XPLANE xBlog visual thinking http://xblog.xplane.com XPLANE http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss en-us Thu, 18 Dec 2014 00:29:40 -0700 email@addresshere.com Thu, 18 Dec 2014 00:29:40 -0700 Culture Mapping http://xblog.xplane.com/culture-mapping/ Last week XPLANE’s Director of Consulting, Stephanie, and I headed down to San Francisco to run a workshop on Culture Mapping. The workshop was part of a three part series on culture design, hosted by Culture Lab SF.     For us, understanding the audience and their needs is always the focal point of any experience design. In this case we anticipated that our audience would be mixed. We’d likely see representation... Belling the Cat http://xblog.xplane.com/belling-the-cat/ There are a lot of jokes about consultants, and in the last 20 years I think I’ve probably heard them all. The crux of most of these jokes is that consultants have their heads in the clouds. They are impractical, good at thinking but not so good at doing. A good strategy is, after all, only half the battle. The rest is execution. This reminds me of the story about the mice who held a meeting to figure out what they should do about the... Cuddling Clients http://xblog.xplane.com/cuddling-clients/ Finding new ways to communicate complex business information, that is truly engaging, is the greatest challenge in our work.  I love my work because I believe in doing this visually, since it naturally connects to how we function as humans.  Oftentimes information requires more structure than text can provide to convey complex content and tell a story.  I’m not into this simply because I like to draw,... Three Kick-Ass Visual Icebreakers http://xblog.xplane.com/-three-kick-ass-visual-icebreakers/ If you were once three years old, you can draw. If you don’t believe us, you’re grounded – go to your room.   XPLANE’s discovery sessions succeed because of visual thinking. Our post up exercises, affinity mapping, group collaboration and sharing sometimes stir up a bit of anxiety from one or two of the participants, especially when we ask people to draw. If we had a nickel for every time we heard, “I... Design MBAs - They’re Real http://xblog.xplane.com/design-mbas---theyre-real/ Design education embedded into MBA curriculum? Yes, and in Cleveland, Ohio no less.   XPLANErs Patrick Dodson and I were in the heartland for client meetings last week and during our travels we swung by my alma mater, the Weatherhead School of Management, to field questions from first year MBA students about Design Consulting.   In true XPLANE fashion, students jotted questions on Post-its, one idea per Post-it, and stood... Engage Your Audience - Transform PowerPoints into Clear, Compelling Stories http://xblog.xplane.com/engage-your-audience---transform-powerpoints-into-clear-compelling-stories/ During Get Naked! Let Your Message Stand Up Without PowerPoint, Visual Thinking School on November 7, we tackled how to transform PowerPoint decks into simplified, clear stories that can be presented in two minutes – without PPT. We introduced several alternatives including storyboards, live sketching, and interactive posters.   The attendees split into teams and each were given a source deck with topics... So, You Have to Give a Presentation http://xblog.xplane.com/so-you-have-to-give-a-presentation/ Wait, did you just instinctively open PowerPoint? STOP! Did you know that 80% of the time PowerPoints (or slideshows generically) fail to communicate their message? That’s not a real statistic, but we’re pretty sure we’re in the ballpark.   Using PowerPoint for every presentation is like only eating bread (or rice, if you’re gluten-free) for every meal, every day. It gets boring. Ready to detox from PowerPoint and... Holiday Inn® Shifts from Traditional to Digital Ad Strategy http://xblog.xplane.com/holiday-inn-shifts-from-traditional-to-digital-ad-strategy/ InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG®), owner of the Holiday Inn® and Holiday Inn Express® brands, recently made changes to their marketing and advertising approach and execution; IHG engaged XPLANE to help develop a communication strategy that clearly communicates the transformation of these global brands’ marketing program to owners and investors.   To accomplish this task, XPLANE gathered with a team of IHG... Flesh, Blood, and Data An Art Show by Information Designers http://xblog.xplane.com/flesh-blood-and-data-an-art-show-by-information-designers/ Information designers go through a process to gather content, synthesize data, and weave their findings into cohesive stories. Traditionally these stories help business audiences achieve certain goals. XPLANE Associate Creative Director Tim May created this exhibition to give designers license to use the same information-gathering processes to create works of personal and creative meaning, and to use tools not typically associated with... Bookmark This! Change DNA Library http://xblog.xplane.com/bookmark-this-change-dna-library/ Over the past two months we've been exploring the DNA of Change. It's been fun to assemble top thoughts, methods, and tools for designing change over a series of conversations. We love XPLANEing topics like this, but even more so when the subject matter is close to our heart. Through developing the DNA of Change series and the valuable feedback it has stirred up, XPLANE has deepened our own practice of designing for change. We use...