Laughing All The Way To EPIC

Presentation slide: two circular photos against different tones of green background. Left is a white chicken, right is a country road, and the work "vs" is in the middle. So it represents Chicken versus Road.
EVAN HANOVER Conifer Research Humor is no mere “sense;” it is a social and cultural practice that enables each one of us to construct and recognize novel meanings and connections within our lives and worlds. The idea that humor relies on incongruity that defies our expectations has been around for millennia, but the mid-20th century work of Arthur Koestler elevated humor to be creatively on par with other artistic and intellectual feats. In this PechaKucha, I link my personal fascination/obsession with humor to Koestler’s concept of ‘bisociation’ – the connection of two seemingly unrelated or incommensurate frames of reference – to tell the story of how I became the ethnographer I am today. Beginning with my discovery of the work of George Carlin and moving through a life of evolving engagement with humor – academically, at work, and on stage – I have developed the belief that what we laugh at can help us arrive at novel ideas and make our thought (and therefore action) nimble and resilient in the face of...

Should User Research Be Funny?

MEGHAN MCGRATH IBM PechaKucha Presentation The jokes people tell about their work can be a rich source of insight for user researchers. Known as “workplace humor” or “occupational humor,” these jokes refer to experiences where the user's pain or delight is instantly recognizable because it is so pervasive. This PechaKucha will discuss examples and practices your team can use to identify, synthesize, and leverage the occupational humor that resonates with specific classes of users, in order to build a more nuanced understanding of those users. Meghan McGrath is the Design Lead for IBM Z's Security group in New York. 2017 EPIC Proceedings, ISSN 1559-8918,