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Christopher Patten

Merging Perspectives/ Teaching Design/ Identifying User Experiences

August 2018

Identifying User Experiences/

Why: Years of misaligned processes and systems led to confusion when purchasing items for vendors, principals, teachers, and central office staff. How: Interviewing key stakeholders and running co-creation design workshops allowed users to collaboratively map processes and agree on key messaging for principals. What: A map that used a metaphor of a subway conveyed the steps to purchase goods and services. Three lines in three colors conveyed varying lengths of time required, while key messages appear in callout boxes. Stories collected from interviews became scenarios that were used for newly designed training

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Is the request reasonable? at an teacher ide, w e n ts ,a the eas An executive on the 14th floor, Reiner Stacey ry school on er outdoor h Danny eGlover, was excited to start ta elemen excited. For rced an entir u a new endeavor with the District. ry o s e s v d s a a h w tudent , she er sDanny b h e la is a very hospitable person d e i c rov scien ed tothought a new mini refrigerator ould p ey needand w t a h h t t kit ools form ll the t nd per his office would allow him to with a servations a wfor s even a t b I o offer refreshments for his guests . d e r She tsid reco ards! they ents ou te standwhen m i came to his office. He r e p a ex st h to the researc hiswexecutive s assistant to enter a aligned pleted all the asked n o m quisiti or at for a middle of the t had co e sure the re a requisition s e ad l Requminitim e not to cost more and m y the officia road of fridge, b plenty$250. He didn’t want to be d e d r than a h ente e h ool. S extravagant, after all. her sch

Stories collected from interviews became scenarios that were used for newly designed training experiences.

Challenge I Overcame: over the years, different departments in the school district created their own maps. Some of these overlapped and some of them didn’t. More importantly, people were protective of their own processes. Bringing people together in the same room was time consuming but necessary in order for all departments to agree on a legal and clean process.

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Identifying User Experiences/


Este poster le ayudará a impedir que eso suceda si vive en uno de estos tipos de edificios: This poster will help you prevent that if you live in one of these types of buildings:

In New York City you may have the right to keep a loved one's apartment after they've died or moved away. This is called "succession rights." There are special rules to follow to claim those rights. If you don't know your rights you could lose your home.

En la ciudad de Nueva York, usted puede tener derecho a conservar el apartamento de una persona querida una vez que esta ha muerto o se ha mudado. Esto se llama “derechos de sucesión”. Hay que seguir unas reglas especiales para reclamar esos derechos. Si no conoce sus derechos, usted podría perder su vivienda.

Spouses in rent-controlled or rent-sta can always be added to the lease. For members, the landlord has to agree. If income affidavit or household compo sure to include all your family member If your name is on the lease, you are a and you have the right to stay in the a another tenant leaves or passes away get your name on the lease!







heir es.

sar su idas.



Passing on affordable apartments to family members is a big part of keeping NYC affordable. This guide will show you how. Para que la ciudad de Nueva York siga siendo asequible, es muy importante la posibilidad de traspasarle un apartamento asequible a un familiar. Esta guía le mostrará cómo hacerlo.


a program of the Center UP). CUP partners with raphic designers to s that explain complicated ne.


ar Nuñez; Brooklyn Legal A: Adam Meyers, Shekar e: Amy Findeiss,

edagogy (CUP) is a hat uses the power of se meaningful civic

Why: In rapidly changing neighborhoods, low-income families struggle to stay in their affordable homes. When a leaseholder passes away or moves out, remaining family members are left vulnerable to harassment and eviction from landlords. New York City has laws to protect them, but it’s complex and doesn’t often reach the people who need it most. How: Working with residents of South Williamsburg to develop a tool that would help convey rent protections quickly and easily.

s Corporation A works to thy communities throughYork City by providing legal ts, homeowners, nonprofits . Together with the voices advance social and rg

What: Pass It On! is a colorful step-by-step guide to the succession process in both English and Spanish. Pass It On! helps families understand the rights that allow them to keep living

rch-driven collaborative design to translate cial urban issues into on strategies, services,

Challenge I Overcame: New York City’s laws differ for different types of housing when it comes to succession rights. Telling a singular story with illustrations was the thread that held everything together.

a Martinez, Lydia Rivera, Sanchez, Eyerusalem ristine Gaspar, Ingrid t


was provided by the ndation; the National ; North Star Fund; he New York City Affairs in partnership

Teaching Design/

Why: Ford Motor Company needed a new way to engage with non-profits in Detroit besides writing checks. How: Using the design thinking process, 30 handpicked Ford employees work with non-profits for 1 year to reframe, troubleshoot, and reflect on challenges faced by the non-profit. What: Ford employees used various design research methods, such as cultural probes, to interrogate the problem spaces Detroit non-profits face (below). This research was used to find patterns and reframe problems (right) with a focus on speculating future scenarios each non-profit may have to face in the near future.

