what is the designer stereotype

15 Mar 2005 - 8:44pm
9 years ago
34 replies
1609 reads
Peter Marquardt
2005

Hello, if you detest and hate off-topic questions from deep inside
your heart please ignore this post. I promise this will be the only
time I do this.

First of all I'd like to introduce myself as a new member of the list.

I'm Peter Marquardt, a german graphic-design student in his second
semester soon. Because the process of making an interface usable has
fascinated me ever since I learned about its difficulties and because
I want to benefit from the experience brought forward here in order to
broaden my view beyond pure graphic-design I joined this list and have
read quite a few websites about the topics related. My first two books
on usability which I picked by gut-feeling so far are on their way to
my mail box.

Now for my actual question. I apolozige if it isn't exactly on topic
but I realized just now, that quite a lot of you are designers or have
to deal with them on a regular basis. So you are the perfect crowd to
ask the question since I don't have any other contact to designers
(yet).

Here is the question:

What image comes to your mind when you think of a typical designer,
preferrably in the graphic-design and screen-/web-design areas?
I want to know about the optical tell tale signs in your head that
would make a designer distinguishable from a crowd. I encourage you to
mention clichés and stereotypical images. What does he wear, what's
his hairstyle, how is he built and what accessories does he have?

To explain why I am asking this: Unrelated to my studies I am
researching how I can depict what designers and people having to do
with them would recognize as the appearance of a designer in as little
as two colors. This is a free-time project and I am doing it to learn
.... something :) It's mainly for fun and I will probably make a few
t-shirts with the finished pictograph.

I once again apologize for the off-topicness. I am lacking serious
input because of the lack of contact to people who have to deal with
designers or are designers themselves and thus probably have a
stereotypical image of a designer in their head. I really want to make
this little project happen.
Thanks in advance.

-- Peter Maruardt

--
lastfuture online
http://www.lastfuture.de/

Comments

16 Mar 2005 - 12:01am
Donna Fritzsche
2005

>
>Here is the question:
>
>What image comes to your mind when you think of a typical designer,
>...... What does he wear, what's
>his hairstyle, how is he built and what accessories does he have?
>

He? : )

- donna

16 Mar 2005 - 6:44am
Dave Malouf
2005

> >Here is the question:
> >
> >What image comes to your mind when you think of a typical designer,
> >...... What does he wear, what's
> >his hairstyle, how is he built and what accessories does he have?
> >
>
> He? : )
>
> - donna

Yea, I usually think of a She when I think of a designer too.

-- dave

16 Mar 2005 - 8:05am
John Vaughan - ...
2004

Peter's original msg>
>To explain why I am asking this: Unrelated to my studies I am
>researching how I can depict what designers and people having to do
>with them would recognize as the appearance of a designer in as little
>as two colors.

Dave & Donna> Yea, I usually think of a She when I think of a designer too.

So, you think one of the colors should be....pink?

16 Mar 2005 - 8:14am
Donna Fritzsche
2005

Actually, I dont necessarily think of a she, I was just questioning
the assumption.
I probably think of a he when I think of the sex of a designer, but I
think that reflects my recent experiences more than anything else.
(Most of the designers that I have worked with recently were men.)

At 6:44 AM -0500 3/16/05, David Heller wrote:
>[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
>> >Here is the question:
>> >
>> >What image comes to your mind when you think of a typical designer,
>> >...... What does he wear, what's
>> >his hairstyle, how is he built and what accessories does he have?
>> >
>>
>> He? : )
>>
>> - donna
>
>Yea, I usually think of a She when I think of a designer too.
>
>-- dave
>
>
>_______________________________________________
>Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
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16 Mar 2005 - 8:20am
Dave Malouf
2005

On 3/16/05 8:05 AM, "John Vaughan" <vaughan1 at optonline.net> wrote:

>
> Peter's original msg>
>> To explain why I am asking this: Unrelated to my studies I am
>> researching how I can depict what designers and people having to do
>> with them would recognize as the appearance of a designer in as little
>> as two colors.
>
> Dave & Donna> Yea, I usually think of a She when I think of a designer too.
>
>
> So, you think one of the colors should be....pink?

Being in NYC, male or female, here is 1 color and "there is none more black"
If we are talking stereotypes. ... Not quite sure of the value of this
exercise though.

