A 6 minute talk for BA Fringe event on why Normal is a problem and why New Nexts are so important.

Normal as Bait and Switch

However, that is not what Normal is now. Over the last 180 years it has been switched from being such a measurement to a target of a type of person. From describing the typical in a population to a default in any population.

This is why BroTech works. It uses datasets and data tools that privilege White Men.

Not just datasets

That point is true but it is not quite enough to describe the full problem.
Datasets are biased but so are the data analysis and design tools. This is the larger framing problem.

Many of the data analysis tools used now were developed in the late 19th Century and early 20th Century in research that was deliberately trying to prove the superiority of White Men. The tools are not neutral.

In design terms, there is also a momentum to building solutions that converge to the Normal. Both Design Sprints and Design Thinking do this as a way of making products and services quickly and practically.

This means the design tools are captured by the Bait And Switch Normal. Converging not to a typical in a population but a default of White Men.

New Nexts

New Nexts, rather than New Normals, is a way of talking of a diversity of divergent futures rather than a convergent future anchored to a poisonous past.

Go to PostNormal website for more information.

Sensory Design Consultant, usability researcher and workshop facilitator. www.linkedin.com/in/alastair-somerville-b48b368 Twitter @acuity_design & @visceralUX