The Power of a Conversation

This video is a time investment if you are in a rush, but I found it to be well worth the time. Maggie Breslin is a powerful speaker. She is a User Experience Designer and Researcher at the Mayo Clinic. In this presentation, she focuses on the importance of a conversation in the context of a visit with a medical professional....But I believe it to be important beyond that context alone.

Conversation is the key to understanding people. Meaningful conversation cannot be replaced by remote research methods. Satisfying conversations are important and relevant, and should not be pushed aside or de-prioritized. Conversation is how people determine quality and value. The presence of meaningful conversation presents opportunity. Think about that as you begin your next development effort.

Maggie's point about "ambiguity" in medicine and the lack of knowledge with regards to how a medication works is not unlike the "how" or "why" in the innovation process. To innovate, you must define something new, and the search for that new thing is fraught with ambiguity. We make ambiguity manageable through translation. Translating information into usable content for a patient at a clinic or for a designer on a product development team is a skill. Understandable information is actionable to a meaningful purpose. It is what we as designers should strive for.

For me, this video provoked some parallel thought processes with regards to design. I hope it does the same for you. Enjoy!