American Values and Design
Design Anthropology's distinct character

Values/Design/Experience at the IRS

Yesterday, I gave a presentation, Values/Design/Experience, to the IRS. There were over 40 people in attendance, including, Ms. Denise Fayne, director of Media and Publications and the Frank Keith, Director of Communications and Liaisons.

The presentation was part of the celebration of the IRS graphics group's Design Management Project accomplishments. My presentation blurb was the following:

How does design translate your organization’s values into internal and external audience experiences?

Designed memos, forms, brochures, websites, advertisements all mean something to people. This meaning is not just about the information conveyed but about the values experienced. Dr. Dori Tunstall will engage you in a conversation about how design translates organizational values into internal and external audience experiences. Dori will show you how values-based anthropological and design management approaches can positively affect your department’s performance, morale, and communications both internally and externally.

There reception of my message was very positive. The IRS directors were nodding their heads at all the right points.  I kept those who would normally fall asleep awake with my enthusiasm and  “passion” for the topic. What makes me happy as that the IRS people found it inspirational. A core message was that the IRS has a unique mandate in American democracy; it collects the revenue that funds the common good. There were small things that people appreciated, such as the use of subtitles/captions on my slides to support those with hearing impairments. I learned this from my student, Leilah Rampa, who did that on her presentations.

People kept asking me how I got into the design and governance thing. Basically, I realized that I am a true believer in the idea of democracy. As the first generation of African Americans to be freed by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, I see it as extending the civil rights movement by bringing it from a position of outsider protest to insider process.

I think the Values/Design/Experience framework is a good one. Each government agency has unique values depending on its core intention (count citizens, collect revenue to fund the common good, prioritize issues, serve justice) within American democracy. I hope through design and anthropology to help make those intentions real.

So here is the link to the lo-res version of the presentation  Download Valdesexp_prez_final_lo.pdf (PDF 1.4 MB). Enjoy, leave comments, but please do not cite or circulate without authors permission. (smile)


The comments to this entry are closed.