I conduct team workshops and research sessions with internal and external stakeholders.
I play with lego, I use creative mediums and fun exercises to extract knowledge out of the brains of session participants. I use these key insights in conjunction with metrics and data (quantitative and qualitative) to make informed decisions about potential user experience, interface and interaction solutions.
An example exercise in cognitive stimulation
In the images above, you can see a cognitive stimulation workshop where I requested that executives of a global bank help me understand a day in the life of their customers. First I posed a few problems and questions, and with these in mind, participants were then asked to quietly play with lego for a few minutes and sort their lego blocks into colour order while relaxing ambient music played in the background.
After a few minutes, I then asked participants to put their lego blocks together and build a house.
Why lego? Why this meaningless task?
FMRI studies have been conducted to show conclusively that when people complete repetitive tasks, their brains switch over into their subconscious (The same part of the brain that runs while you're brushing your teeth). The subconscious brain is very powerful when it comes to creative output.
By framing a problem, and then asking session participants to switch over into a mindless task, I'm trying to gently nudge them into accessing their creativity. Solutions to the problems present themselves, as if by magic. I then capture these creative ideas and began card sorting and various other exercises to distil the creative output down into core concepts that directly influence prototypes.
Interested how this works? Check out Enhancing creativity by means of cognitive stimulation: Evidence from an fMRI study