When carrying out contextual inquiry for interpretive planning, doing fact findings and analysis, one can focus on literature about previous research and use other people’s findings in order to create an interactive design explaining these insights. When talking about human behavious and topics which are subject to many opinions, one might easily get lost in scientifically written explanations of emotional and attitudinal perspectives.
As a creator of interactive experiences explaining these matters one must fully understand the emotional and subjective context of the topic. In order to gain this insight we perform qualitative design research with a selected group of people who are passionate about the topic because of personal interest or experience; experts from a variety of perspectives.
Gagarin has taken on a project to increase the financial literacy of Icelandic people, a topic that involves all things concerning personal finance as well as the mechanics of economy at large, a topic that might seem almost insurmountable in its vastness.
These cases are the ones we have to turn to these experts to gain clarity, direction and understanding. However sometimes, as in the case of financial literacy, there are truths. It occurred to us that we need to expose ourselves to a portfolio of perspectives to be able to grasp the wide range of the field.
Central to our task was to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and actions of people in general. We chose to work with the topic of metaphors to create a common ground. Gathering a variety of points of view that then were to be negotiated, diverged and transformed, turned out to be an innovative way to present their individual efficacy back to the group.
To be able to gauge, and see the efficacy of the metaphor each participant was asked to build a model of it. This was modeled upon an invention from the future, thereby releasing it from being bound to current technologies
It was the tool with which financial literacy could be achieved and the global problems deriving from its absence decreased.The result was striking because it very effectively illustrated what the participants thought was the problem and where they thought solutions might lie.
It is important in the process of interpretation to be humble towards this point to not alienate people on the basis of for example prior knowledge. This is something we always strive for at Gagarin and a central part of our design approach.