-- dave

David Heller
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixdg.org
dave at ixdg.org
dave at synapticburn.com
AIM: bolinhanyc || Y!: dave_ux || MSN: hippiefunk at hotmail.com

16 Mar 2005 - 8:31am
jarango
2004

On Wed, 16 Mar 2005 07:14:52 -0600, Donna Fritzsche
<donnamarie at amichi.info> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> Actually, I dont necessarily think of a she, I was just questioning
> the assumption.
> I probably think of a he when I think of the sex of a designer, but I
> think that reflects my recent experiences more than anything else.
> (Most of the designers that I have worked with recently were men.)

Whether male or female, s/he will probably be reading this on a Mac.

--
Jorge Arango
http://www.jarango.com

16 Mar 2005 - 8:39am
Lada Gorlenko
2004

PM> What image comes to your mind when you think of a typical designer,
PM> preferrably in the graphic-design and screen-/web-design areas?

1. Mostly male
2. Predominantly young
3. Largely pretentious
4. Reasonably smart
5. Unreasonably stubborn
6. Slender and pale
7. Casual with a dash of bohemian seasoning (carefully balanced,
typically expressed as a pony-tail or a leather bracelet)
8. Mac owner and Apple worshiper
9. Non-smoker (except pot)
10. "Matrix"-lover (if considers himself an 'intellectual', enjoys
delivering uninterrupted monologues on the power of visual images in
Kubrick's work)
11. Defining attire colours: black and black
12. Defining eye expression: 0.75 inches above the eye-level of a
vis-a-vis, with a subtle, but powerful message "wish I wasn't here"

Lada

16 Mar 2005 - 9:26am
Pradyot Rai
2004

I will add to Lada's list --

13. Highly inflammable
14. Very fragile

:p

16 Mar 2005 - 9:32am
Dan Saffer
2003

15. Unusual eyeglasses

Dan

16 Mar 2005 - 9:42am
Gerard Torenvliet
2004

Stereotype:

A guy named Gunther, who scores extremely high on the black
turtle-neck scale, listens to electronica, Philip Glass, and They
Might be Giants.

Drinks Vodka; preferably Stolichnaya. Neat.

-Gerard
(By my own stereotype, not a designer!)

--
Gerard Torenvliet
g.torenvliet at gmail.com

16 Mar 2005 - 9:55am
Lada Gorlenko
2004

GT> A guy named Gunther, who scores extremely high on the black
GT> turtle-neck scale, listens to electronica, Philip Glass, and They
GT> Might be Giants.

GT> Drinks Vodka; preferably Stolichnaya. Neat.

Good point. Thinking of it, those who prefer to be seen as the "geeky
type" would also listen to Black Sabbath, and "true artists" would
take pride in home-made sushi.

Lada

16 Mar 2005 - 9:57am
Ted Booth
2004

Having worked with graphic designers that don't fit, in any way, this
particularly negative image, I feel compelled to offer some other
'typical' attributes

Strong sense of irony
Visual thinkers
More interested in the new than the known
Disdaining of conventionality for conventionality's sake
Aesthetically driven
Quick to feel misunderstood
A strong tendency toward elitism

On Mar 16, 2005, at 8:39 AM, Lada Gorlenko wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> PM> What image comes to your mind when you think of a typical designer,
> PM> preferrably in the graphic-design and screen-/web-design areas?
>
> 1. Mostly male
> 2. Predominantly young
> 3. Largely pretentious
> 4. Reasonably smart
> 5. Unreasonably stubborn
> 6. Slender and pale
> 7. Casual with a dash of bohemian seasoning (carefully balanced,
> typically expressed as a pony-tail or a leather bracelet)
> 8. Mac owner and Apple worshiper
> 9. Non-smoker (except pot)
> 10. "Matrix"-lover (if considers himself an 'intellectual', enjoys
> delivering uninterrupted monologues on the power of visual images in
> Kubrick's work)
> 11. Defining attire colours: black and black
> 12. Defining eye expression: 0.75 inches above the eye-level of a
> vis-a-vis, with a subtle, but powerful message "wish I wasn't here"
>
> Lada
>
> _______________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org
> Home ....................... http://ixdg.org/

16 Mar 2005 - 10:02am
Tadej Maligoj
2004

This picture depicts Lada's list perfectly
http://www.maligoj.com/studio/index.html
:+P

More serious: the second coulour is light blue. (red for classic
designer or typographer).

