemaking is about large or complex information sets and creating meaning and understanding that can be turned into action. When a combination makes sense and generates a design idea, the idea is written on a green note. The design output and solutions can be unique, novel, and even exciting, but because there is no artifact-based procedural trail, the client isn't aware of the various internal deliberations that have occurred. using lines and circles.  18 Jennifer Tidwell, Designing Interfaces: Patterns for Effective Interaction Design (Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly Media, Inc, 2005). New elements are added at this stage as appropriate. This is an attempt to make obvious the sensemaking conditions described above; emphasis is placed on finding relationships and patterns between elements, and forcing an external view of things.
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