The Underlying Design Thinking of YMTfm

Caitlin Donnelly shows how it's done at Cesicon
Photo of YMTfm workshop snapped during CESICON 2016.

Perhaps the most interesting fact to emerge during hands-on workshops conducted at CESIcon by the members of the Youth Media Team (YMT) is how the philosophy of design thinking underpins the entire production process.

Before they interview a subject, members of the Youth Media Team try to figure out a unique facet that might make the interview more compelling. The process involves a bit of empathy, just like in Design Thinking. The process is often made easier if the team members visualise what they would capture in a still photo that they take during their interview.

Armed with a short list of well-defined questions, two YMT members use iPads or smartphones to complete their interviews. If their questions adequately define the purpose of the interviews, the results make very interesting listening material.

The challenge for the YMT when iterating from the written questions, through the audio upload to a written blog post. It’s tough toggling between these disparate tasks, involving writing, photography and audio recording.

The prototype of this entire production process is the sum of the media gathered around a single interview. Those media include (1) an image that normally ends up in the Youth Media Team collection on Flickr, (2) a blog post on WordPress, (3) an audio clip on Audioboom and (4) a short sentence  on Twitter. A perfect result occurs when all four of these media properties appear online and then get noticed by readers and listeners. This media analysis of reach and influence is part of the testing process that normally accompanies a well-developed design thinking process.

By monitoring which of the four results enjoys the greatest reach, the back office can test the reach and amplification of specific content. Those results get factored into future YMT activities and should result in better coverage of live events.

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