Tadej

On Wed, 16 Mar 2005 13:39:32 +0000, Lada Gorlenko <lada at acm.org> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> PM> What image comes to your mind when you think of a typical designer,
> PM> preferrably in the graphic-design and screen-/web-design areas?
>
> 1. Mostly male
> 2. Predominantly young
> 3. Largely pretentious
> 4. Reasonably smart
> 5. Unreasonably stubborn
> 6. Slender and pale
> 7. Casual with a dash of bohemian seasoning (carefully balanced,
> typically expressed as a pony-tail or a leather bracelet)
> 8. Mac owner and Apple worshiper
> 9. Non-smoker (except pot)
> 10. "Matrix"-lover (if considers himself an 'intellectual', enjoys
> delivering uninterrupted monologues on the power of visual images in
> Kubrick's work)
> 11. Defining attire colours: black and black
> 12. Defining eye expression: 0.75 inches above the eye-level of a
> vis-a-vis, with a subtle, but powerful message "wish I wasn't here"
>
> Lada
>
> _______________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org
> Home ....................... http://ixdg.org/
>

--
_______________________________
Tadej Maligoj, Information Architect
e1: tadej.maligoj at gmail.com
e2: studio at maligoj.com
m: 031 306 986
w: www.maligoj.com

16 Mar 2005 - 10:18am
Anjali Arora, NYU
2004

Oh no, & I thought I'll be getting back to a saner world post-school!!

Seriously though, I am curious to know if that makes these types harder to
manage & to work as part of a team. What strategies have worked for you to
motivate & enthuse this type?

-anjali

----- Original Message -----
From: "Pradyot Rai" <pradyotrai at gmail.com>
To: "Lada Gorlenko" <lada at acm.org>
Cc: <discuss at ixdg.org>
Sent: Wednesday, March 16, 2005 9:26 AM
Subject: Re: [ID Discuss] what is the designer stereotype

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
material.]
>
> I will add to Lada's list --
>
> 13. Highly inflammable
> 14. Very fragile
>
> :p
> _______________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
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> Home ....................... http://ixdg.org/

16 Mar 2005 - 10:40am
Suresh JV
2004

>Anjali Arora, NYU
>
> Seriously though, I am curious to know if that makes these types harder to
> manage & to work as part of a team. What strategies have worked for you to
> motivate & enthuse this type?
>

As long as their POV are accepted, there would be no problems to work with
them. :)

PS: POV = EGO

Regards,
Suresh JV.

16 Mar 2005 - 10:41am
Tadej Maligoj
2004

> 11. Defining attire colours: black and black

Or eye-pain vivid colours for more self-confidented speciments.
(This is far more useful for your task, I think ... ;+)

Tadej

--
_______________________________
Tadej Maligoj, Information Architect
e1: tadej.maligoj at gmail.com
e2: studio at maligoj.com
m: 031 306 986
w: www.maligoj.com

16 Mar 2005 - 11:00am
Dan Saffer
2003

On Mar 16, 2005, at 10:40 AM, Suresh JV wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
>
>> Anjali Arora, NYU
>>
>> Seriously though, I am curious to know if that makes these types
>> harder to
>> manage & to work as part of a team. What strategies have worked for
>> you to
>> motivate & enthuse this type?
>>
>
> As long as their POV are accepted, there would be no problems to work
> with
> them. :)
>

Their? Them? These types? This type?

Umm, isn't this us?

Dan

16 Mar 2005 - 11:09am
John Vaughan - ...
2004

Devastating list of attributes ....

Based on the enthusiasm of our collective response thus far, might I add?

* totally self-absorbed

16 Mar 2005 - 1:47pm
Wendy Fischer
2004

Might I add :

pseudo-intellectual......
delusional.....

vaughan1 at optonline.net wrote:
[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]

Devastating list of attributes ....

Based on the enthusiasm of our collective response thus far, might I add?

* totally self-absorbed

_______________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
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16 Mar 2005 - 1:50pm
Wendy Fischer
2004

I've met enough designers that I don't think a stereotype should apply.

there are designers of all ages, intellect, education, sizes, hobbies, locations, etc, with an interest in one thing: IxD.

