🦆 Interaction Nerds by UXA
This week from Archive & Collection: how design is governance, the importance of prompt engineering, and how to ask why without actually asking why.
Table of Contents:
🍀 Industry — Prompt Engineering is Probably More Important Than You Think
👋 Announcements — Last Prof Chat of the Semester!
UXA is holding our last “Prof Chat” event of the semester with Carol Smith! Come join us for lunch on April 19th from 11:45am - 1pm at Carnegie Café by signing up through this RSVP form. 🙌
Also, P@CMU is recruiting unit leads for the 2023-2024 school year! P@CMU is a PM community focusing on connecting students and alumni who are interested in product management, with programs such as hosting campus event, outreach to alumni network, provide mentorship with industry practitioners and curate content through podcasts. So far they have reached over 300 students and brought more than 50 alumni into the community, so if you wish to be part of this initiative and join the fam, consider checking out their unit lead application form for more info, application is due at 11:59pm April 18th!
🌾 Opinion — How Design is Governance
When designing something, it’s easy to get fixated on what’s directly in front of us - the physical (or digital) product itself. But what if we instead designed in terms of encouraging and discouraging specific actions (eg. nudges)?
structuring the field of action for others
Relative to physical spaces (eg. a cafe’s layout), digital platforms are fixed, so it’s difficult for users to adjust things to fit their needs or contact the designer or developer. But by designing through a lens of enabling and encouraging specific actions, we minimize the risk of barring users from being able to do what they actually need to do - this is especially when you don’t have the resources for adequate research.
🍀 Industry — Prompt Engineering Is Probably More Important Than You Think
As AI technologies continue to develop and proliferate, we may soon see AI everywhere in consumer tech. But conversing with AI via natural language is significantly different (at least for now) from both human-to-human language and programming languages.
👩🏽💻 Traditional programming: learn programming language to meet the computer Precise, with no room for interpretation.
🔵 No Code Tools: the interface on current devices (eg. buttons, toggle switches) Severely limited communication with the computer. No learning needed.
💬 Prompt Engineering: no code communication with a computer, without losing any flexibility.
Alberto Romero argues that “prompt engineering is the skill of the future” - if that’s the case, then we all better get cracking!
A few ways to start learning prompt engineering basics:
📕Learn Prompting: an open source course on prompt engineering
💬 Tips for prompting with ChatGPT
🎯 Resource — 15 Ways to Ask Why Without Asking Why
In design classes, we’re always told that asking “why” is the fastest way to communicate and get answers. Yet, asking “why” isn’t always that easy in the real world.
Asking “why” forces transparency and subsequently vulnerability, which is (or at least feels) dangerous without trust… and workplaces often don’t feel safe enough to be vulnerable in - but asking why is critical for uncovering issues, causes, beliefs, and motivations!
🌅 Identifying root cause: “what were you trying to accomplish?
😶🌫️ Identifying motivation: “how do you plan to use this?”
❓Questioning something’s value: “how does this align with our objectives?”
👑 Unpacking a leadership decision: “What was the intention behind this?”
“Why can’t people just ‘suck it up’ and answer?” What questions do you think are harder to answer for some people than others?
🎆 Fun - Random Cool Things!
Who’s behind the scenes?
Thanks for reading this week’s Interaction Nerds by CMU UXA! The editors behind this work are Alana Wu and Rebecca Jiang.
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