Sunday, July 25, 2010

Hannah Chung's paper accepted to Design and Emotion Conference

One of our Bodystorming participants - Hannah Chung (Segal Design School, Northwestern University, mechanical engineering '12, Design For America student founder) submitted a paper co-authored by Assistant Professor Liz Gerber, “Emotional-Storyboarding: A Participatory Method for Emotional Designing for Children," that was accepted to the Design and Emotion 2010 conference.

After Chung won the Social Designer competition for her method of developing a storyboard for a children's story, she and Dr. Gerber wrote a case study outlining how to co-design with children to effectively incorporate the emotions to which children most readily relate.

Chung says Professor Gerber “pushed me to explore more about the process that I created, giving me confidence to find the meaning behind it.” Initially, the coloring book was the goal, but the competition was about the design process—not the coloring book itself.

“Through the research and application of the emotional storyboarding process, I realized the importance of using human centered design principles, designing for the users, and incorporating the emotion factor that the users can relate to,” Chung says. “I think these are the keys to deliver a strong story.”

Again, Congratulations! Hannah

DD+D's Dennis will hold Bodystorming sessions in NYC

If you're in New York please don't miss it!

Innovation Made Physical: Bodystorming with Dennis Schleicher

IxDA NYC is pleased to present two bodystorming workshops with Dennis Schleicher. Bodystorming is a participatory method for demonstrating or developing ideas in a physical setting. Team members will explore ideas and interactions physically, using props such as maps or photos to give a sense of place. Come explore this unique method for bringing innovate ideas to life!

Bodystorming goes beyond brainstorming by giving an idea a physical form and acting it out in different contexts. The process is designed to uncover how the relationships between people, locations and things affect ideas in ways that written scenarios cannot. It enables rapid iteration of ideas and relationships through a dynamic process of acting and evaluating. The process reveals how people interact with services, products and each other on a physical, emotional and intuitive level.

Register Now:

Saturday, August 7th 2010

Workshop 1: 9am - 11am Central Park
Workshop 2: 1pm - 3pm Prospect Park or McCarren Park

$15 per workshop
$25 for both workshops
Each workshop is limited to 30 people. Be sure to wear loose clothing for the event.

IMPORTANT!! Particpant slots are limited. So you must have a ticket to attend. Please only RSVP if you know you can attend.

Cancellations: Please email us ( as soon as you know you cannot use your ticket. We'll release your seat for one of your fellow practitioners and generate good IxD karma for all involved!

Dennis Schleicher is Director, User Experience Architecture at Sears Holdings in Chicago where he builds the teams that build the online brands for Sears Holdings Corporation, mainly and He has worked with American Public University Systems, Ford, Chrysler, General Motors, United States Air Force, Microsoft, Comcast, Dominos, White Castle, Bosch, and Numara.

Dennis uses his background in business and industrial anthropology to design interactive products to support the way people communicate and interact in their everyday and working lives. He is actively involved with the Information Architecture Institute, the ASIST Special Interest Group of Information Architecture, Overlap, and the Interaction Design Association (IxDA).

IxDA’s mission is to improve the human condition by advancing the discipline of Interaction Design. To do this, we foster a community of people that choose to come together to support this intention. IxDA relies on individual initiative, contribution, sharing and self-organization as the primary means for us to achieve our goals. IxDA comprises over 10,000 members, and many meet at events like this one in over 80 locations worldwide. If you or your friends are based in the suburbs or further from New York, you can find contact information for other local groups on the site.

Register Now @ , See you there!

Dennis on our Bodystorming session at Sears

For more info. on how you can use Bodystorming please contact

Thinking like a Storyteller

Cindy Chastain-Thinking Like a Storyteller from Interaction Design Association on Vimeo.

Experience Themes: An Element of Story Applied to Design

Playwrights weave stories around themes. Musicians create thematic concept albums. Even graphic designers envision around themes. So, why not interaction designers?

Designers too often neglect to define a common vision, or coordinating force, behind the scope of what they’re designing, making or building. Without some means of unifying their efforts they can easily end up with a product or service that falls short of its potential for delivering an optimal user experience. One path to holistic coordination is to employ the concept of themes as used by playwrights, fiction writers, and filmmakers. For storytellers, themes are used as a compass, a means of examining every element in the story for its possible implication with regard to theme. For readers, themes offer a cognitive and emotional response to the story that is often much deeper and more memorable than details of plot.

In experience design, themes can be used to:

  • pattern and unify product solutions
  • unifying teams,
  • assisting in the work of defining strategy
  • helping to design for the intangible pleasure, emotion and meaning in experience.

By aiming to capture the value and focus of the experience designers intend to deliver to users, themes guide in the design process and, by extension, strengthen the impact and meaning of that experience.

Drawing on personal experience, narrative theory and examples ranging from interactive products to film, this presentation is a call to action for designers to equip themselves with a deeper understanding of narrative techniques. It focuses on core aspects such as theme, scene-making, and sequencing to illustrate how thinking like a storyteller can make you a better designer. You’ll also learn how this approach can be a powerful basis for holistic design.

