There’s no other way to put it - This is Hard.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the opportunity to meet the interesting speakers coming to talk to us about user experience and design thinking. On a more personal level, however, I find it unsettling to discover how disconnected I feel from thinking differently and less conventionally. I feel like we’ve been trained to bring our experience and expertise into working towards a specific outcome for so long that learning to be OK without knowing is a very hard habit/behavior to change. How do you wade through all the research and ensure that you don’t bring your own biases or baggage to the table? How do you stay focused and committed to the discovery process to define an accurate persona without knowing where you will end up?
After today’s exercise of coming up with a few ideas for which to create user personas and then putting pen to paper to draw something, I felt extremely exhausted. It wasn’t the regular physical exhaustion that comes with having a young child, but a mental exhaustion of my brain just needing a rest.
Problem Solving From A different Angle
Having said all that, what I find fascinating is knowing that being exposed to these new ideas and concepts can be so interesting and exciting. When I first joined MotherCoders I thought it was the coding that was going to be the most challenging part to learn. After a brief introduction to HTML and CSS I can see that it will take a lot of hard work but it’s actually thinking about fresh ways of problem solving from different angles that can be more challenging. Some of my classmates have very concrete ideas of a product or app they want to build and it’s great to hear their ideas. I’m still not sure what my project will be, but having a group of women to help brainstorm and break it down with me step by step is one of the most valuable parts of this experience.