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Understanding Systems

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Michele Ide-Smith.

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User research, analytics, hypotheses and experiments: we are focused on gaining understanding through data, validating that our interventions bring about the (user) behaviour we desire. We design systems, the systems we design interact with other systems, and it’s all getting awfully complex. Can we truly understand what’s going on?

In this talk, Johanna will introduce you to core principles of systems thinking, and discuss how they relate to our work as designers of products, services, companies. What methods and tools can we employ to make sense of systems? How do we enable users to form a mental model of a system – and what role are we designing for our users?

Expect to walk away with some systems theory, some practical take-aways, and the insight that the system is always one step ahead of you.

About Johanna

Johanna is a product strategist, information architect, and researcher with 11 years experience in UX. She applies agile and lean thinking to helping clients launch new products, and is passionate about insights-driven product development. Currently, she’s Head of Product at Snyk, a startup building security tools for developers.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Usability Group series.

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