Cindy's bio:
Cindy has been exploring ways to engage an audience through storytelling, teaching, writing and design for over twelve years. Just recently she took on the role of Creative Director, Experience Architecture at Rapp, a global, full-service agency based in NYC. She’s led projects for clients ranging from BBC Worldwide to Showtime, Fuse, Madison Square Garden, Coca-Cola and Unilever.Cindy earned an MFA in screenwriting from Columbia University in New York and a BS in Radio, TV, Film from Northwestern University. In addition to moonlighting as a filmmaker and screenwriter, she is in the process of researching a book that explores how the elements of story can be used as a framework for design. She also coordinates UX Bookclub NYC.

DD+D has a NEW workshop, Embodied Dramatic Personas and Realistic Scenarios. This participatory workshop, most recently presented for Critical Mass's ( Insight and Planning team by Byron, helps persona writers to use theatre techniques to develop their character building and storytelling skills. For more info. please contact

Refrences: , C. Palle , N. Barday

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Byron (DD+D) co-facilitates, The Marshmallow Challenge at the IxDA meeting/summer bash!

Event date: July 22, 2010 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm;

IDEO Chicago, 626 W Jackson Blvd., Floor 7, Chicago, IL 60661.

Event description: Come reconnect with your design community peers, commiserate over a summer of crazy clients, share stories, celebrate the sunshine, have a cocktail or two.

We will be doing The Marshmallow Challenge (learn more here: with prizes and food. Come for a fun evening with fellow designers and design appreciators!

Sponsored by IxDA, IDEO and Design Kitchen!
DD+D is a member of IxDA Chicago.

IxDA -

We had eight teams, five people per team, and a lot of fun!
This diverse group of designers, researchers, students, and entrepreneurs had 18 minutes to design the tallest freestanding structure using only spaghetti, string, tape, and ingenuity with a marshmallow on top.

As an entrepreneur, I know the importance of prototyping early, putting that “marshmallow” on top many times before it actually stands freely on a strong foundation. I thought this design exercise would teach the importance of prototyping and would also accomplish some of our IxDA Local Leaders goals.

The Marshmallow Challenge is an activity that required IxDA members to interact in different ways. Often we meet, listen and leave. This was our first attempt at breaking down some of the clicks and getting people meeting and working together on a fun design exercise. Our hope is to eventually introduce the group to community based organizations and their design challenges. IxDA Chicago would take on these design challenges as a way to expose the larger Chicagoland community to design thinking and its possibilities for changing institutions and individuals. We’ve discussed a conference featuring IxDA members as presenters and community based organizations as participants.

This user experience 101 conference would mean exposure to a style of thinking and doing that is much needed by many service based organizations. It’s also a great opportunity for IxDA’ ers to present and use their knowledge for a good cause.

As for our Marshmallow Challenge we didn’t have a winner within the time limit. However, one team was able to complete a freestanding structure minutes after the deadline. We heard explanations/excuses like, “It was gravity” “We started talking and time got away from us” “This can’t be done.”

Teams reported back that they found the Challenge thought provoking, useful and fun.

I suggest this exercise to design and non-design groups interested in team building, design thinking, prototyping , problem-solving and more.

( The Chicago area chapter of the global Interaction Design Association (IxDA) exists to bring together local area designers in all disciplines that overlap with interaction design, whether it be product, digital, space, research, or even business, that strive to create user-centered design solutions. This organization is volunteer-driven and always looking for sponsorship or hosts for upcoming events.If interested, please contact: )

Here are some pics from our Challenge at IDEO Chicago...

Aislinn Dewy, Senior Interaction Designer, IDEO and IxDA Local Leader
Byron Stewart, Owner, Design Lead DD+D Co-facilitators of The Marshmallow Challenge

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Traci Lepore joins the DD+D/Project Bodystorming Team!

Traci Lepore is a User Experience Designer that is committed to understanding and spreading insight about the metaphors between UXD and theater that can help derive a more human-centered design process. Traci has almost a decade of UXD experience working across a broad range of enterprise and consumer level applications for high tech, manufacturing and corporate business services industries. She is a skilled researcher and designer who is excited by the challenges of meeting the user needs, business and technical constraints to achieve the best design. Currently she is also a regular columnist for where her Dramatic Impact: Theater and the Creative Process of Design articles help to articulate her point of view.
Traci is also a long time actress and has performed in such shows as Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing, and Love Letters. It is the experiences she has had as an actress that have led to the insights and passion about the convergence of her two creative disciplines.
Traci holds an M.A. in Theater Education from Emerson College, and a B.S. in Communications Media from Fitchburg State College. Prior to being a UXD she was a graphic designer who worked mostly with marketing collateral development.

New DD+D Workshop!
Byron Stewart and Traci Lepore will present their workshop, Embodied Dramatic Personas and Realistic Scenarios for IxDA Chicago in October. This participatory workshop, most recently presented for Critical Mass's ( Insight and Planning team by Byron, helps persona writers to use theatre techniques to develop their character building and storytelling skills.
For more info. on the workshop please contact