“I found it difficult to feel empathy before this program. I was a blame person. I discovered it is very complex to be homeless.� Challenge I Overcame: How do you manage expectations between non-profit organizations who think they need a new filing system and young Ford employees who see larger systemic problems in the business strategy? Learning in integrate change management into the design thinking process has been key to this program’s success.

Identifying User Experiences/ Principal

-provides sense of accountability at professional level


-evaluates quality of DT teaching using evaluative frame -collaborates with DT mentor on professional development -manages DT budget/approves requests for expenditures -manages DT supplies and transporation -establishes calendar with deadlines and schedules for DT logistics (planning challenges, etc)

Why: After working with IDEO and the at Stanford to design a way to teach creative problem solving strategies to students at Henry Ford Academies in Detroit, the K-12 system needed to rethink how teachers could realistically implement the Design Thinking process in their contexts while managing increasing pressures around testing and school performance.


How: Using a series of interviews, scenario enacting, and traditional surveys, data was collected to asses the comfort level and needs for support teachers needed for both buy-in and the latitude to integrate Design Thinking into their learning studios.



- provide initial coaching to mentor; act as resource

- charrettes a design challenge to identify areas that need planning and support

- process data collected from observations, etc.

- provides internal professional development (specifically on using design thinking in new and innovative ways -- building a mindset)

- communicate and update tools based on current trends - capture and share stories and opportunities around DT - serve as critical friend - develops evaluative frame (similar to culture audit) that allows us to frame a conversation around how we are embedding DT

“I really think all staff needs to reflect on their own investment in this process. Either we do this, or we don’t. Don’t start the process, get the kids’ hopes up, and then the next day shorten and change the process because some people were done with the challenge. Our kids deserve better...”

DT Mentor

Grade Level Teachers - facilitate and manage DT/provides feedback on effectiveness of DT challenges - convey value of DT in own works and to students - gathers student data on use of DT

- acts as on-site main facilitator durng design challenge (their forum splits and joins others)

- interact with guests

- recommends expenditures and communicates to DCIA

- use DT in own work, in new and unexpected ways

- arranges buses, lunches, and field study plans - organizes field study plans

- share stories

- executes field study plans - obtains permissions from students/parents - look for opportunities to develop DT mindsets, dispositions, and skills throughout curriculum

15 June 2015

What: A Design Thinking Mentor, a teacher with Design Thinking expertise that could be identified in each HFA school, was identified and tasked with providing just-in-time support and feedback to teachers in the schools. Special workshops were designed for all the DT Mentors, and they also were asked to faciliitate workshops and special projects for HFA leadership teams. Challenge I Overcame: School leadership teams did not respond to qualitative data, so I had to design methods that would provide the quantitative data required to prove that a system change was necessary. Investment in the Design Thinking Mentor would require significant funding and I had to describe how I would ensure an ROI.

Design Thinking Mentors worked together to refine skills and create action plans for working with the staff in each of their schools.

Merging Perspectives/

Why: The Defense of Marriage Act was an extremely complicated law that affected people in ways that had nothing to do with marriage. Politics was entangled with policy. How: Working with lawyers and human rights groups and weeks of ethnographic research on both sides of the argument (see below). What: A highly interactive workshop that translates actual stories into characters and experiences felt and acted upon by participants. Challenge I Overcame: Incorporating multiple viewpoints in a way that felt comfortable for participants to express. Playing a character that had an opinion (rather than expressing their own) made it feel safe.

Besides actual scenarios brought to life through cue cards and other devices, participants created systems maps of the problems at hand (upper right) and their own individual maps (lower right). Participants were followed up with one month after the experience to check for retention of the material covered during the workshop. One participant noted: “ has definitely increased my awareness and I found myself sharing this understanding with others. In particular I was speaking to a heterosexual couple who face immigration issues and sharing with them how same sex couples face heightened challenges when it comes to marriage and immigration laws.�

Identifying User Experiences/

Why: Kirsten, a 37 year-old carrier of the gene that results in Retinitis Pigmentosa, was losing her eyesight. The disease was slowly diminishing her peripheral eyesight and her nighttime vision was almost gone. How: Through a series of interviews and probes, we were able to focus on social situations as an area of intervention for the study. Because Kirsten has had vision and still has some, people often forget that she cannot see in certain situations. Conducting further studies revealed how and where these happen.

