Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
(From the Opening Stanza of T. S. Eliot’s Choruses from the Rock)
In the midst of a global pandemic, and during quarantine days, the internet helps most of us feel connected and give us a sense of community. But even at better times, the way we use the internet and social media can add stress to our lives and leave us feeling overwhelmed.
As governments and experts around the world give updates on efforts to control the coronavirus outbreak, it can feel as though we are under constant bombardment from negative news. And this sense of panic is sometimes not helped by well-meaning friends and family, all sharing similar information on WhatsApp groups, on their Twitter timelines or sending it to us directly. Since it is hard (not recommended) to ignore all the information, how can we find information that will uplift, entertain or educate us? And this post is about it!
In design thinking, we use a technique called “designing for the extreme user”. One way to get more clarity of thought in your design process is to design for the extreme user. You can pick either end of the spectrum. For example, the novice user using the internet for the first time to learn about the Coronavirus, or the power user who squeezes out every information outlet’s latest posts about Coronavirus. Define a dimension that you want to understand more and identify who’s on the opposite ends of that dimension.
Chuck Noland in Cast Away, is our persona.
Chuck has been on a faraway island with no connection to the outer world. He has lived four years of hopelessness, in which he had none of the basic living requirements — food, water, shelter, fire, company (other than Wilson the volleyball). He, of course, had no clue about Coronavirus and what we are going through today.
What to tell him? Instead of overwhelming him with 12 billion links and explaining about Trump…etc, there needs to be a more human way to transmit information.
I would show him this animation of Kurzgesagt to learn about Coronavirus:
Then, I would suggest he read this one for more practical tips and further resources;
These are the times we understand more than ever that it is not only about the speed of information. Also, what information and how it is communicated are very important. We are acting like a giant schizophrenic brain; throwing out extremely disordered thoughts, creating dystopian scenarios and suffering from insomnia together.
I invite everyone to take responsibility for the way they share information by asking “why am I sharing this?” If you don’t have an answer that satisfies you, do not share. Be silent at times, create room for important information to be heard and more importantly for you to connect to yourself. Like social distancing, we can use some noise distancing.
Going back to our extreme personas: have you ever thought how to give Coronavirus protection guidance to people without access to clean water? I hadn’t until yesterday when I saw this beautiful photo on photographer Lior Sperando’s Instagram page – with a painful wake-up call as a caption.
Bu gönderiyi Instagram’da gör
🦠 Coronavirus Instructions for the 570 million people who have no access to clean water around the world: ▪️Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds if you have water. ▪️Scrub your hands well if you have a soap. ▪️If you have a way to measure your temperature, do it. ▪️If you have a fever, I hope there is a clinic around. ▪️If you don’t need to walk 4 hours a day to find water for you and your family, then stay home and sing from your balcony. ▪️If you don’t have a balcony, it is completely ok. 💧 Tomorrow is International Water Day, which marks a brutal crisis that kills over 5,000 children around the world every day. A phenomenon that was here before and will be after the Corona. . . . . . . . . #worldwaterday2020 #cleanwater #african_portraits #africanproverb #ig_africa #everydayafrica #321portrait #aovportraits #humanity_shots_ #worldcolours_people #wearehumans #lensofourlives #click_n_share #onassignment #portraitsfromtheworld
So far I couldn’t find much guidance for this group who are 570 million people other than some news on handwashing stations in Kenya and Corona threat in Syrian refugee camps. Keep an eye on this page as we find more information.
Let’s all ask; What are the possible extreme personas that we omit? And who are we leaving behind starting with the way we communicate and design solutions? This pandemic is making all the shortcomings more visible, what type of inclusive world we want to restart once this is all over?
Please share your comments, links and projects that are related to this topic so we can create awareness, learn and start acting together.