-Wendy

16 Mar 2005 - 1:50pm
Peter Marquardt
2005

Lada: could you please explain how I have to imagine
12. Defining eye expression: 0.75 inches above the eye-level of a
vis-a-vis, with a subtle, but powerful message "wish I wasn't here"

To all of you: I've definitely gained a few insights so far, thanks
for all this diligent participation in my research so far.

I have decided to depict the designer from his shoulders upwards so
the following were particularly helpful:

* turtleneck
* pale
* black in black
* unusual eyeglasses
* ponytail

if I include one hand, I can also make use of:

* a leather bracelet

I asked people from my semester and they mentioned the eyeglasses the
turtleneck and the choice of color. They also mentioned

* a goatee

I have given it a bit thought and I came up with:

* rounded rectangles
* all-lowercase bold sans-serif type, preferrably Futura

for the framing and labeling of the pictograph.

Kind regards
-- Peter

--
lastfuture online
http://www.lastfuture.de/

16 Mar 2005 - 2:05pm
Peter Marquardt
2005

> I've met enough designers that I don't think a stereotype should apply.

Sure, there are always enough in a group who don't fit the stereotype,
however I want to play with the stereotype and formulate it in form of
a pictograph. It's a task I gave to myself.
Also, experience shows that usually the stereotype applies to at least
a small, sometimes infamous, sub-group.

I think I will have it printed on black turtle necks in white for
self-ironic purposes ;)
No, seriously. I would love to do that but I was unable to find either
a shirt shop that prints on anything but cotton or a cotton black
turtleneck. Wool or a wool/polyester mix was all I could find.

--
lastfuture online
http://www.lastfuture.de/

16 Mar 2005 - 2:18pm
Lada Gorlenko
2004

PM> Lada: could you please explain how I have to imagine
PM> 12. Defining eye expression: 0.75 inches above the eye-level of a
PM> vis-a-vis, with a subtle, but powerful message "wish I wasn't here"

When drawing eyes of the imaginary designer behind glasses, make the
pupils slightly off-focus turned upwards?.. Add some thoughtful
but disengaged expression to the face?..

But most importantly, take it all with a pinch of salt. A big one.
And make the guy grin to portray his everlasting sense of irony :-)

Lada

16 Mar 2005 - 2:27pm
jarango
2004

Peter:

> I think I will have it printed on black turtle necks in white for
> self-ironic purposes ;)

If it's self-irony you're after, consider black ink on a black turtleneck.

--
Jorge Arango
http://www.jarango.com

16 Mar 2005 - 2:46pm
Jack L. Moffett
2005

> When drawing eyes of the imaginary designer behind glasses, make the
> pupils slightly off-focus turned upwards?.. Add some thoughtful
> but disengaged expression to the face?..
>
> But most importantly, take it all with a pinch of salt. A big one.
> And make the guy grin to portray his everlasting sense of irony :-)

Perhaps just a smirk?

I hope nobody joined the list in the middle of this thread and decided that
we're a bunch of design bashers. ;)

Thanks for the chuckles,
Jack

Jack L. Moffett
Interaction Designer
inmedius
412.690.2360 x219
http://www.inmedius.com

I am in search of the
simple elegant seductive
maybe even obvious IDEA.
With this in my pocket
I cannot fail.

- Tibor Kalman

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16 Mar 2005 - 4:20pm
Anjali Arora, NYU
2004

You are right, it is us in principle, but hey, I don't recognise myself in
all those flattering adjectives laid out here ;)
-anjali

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dan Saffer" <dan at odannyboy.com>
To: "ixd-discussion" <discuss at ixdg.org>
Sent: Wednesday, March 16, 2005 11:00 AM
Subject: Re: [ID Discuss] what is the designer stereotype

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
material.]
>
>
> On Mar 16, 2005, at 10:40 AM, Suresh JV wrote:
>
> > [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> > material.]
> >
> >
> >> Anjali Arora, NYU
> >>
> >> Seriously though, I am curious to know if that makes these types
> >> harder to
> >> manage & to work as part of a team. What strategies have worked for
> >> you to
> >> motivate & enthuse this type?
> >>
> >
> > As long as their POV are accepted, there would be no problems to work
> > with
> > them. :)
> >
>
> Their? Them? These types? This type?
>
> Umm, isn't this us?
>
> Dan
>
> _______________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org
> Home ....................... http://ixdg.org/

16 Mar 2005 - 6:50pm
leo.frishberg a...
2005

Thank you all, this has been one of the funniest threads I've read on any
list in a long time...much appreciated after a particularly hard day...(HE
says with a 0.75 trimmed vis-à-vis look in his eye)

Leo

16 Mar 2005 - 11:33pm
Tom Hobbs
2004

Nice to see that you're all encouraging the next generation to think
creatively and observe the world around them.

