Touchline is our proprietary human-centred design tool for identifying and exploiting the ways in which human experience is influenced by contextual factors, including the set up of the environment, technology, and ways of working.
While we typically assume people’s thoughts, emotions and actions are based on their own choices, there is a very well established distinction in the field of psychology between “attributional” explanations for human behaviour (e.g. they are diligent, or motivated, or talented) and “situational” explanations (e.g. they are equipped with the right tools, given the right opportunities, provided with adequate trust and inspiration, given the right prompting).
We experience the power of situational elements constantly in every day experiences: feeling creative in a café, motivated at the gym, and perhaps a little intimidated in our manager’s office. There are powerful forces at play in each of these situations.
Touchline maps these forces and makes them available to use intentionally. Specifically, the tool works with three layers to an environment (e.g. an office, retail space, or classroom). These are called the three ‘Touchlines’: Physical (any physical feature of a particular space), Information (digital or analogue media for the flow of information, Understanding (the assumptions people bring to the context).
The tool hones in on combinations of elements across these three layers that can work together to promote particular behaviours or experiences, described in the form of ‘moments’.