“The best way I can describe it’s like looking through paper towel tubes...” What: Two solutions were developed. NextTime (above right) allows the user, through GPS, to mark different locations that cause her to feel uncomfortable. The user can then assign loved ones to receive a subtle message when they both arrive at the location. Challenge I Overcame: In a study like this, there are countless avenues one could pursue. Choosing the one that aligns most closely with needs of the business and consumer is important.

The other, a conversation game (left) uses cards to prompt discussion about scenarios that may or may not have heppened yet, but all of which pertain to future blindness. A mix of humorous and dire situations, it prompts discussion about a topic that, without any facilitation, is quite difficult.

Merging Perspectives/

Why: Games help us understand complex systems. If done well, they could teach children about environmental systems. How: Developing a compelling storyline and tirelessly testing that narrative with users helped create an award-winning video game. What: A complete package that included the game, teacher curriculums and worksheets, and a beautifully illustrated storybook. Challenge I Overcame: This project was developed with students from 12 different disciplines, all of whom had different opinions as how the game needed to be developed. On top of this, the university wanted a packaged product that could be put on the market, and the school needed something that satisfied state standards for education. Learning to find the balance between stakeholders was key.

Identifying User Experiences/

Why: The Design Thinking for Educators workshop, organized by Riverdale Country School, needed a way for teachers to reflect on the intense amount of information being conveyed during the day. How: To do this, dioramas and a wide assortment of accessories allowed users to portray their own throughts or feelings about the workshop. The boxes offered a make-your-own reflective kit by which to translate and own the content being delivered in the conference hall .

“It also came down to the spirit of making and the fact that people walked away with a sense of accomplishment that is distinct from the process of circular, unproductive talking that teachers are too good at!” What: Two months after IDEO’s conference at Riverdale, we followed up with a survery (right) with specific questions asking people to think about how they were using their experience from the workshop in the classroom today; we were overwhelmed with the responses (upper right). Challenge I Overcame: Finding a way to record the results of the dioramas and track patterns between all of them. Also, finding ways to measure how impactful that reflection was over time. Did people think about it months later?

Identifying User Experiences/

Why: New York City parks needed a new way to engage residents in their local parks and inspire volunteers. How: In Soundview Park (Bronx,NY) locals tell stories about an old meteorite that fell into the park long ago. Because these stories were so popular, why not use them to inspire new ones? What: Considering that a martian might lurk somewhere in the shurbs, we created 3 podcasts in which a character spoke to the listener about Soundview Park. Each podcast corresponded to a postcard that asked for neighbors to contribute to park upkeep, suggest improvements, and visit more often (below).

The nature of these podcasts promted different kinds of feedback. Users responded to a character rather than a boring survey. Doing so made the experience more engaging, imaginative, and plentiful (see right). To engage residents even more with their park, the geo-locating system LoCast, developed in collaboration with MIT’s Media Lab, allowed a second workshop to be run with local residents that allowed memories, stories, video, and audio to be geolocated on a map of the park, attaching even more meaning to the underused space. Challenge I Overcame: How does one scale this up? Through careful documentation, iteration, and streamlining of our techniques, we created a toolkit that allowed this project to be replicated at other parks.

Teaching Design/

Why: In the Fall of 2011, weeks before world leaders convened to decide on the fate of a new insurance program developed by the World Bank, serious questions needed to be raised about the local communities this system would affect. How: Working with a team at the Bank, a systems analysis of various users of the proposed insurance program was conducted. System maps (see right) were created to understand the value systems at stake that would influence how a farmer might use the insurance. What: A video and graphic campaign that used narrative to engage world leaders in the value systems for farmers in India Challenge I Overcame: When working with a highly bureaucratic agency, small steps should be celebrated. After our first workshop, the Bank was so excited simply by their learning to use Post-It notes and white boards (below).

Teaching Design/

Why: Students of today need the ability to communicate with empathy, be a proactive catalyst, and collaborate with a diverse, global, everchanging array of partners. Design Thinking can help teach these abstract skills, and it should start in Kindergarten. How: Researching countless design thinking resources and developing frameworks for teachers to create hands-on design thinking activites What: A student workbook and teacher’s manual - the first ever created for the K-12 experience Challenge I Overcame: Holding onto our values of social justice while designing a product for a multi-national company that needed, in some cases, neutral lesson plans that could apply to multiple locales

Christopher Patten | Portfolio  
Christopher Patten | Portfolio