Is this an exercise in mediocrity? Or a snowballing practical joke?

The only person who's offered anything constructive here is Ted.

Come on, you're supposed interaction designers who are able think and
observe creatively. You're supposed to look beyond stereotypes to
identify characteristics, needs, preferences and mental models that
look beyond preconceived notions.

Have any of you actually seen a 'real' designer out there that actually
looks or behaves like this? I'm with Wendy and Ted here, the majority
of designers I've worked with don't have any of the traits you mention.

Strangely, this same stereotype was a fictitious notion that floated
around the halls of my university at the beginning of the last decade —
I didn't observe too many of them then (except the ones who didn't
actually make it as designers, but kind of like the romantic notion.)
Nice to see the all areas of the profession are making an effort to
move on from there.

I hope you're all a little more effective in identifying user types —
though wonder there was debate about the value of personas!

-tom

17 Mar 2005 - 2:06am
Peter Marquardt
2005

> Come on, you're supposed interaction designers who are able think and
> observe creatively. You're supposed to look beyond stereotypes to
> identify characteristics, needs, preferences and mental models that
> look beyond preconceived notions.

There's no need to be upset, Tom. I've encouraged them to think in
stereotypes for my question because a stereotype is what I'm trying to
depict. Of course almost no designer fits what people discussed in
this thread.
When I was searching for stereotypical photos I didn't find a single
one. I found a gallery where designers could upload photos of them in
action and not a single one looked like this, in fact there were
hardly even two who had the same style.
If I had asked for what a designer truely is, I wouldn't have gotten
anything I could work with. If I want to create the image of a
designer that every designer recognizes as one, I need to work with
images that are familiar and commonly connected to that group of
people.
If you were to depict a french man so that everybody recognizes him as
one, would he be a normal french man?

Anyway this is an off topic thread and people are having fun, give
them a break ;)

--
lastfuture online
http://www.lastfuture.de/

17 Mar 2005 - 6:42am
Dave Malouf
2005

While I agree w/ Tom that there is no one who looks like this, I do have to
say, that at least of the men at the IA Summit, it was easy to pluck them
out of the hotel guests with a very high degree of confidence.

I have some questions to the men who are UX designers?

1. Why don't you use contact lens?
2. Why bother shaving just a little bit of your face?
3. How do you stay so thin/fit? Is it cherios? Granola?
4. Who do you work for, b/c obviously you get paid more than enough if you
can wear those clothes?

Ok, enough jokin' around, now get to work already and design something!

Oh! Isn't stereotyping, just another form of pattern recognition and isn't
the recognition and manipulationof patterns a like huge part of what we do
for a living? I realize that personas (for example) are not stereotypes, but
they are a pattern recognition exercise.

I think Peter had somehting in his mind around being able to manage
designers or something like that.

-- dave

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesi
gners.com [mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com->
bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Tom Hobbs
> Sent: Wednesday, March 16, 2005 11:34 PM
> To: discuss-interactiondesigners.com at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> Subject: Re: [ID Discuss] what is the designer stereotype
>
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant
> quoted material.]
>
>
> Nice to see that you're all encouraging the next generation to think
> creatively and observe the world around them.
>
> Is this an exercise in mediocrity? Or a snowballing practical joke?
>
> The only person who's offered anything constructive here is Ted.
>
> Come on, you're supposed interaction designers who are able think and
> observe creatively. You're supposed to look beyond stereotypes to
> identify characteristics, needs, preferences and mental models that
> look beyond preconceived notions.
>
> Have any of you actually seen a 'real' designer out there
> that actually
> looks or behaves like this? I'm with Wendy and Ted here, the majority
> of designers I've worked with don't have any of the traits
> you mention.
>
> Strangely, this same stereotype was a fictitious notion that floated
> around the halls of my university at the beginning of the
> last decade -
> I didn't observe too many of them then (except the ones who didn't
> actually make it as designers, but kind of like the romantic notion.)
> Nice to see the all areas of the profession are making an effort to
> move on from there.
>
> I hope you're all a little more effective in identifying user types -
> though wonder there was debate about the value of personas!
>
> -tom
> _______________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org
> Home ....................... http://ixdg.org/
>

17 Mar 2005 - 6:51am
Lada Gorlenko
2004

TH> Nice to see that you're all encouraging the next generation to think
TH> creatively and observe the world around them.

