Alastair Somerville

Jun 12, 2021

2 min read

Forming Content

Doing some workshops on usability testing and codesign and one odd issue popped up. Client wants to talk about how organisations want delivery thru certain digital platforms rather than allowing users and content to define platform.

Forming Content

In order to question this presumption I just made the Forming Content exercise. It’s a self-awareness exercise around the Format (moving image, image, audio and text) and Form (smartphone, tablet and TV/monitor) preferences of design team and other stakeholders they encounter.

I do understand that digital projects can start with defined ideas of final platforms but to talk of codesign and be inflexible about alternatives seems odd. The exercise is also to enable people to think earlier about content flexibility for other formats and other sensory inputs. This is a crucial element of accessibility.

Self Awareness

In another way, I’m also trying to adapt ideas from Stephen Fleming’s Know Thyself about Metacognition in design work. The exercise is probing sense of certainty about people’s preferences of perception and their sense of confidence about how correct they are in choice of different formats/forms.

Deliberately questioning certainty and confidence is a way of building self aware resilience in design. Being comfortably uncertain about what your senses perceive and knowingly under- or over- confident are important skills. Being with other people and recognising the diversity amongst the group and the divergences within the individuals.