Session Title



Dennis Schleicher, Sears

Session Type: Activity

This will be an activity in which we learn about and then do a bodystorming exercise. A bodystorm is a live presentation (think: a short play) in which user experience people improvise several scenes and also has the audience asking questions. It leads to a better understanding of the problem and solution space. I will go over best practices as well as techniques and tools for bodystorming (one for idea generation to prepare for bodystorming and another for analyzing a bodystorm.)

I have included a video url link to an example of a bodystorm workshop result done earlier this year at Overlap09. It is more than 2 minutes long.

Use Case Theater (Prototyping the Space/Place your product will be used in using “actors” and “props”.) Let’s say you have been hired to build a new hot-dog vendor stand. Bodystorming Type III says you should get a perhaps 3 or 4 of your co-workers and have them act-out the the different roles. So you have one person be the vendor. Another person ordering their hot dog. The other people waiting in line to order. Perhaps you have them run through it for a couple of takes and you can watch and see what happens and perhaps change things up to explore different options. Such things as how long it take to service 10 people with one vendor versus two vendors, or if you add a form for people to fill out instead of telling the vendor their order.


Dennis uses his background in business and industrial anthropology to design interactive products to support the way people communicate and interact in their everyday and working lives. In addition to being a past chair of the largest Information Architecture Summit, he continues to be a leading force in the design community and is actively involved with the Information Architecture Institute, the ASIST Special Interest Group of Information Architecture, Overlap, and the Interaction Design Association (IxDA). Dennis is Director, User Experience Architecture at Sears Holdings in Chicago. He has worked with American Public University Systems, Ford, Chrysler, General Motors, United States Air Force, Microsoft, Comcast, Dominos, White Castle, Bosch, and Numara. His corporate pedigree includes work at Argus Associates, the company that wrote the book on Information Architecture, and the Ford account at JWT, the largest account at the largest advertising company in the US.