San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
THE CONVERSION POINT
A museum is more than a collection of interesting objects.
A memorial is more than a heap or marble or stone.
Each of these types of institutions exist to serve a greater purpose. Whether it’s the British Museum or a local historical society, these organizations create an experience that is meant to inspire some action on the part of those who visit them.
For many years, museums did not take direct responsibility for the conversion point between experience and action — what visitors did after they left the gift shop was their business. But today, some institutions are thinking differently about this key component of their missions, asking tough questions about how the conversion happens and seeking new tools to make sure that it does.
Today, you are invited to help ask those questions using one of those tools. Here is its story.
THE INZOVU CURVE
Earlier this year, we went to work on behalf of an institution with an undoubtable moral mandate for action: the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Rwanda, final resting place for more than 250,000 people killed in the 1994 genocide. Aegis Trust, the organization that built and operates the memorial, wanted to make sure that visitors were offered not just a strong emotional experience at the memorial site and museum, but opportunities to help stop genocide today and in the future. So we sent a team of user experience designers to Rwanda to figure it out.
With the help of the Rwandan people, they did it. In their work the team made use of an array of resources, from experts on museum design to their own personal observations at the memorial site. But they were most inspired by the young people who visited and worked at the Kigali site. In workshops and curricula, portable posters and personal stories, the next generation of Rwandans are figuring out how to convert the story of one of history’s worst genocides into hopeful action in their own lives.
Carefully observing these young people, the designers developed a model the Kigali museum — and all museums — can use to convert profound emotional experiences into action. They nicknamed it “the Inzovu Curve” after the Kinyarwanda word for “elephant,” because the arc users travel resembles an elephant’s trunk. Visitors to a memorial or museum first descend into a state of (often painful) empathy with the victims of violence whose stories they encounter. Many institutions simply abandon them there; the Inzovu Curve instead advises them to provide additional experiences that lift visitors into a state of compassionate action. The model also identifies specific moments of reflection and transformation that will help equip all visitors to make a difference in the world.
WHERE YOU COME IN
Aegis Trust’s leaders in Africa and Europe endorsed the Inzovu Curve model as a way of inspiring action against genocide. But we believe it has implications for all museums and memorials, not just those that commemorate atrocities. You are now invited to help us test that hypothesis.
On October 17th, the team of designers that went Kigali will visit institutions throughout the United States and Europe, observing the experience of typical users the same way we did in Africa. Then they’ll map these experiences against the Inzovu Curve, simultaneously aiming to provide insights to the institutions they visited as well as to improve our understanding of the model. Finally, the designers will synthesize these findings into a set of recommendations for museums around the world — all in one day.
Designers will be using their user experience skills to participate in this event from many different locations, but it will be anchored at the Chicago offices of Manifest Digital. All participants will spend the first half of the day conducting research at museums and memorials. Then, Chicago-based participants will convene at Manifest for the final design session and presentation (which all participants are invited to watch via livestream).
If you're a designer looking to lend your skills for good, we want you to join us.
Here’s what you need to do to participate.
If you are a UX designer who can make it to Chicago…
- Register for the "Participating In Person (Chicago)" event. We'll send you specific information about the location and details as the event nears.
If you are a UX designer who can make it to New York…
- Register for the "Participating In Person (New York City)" event. We'll send you specific information about the location and details as the event nears.
If you are a UX designer who can make it to Amsterdam…
- Register for the "Participating In Person (Amsterdam)" event. We'll send you specific information about the location and details as the event nears.
If you are a designer somewhere else in the world…
- Register for the "Participating Virtually". We'll send you a toolkit to complete the activity on your own or within a team that you organize. Your work will contribute to the growing body of knowledge supporting the Inzovu Curve model.
If you are a leader at a museum or memorial in the Chicago area or anywhere else in the world…
- Contact us to discuss partnership.
If you don’t fit in any of these categories but still want to pitch in…
- Contact us to discuss partnership.
As the event nears, we may announce additional in person participation opportunities.
ABOUT UX FOR GOOD
UX for Good is an effort to push design as far as it can go: past forms, interactions and experiences to complex human systems, and beyond attractive, effective and elegant to deeply impactful. UX for Good is out to set the edge, so non-practitioners can see the full potential of design and practitioners can do the most meaningful work of their careers.
The centerpiece of UX for Good is the Annual Challenge, launched in 2011 by Jason Ulaszek of Manifest Digital and Jeff Leitner of Insight Labs. Each year, a handful of top user experience designers from around the world are brought together to conceptualize and develop novel interventions that help solve complex, social challenges.
When & Where
UX for Good
UX for Good leverages the discipline and top practitioners of user experience design to help solve pressing, complex social challenges.