Off the Seat, Up and About!

After a six-month long research and design project around behavior change, my design partner, Marnie Meylor, and I decided to present our work through an exhibition rather than a traditional Power Point. Our exhibition entitled, “What If’s, Aha’s and Now What’s?: Designing for the Creative Process of Behavior Change,” showcased key insights, tools and recommendations that people need in order to make relevant behavior change.

Passive Listener v. Active Participant
Encouraging conversations and building relationships was key in ensuring that our visitors found our research applicable and actionable in their own practice or initiatives.

In a traditional Power Point, the presenter is speaking at the audience. Our exhibition allowed for open dialogue and active participation where visitors could digest the information at their own pace. Also, in anticipating that our visitors would be from various areas throughout the Clinic, our tours were intentionally scheduled according roles, projects groups, or departments in order to focus the conversation on their particular needs.

Letting Go
The most challenging part in designing this exhibition was crafting the key message. Our natural instinct was to share everything– every story, quote, mishap, success– essentially, we wanted to share six months of every single “what if,” “aha,” and “now what” moment.

After much editing, we created a space that reflected and framed six key insights. The ability to let go was difficult. We had to pick. We had to choose. We had to make a decision about what stories to include that best supported the insights.

The heart and soul of our research are in the stories from our 30+ research participants who so candidly shared their experiences with us. For the exhibition, we decided to visually share the stories from our design research process. We showed images from the synthesis phase where we grouped similar stories that supported the particular insight.

Exhibition as an Experiment
While the exhibition has been up for about a month and we’ve given about a dozen tours and counting, this exhibition is an experiment within itself. With each visitor, we solicit feedback, not only about the content, but also as to how the experience can be improved. As we consider new ways to communicate our work, how do you do it?

Currently, tours are available only to Mayo Clinic employees. Please contact us to arrange for a tour. Audio tour available upon request.