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Brief

Fifty Shades of Bias is a seed project intended to be developed into social enterprise model. The aim of the group is to raise awareness of unconscious bias in the corporate sector and how said bias affects requirement of individuals from diverse groups.

The challenge for the two-and-a-half-week design sprint was to clarify the scope and efficacy of the ‘Fifty Shades of Bias Unconscious Bias Training’ in light of the research on unconscious bias training in the corporate sector. The proposed training consisted of one-off workshops on the topic of unconscious bias. A unique feature of the training was the use of prompt cards as a means of initiating discussion and driving ‘correction’ of biases. Another unique feature was the employment of workshop facilitators who identified as belonging to diverse groups. The target market was identified as the corporate sector, primarily for their financial resources.

Duration: 2.5 weeks

Role: My role within this project was primarily focused

on UX research and strategy. UX design was addressed

within a general exploration of potential solutions.

Deliverables

  • Research report

  • Comprehensive appendix

  • Presentation slides

Tools

  • Research database

  • Miro

  • Google survey

  • Google Docs

  • Trello

  • Canva

  

Problem

Following an extensive research phase, it became evident that the real problem facing the FSOB group was the ineffectiveness of their chosen solution. The solution had been developed without any initial research into the market, current practise, or fundamentals of unconscious bias training. As such the solution required a significant degree of  background research in order to alignment business goals with opportunities in a highly saturated and competitive market.

 

Hypothesis 

  • Current practices in the field of unconscious bias training have been shown to be ineffective and possible counterproductive to the cause.  Despite this, there remains a demand for this of training in the workplace.

  • While competitors run a variety of programs, it appears that current practices do not address the human factors associated with participant of the training. The human factors include the participants needs, psychology, optimal learning requirements and the essential components for transformative learning.

  • Overlooking the human factors of this group results in a felt sense of shame, blame and subsequent disengagement with the training and topic in general.

  • Addressing these human factors will allow for the participants to explore felt and shared experiences during the training period. Another important component is the acknowledgement and accommodation of the life experiences of the participants as a platform for inclusion and ownership.

 

Research Approach

  • Research was broken down into primary and secondary approach

  • Primary research focused on exploring the experience of individuals who had attended a unconscious bias or Diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) training as part of their workplace requirements. User survey and interviews were carried out, the producing results  inline with secondary research results about the poor results of DEI in the workplace.

  • Further primary research was attended to assess the FOSB card teaching tool

  • Secondary approach focused on 1) Anti-bias training as a practice 2) the efficacy of AB training in the workplace 3) development and function of the unconscious mind 4) Diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) in the Australian context (includes workplace) 5) Components of effective learning 6) Components of a transformative experience

 

Proposed Solution

  • The initial solution requires redevelopment in light of the vast insights gained from the extensive research.

  • Business model

  • Develop an identity in the field

  • Engage experts

  • Research and Development

                                

Approach

  • The sprint was divide into research, strategy and redevelopment. The client was informed on research insights throughout the process. Despite the evidence of limited efficacy in regard to DEI training, they were committed to workshop formats as their solution. As a result the strategy focused on understanding deficits in current programs as opportunities to exploit in the redevelopment of the FSOB program.

 

Result & Reflections

  • As a result of the project, the client has decided to engage in speaking engagements as a means of developing an identify in the field

  • She has also moved to compile an advisory board of experts in the field of psychology, disability and business management and including HR

  • The research insights indicated that a number of other solutions may have been a better match between business goals and market status. Had the engagement been longer, we could have explored these other options in sufficient depth to demonstrate their benefit over the workshop approach.  

UX methods

Research

  • Primary research -survey design, delivery and data extraction. User interviews

  • Secondary research – Extensive research using research database and google scholar

Strategy

  • Business analysis

  • Competitor analysis

  • Solution assessment and exploration of alternative solutions

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