As I’ve mentioned a few times this blog is in part a platform from which to share my experiences and progress as I complete my MPhil in Design Research at Brunel University in West London. Things have been progressing well on that front recently. I’ve just completed a paper with Nicola Combe that’s been provisionally accepted for the UK Ergonomics Society Conference next year on improved visualisation of Ergonomic tools to support Inclusive Design. More on that in due course. In the meantime, and after a year of mostly reading, I’ve also begun the first phase of synthesising some of my research into Motivation and it’s role with design.
This first step sees me go back to elucidate some of the observations that lead to my interest in Motivation in the first place. I want to understand what motivates people’s behaviour in relation to their use of products, systems and services. I feel designers have a duty to better support individuals motivational capabilities. The first phase of beginning to synthesise and communicate this has seen me draft some early personas of motivated behaviour.
Hopefully you will recognise some of the attitudes and motivational states represented as well as levels of engagement that these personas are supposed to represent. As most designers are aware personas are a fantastic tool for visualising users and service stakeholders behaviour. I hope that this early draft will both help you all understand a bit more about what I am investigating as well as help you visualise how we as humans direct our focus and energies (our motivation) towards, people, products and services we interact with everyday.
It builds on Self Determination (or Cognitive Evaluation) Theory (SDT) as proposed by Deci and Ryan. I’ve chosen this theory as it has strong links with Anders Ericsson and Herbert Simon’s theories of expert behaviour which I appreciate. Simply, these are theories that argue that expert behaviour is a product of Deliberate Practice. It’s this theory that has given rise to the “10,000 hour rule” which whilst controversial I like because it implies, much like SDT that anything is possible if you are prepared to deliberately work for it.
I will elaborate my justifications and hopefully explain more fully my own feelings about these theories in due course. But in the mean time I would really appreciate feedback on the personas – do you find this way of conceptualising motivation valuable?
- Is this a new insight to you or do you feel it’s old hat?
- Can you understand the document, in what way does it require further elaboration?
- Does the document and the role of motivation seem a valuable concept to you?