Diversity + Empathy
UX for DIVERSE MARKETS
I use UX Coaching in 2 ways with my design team and clients:
teaching EMPATHY for the research process
teaching INHIBITION during the brainstorming and iterative processes.
TEACHING EMPATHY: I fuse cultural, dance and performance theory with teaching/leadership and Human-Centered Interaction.
Stereotypes, demographic personas, intersectionality, "isms" and socially constructed traits can be explored through theoretical inquiry. I coach UXers in empathy and provide cross-cultural perspectives for the "I am in your shoes" lens helping them become aware of biases they have and how to address them.
UXers become more empathetic to user experience when identifying through-lines and connections in and across cultures and experiences. We are more empathetic when we embody considerations others' have - people outside of ourselves (culture, socio-economic background , gender, ethnicity, ability, etc.) who may encounter the same experiences differently. Ethnographic skills in observing behaviors - facial expressions, body language, gesture, body tone and sensory correlated with cultural norms, world-view, aesthetic, communicative expression, customs, traditions, belief systems, linguistics and vernacular which are specific to the user are developed through theoretical perspectives I employ.
There is both a theoretical approach as well as a practical approach which I both employ. The practical approach uses dance as movement to teach empathy and while Teaching Empathy Through Dance by Audrey Cleo Yep discusses how "schools are increasingly using movement and expression as vehicles for teaching kids social-emotional skills" and in inner-city classroom this is certainly a phenomenal approach for everyone no matter ethnic or socio-economic background or age.
TEACHING INHIBITION: I fuse my movement practitioner skills in both dance/performative theatre and Human-Centered Interaction.
I use bodystorming, improvisation and exploring kinesthesia to help UXers let go of bias, inhibition and judgement in the brainstorming and iterative process coaching them to produce endless ideas.
My approach to teaching empathy is apt for Diversity Engineering.
Diversity and inclusion strategy and increasing diversity and inclusion in work environments and ecosystems (i.e. tech industry), education (i.e. higher education and K-12 settings), and social communities is essential. Filled with millennials and more diversity than our parents' generation, empowering people with bias awareness is something I LOVE to do.