Future-minded, scientific, curious and hard-working.
I am an 'understander' and a design counselor. My kind is rare -- but business needs all types to thrive.
I have an INFJ personality, along with only about 1 or 2 percent of all people. What this essentially means is that I'm an intuitive empath that loves understanding how and why things are, and using that understanding to improve situations and help people.
I am a sponge/meta-thinker. I naturally string together complex patterns and associations based on a wide range of data I continuously take in from my surroundings -- including the energy and emotion of living things. Carl Jung called this way of approaching the world - one's operating system in other words - "Introverted Intuition" (or Ni.)
With the aid of Ni, I'm able to make eerily accurate judgments about what will happen in the future based on the totality of my current-state understanding. My level of skill at this is called an "unconscious competence" because it's ingrained at the operating-system level.
The fact that I can absorb pretty much everything (whether I want to or not) gives me an edge for qualitative research. I save valuable time by naturally seeing past the persona and into what people keep hidden, especially emotions like fear and anxiety, and then intuitively know how to probe for clarification without being invasive.
I help design teams by uncovering and communicating what quant surveys cannot provide -- deep & rich data about why people behave the way they do.
Design teams need to understand what people do, and most importantly, why, to come up with the best solutions. The only way to reliably uncover 'why' is through observing and talking with research participants in-person and virtually.
Self-reported claims and speculations about one's behavior are generally unreliable. So, to get to the truth, I watch people do tasks in their environments and ask questions to find drivers and motivations for what they do.
I am a natural at getting to the truth. My personality provides unlimited intuition and empathy, which I use to connect with research participants – even when meeting virtually. Also, I work with purpose and intention and ensure a reliable set of outcomes so teams can quickly use my findings to improve their work.
I strongly advocate for radical inclusion in design. It's just a win-win for everyone.
Successful digital businesses revolve around the needs of people, not technology, and this is especially important when considering accessibility. Persons with disabilities – whether permanent, temporary, visible or invisible – need to 'do life' just like everyone else. They all deserve a voice in product and service design, and to earn their loyalty their we must listen.
It is especially important to include our growing senior population, as many baby boomers are starting to develop low vision from age-related diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration. They have trouble using products and services that are not designed to accommodate a full range of visual capability - so they search out and ultimately commit to the ones that do suit them. Can you blame them?
I have strong ethics and take making recommendations very seriously.
The Open AI Charter, the ACM Statement of Ethics and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Statement of Ethics are my guidelines.
The role of technology in our lives is exponentially increasing. Our collective digital future demands that researchers, architects, and designers work together for the common good, take responsibility for things we create - along with their cultural manifestation - and think through unintended consequences as part of the design process. Our future as a species depends on it, and we are on the front lines.
Vikki Highland © 2018