That's what most members of this list do most of the time. Some also
encourage the next generation to be humans - a skill essential for
interaction designers who work with people, not just personas.
Personally, I encourage guys and gals not to take themselves very
seriously, as nothing (in my experience of observing the world around
me) impedes creativity more than superbia.

TH> Is this an exercise in mediocrity? Or a snowballing practical joke?

This was a chance to make people smile during a coffee break. Some
even did.

TH> Have any of you actually seen a 'real' designer out there that actually
TH> looks or behaves like this? I'm with Wendy and Ted here, the majority
TH> of designers I've worked with don't have any of the traits you mention.

Of the traits I personally mentioned, there were "male", "young",
"slender", "smart", "owns a Mac, "likes Matrix". If I were taking your
words "any of the traits" at face value, I would have to assume that
the majority of designers you've worked with were old dumb overweight
females who own a ThinkPad and enjoy watching "Legally blonde".
Welcome to reality? :-)

TH> I hope you're all a little more effective in identifying user types —
TH> though wonder there was debate about the value of personas!

On a very serious note now. One of the user research techniques that
has worked extremely well for me over many years is "stereotype
breaking". I create a "stereotypical persona" of a particular user type,
similar to the yesterday's sketch of a designer. The point is to make
the stereotype persona *as cliche as possible*, a profile that is not
necessarily real, maybe even a comic, but a *widely recognised* one.
Almost like a desktop icon: my recycle bins never look like those on
the icons, yet I recognise the icon type most of the time.

I take the stereotypical persona to my meetings with users, where we
discuss it, dissect it, and build an inside-out profile(s) of their
user type.

There are three points for which I particularly like this technique:
1. When facilitated correctly, it's an unbeatable ice-breaker that helps
making users relax and bonding with them (particularly with those who
might perceive you as an authority figure and be reserved in speaking
openly).
2. Recognition rather than recall: users are better at discussing
features that are already on the list than coming up with a set of
characteristics from scratch.
3. Starting with a comic, we discuss not only what they do and who
they are, but also *what makes others believe in that stereotype*.
This is hugely inspirational as it gives insights into the subtleties
of the user's world that no other technique gives in such a short time.

I sincerely apologise for any unintentional offence I might have
caused by what was meant to be a friendly self-ironic joke.

Lada

17 Mar 2005 - 8:59am
John Vaughan - ...
2004

Lada:
Welcome to reality? :-)

::I'm just browsing, thanks...

17 Mar 2005 - 9:30am
Ted Booth
2004

On Mar 17, 2005, at 2:06 AM, Peter Marquardt wrote:
> There's no need to be upset, Tom. I've encouraged them to think in
> stereotypes for my question because a stereotype is what I'm trying to
> depict. Of course almost no designer fits what people discussed in
> this thread.

Then perhaps the picture painted isn't the right stereotype? ;-)

The 'stereotype' painted in this thread is beyond being a stereotype,
it's as tired a cliche as they come. It is also offensive to those of
us who come from a design background, work actively with professional
designers and generally believe in the deep value and contribution of
design practice and thinking. It is also a picture many of us, working
to improve the standing and impact of design, would prefer to have fade
away and never be heard from again.

This thread has probably run it's course but I'm glad that Tom spoke
up. Would there be a similar reaction if the topic was 'what is the
engineer stereotype' or 'what is the usability analyst stereotype'?

17 Mar 2005 - 9:49am
Coryndon Luxmoore
2004

Ted wrote:
> Would there be a similar reaction if the topic was 'what is the
> engineer stereotype' or 'what is the usability analyst stereotype'?

We have definatly run into this already but in a less light hearted manner when discussing roles and capabilities as it relates to the design process. I would say the response from the various "stereotyped" members on this list has been uniformly negative but increadably informative.

One of the things that I find wonderful about this list is the ability to discuss these perceptions and have those from the other side speak up. As Lada alluded to it can be a wonderful way to explode the stereotypes in ones own head.

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