A GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING AND DESIGNING FOR INTROVERTS
Modern workspaces are made to enforce collaboration and extroverted behaviours.
How do we design such spaces for introverts?
To understand people's ideas on introversion, I invited a few members of my cohort to map out their thoughts. This provided insights into the immediate associations with introversion, specifically social and personality aspects.
IDENTIFYING SOCIAL STRESSORS
To identify opportunity areas
From the mindmap, I was able to gather the need for personal time and recharging. I explored this further with an open-ended survey to understand what causes stress and anxiety in social situations for introverts.
Based on the survey data, I created a probe to ask in-depth questions on what causes introverts to feel drained after social interactions.
MAPPING EMOTIONS & PRODUCTIVITY
Productivity and introversion are emotionally correlated. This was observed by asking people to create conceptual maps.
I also carried out an experiment to identify if productivity and environmental stimulus are related. This was confirmed, and also indicated why collaborative spaces are generally detrimental to introverts' productivity.
So I explored quieter workspaces and what elements do they include to ensure productivity.
The above space is a writers club, based in Providence, RI. The club members are not extroverts, and find it to be an extremely productive space.
As a summation of the research, fictional personas were created to understand the environmental needs of people with introverted nature.
This led to the creation of a hierarchy that can be used as a reference while designing for introverts.
PERSONAS & HIERARCHY
Each element of the hierarchy needs to be fulfilled in order to ensure that space, interaction or product is helpful to an introvert's psychological needs.
Based on this hierarchy, and the scientific relation of space with personality,
it was indicative to create an experience through a physical interaction that can mirror psychological needs.