About Skilful Minds


Skilful Minds is written by me, Larry Irons, the Principal and Founder of Customer Clues. As my Twitter profile @lirons suggests, I am just a man with a history of interest in all things communication. Skilful Minds generally discusses the challenges in translating strategic business goals, and the complex needs of people, into exceptional experiences for those who provide products and services, and those who consume them, whether the latter are customers, users, learners, or just plain people. I earned a PhD in Sociology from Washington University in St. Louis, studying the communication process, in particular the conversation and storytelling practices used by knowledge engineers involved in knowledge acquisition. 

I practice Experience Design, designing, developing, and managing product and service experiences that people enjoy. My focus on dialogue and narrative is longterm, a guiding thread regardless of the strategic or project challenges faced in client engagements. It means I approach client engagements with a strategic understanding of how to cultivate dialogue that shapes human experiences in ways that people want to engage.

Using my qualitative (ethnography, focus groups, in-depth interviewing, conversation analysis, etc.) and quantitative (usability testing, survey design, statistical inference, and regression modeling) analytic skills, along with a keen sense of how to construct a sentence and communicate complex thoughts simply, I provide clients a unique approach to market and design research aiming to deliver empathic products and services. Since the turn of this century, a career focus on collaboration and human-centered design in developing multimedia and web applications led me to a sustained interest in blogs, wikis, CoPs, social networks, and a range of other Web 2.0 resources to assist in empathic design and research.

Aside from this blog, my thinking and analysis also appears in many professional publications, with an overarching focus on the centrality of collaboration and social networking in human relationships, including:

  • Handbook of Research on Electronic Collaboration and Organizational Synergy
  • Management Communication Quarterly
  • United States Distance Learning Association Journal
  • Education Technology and Society
  • Theory and Society
  • Co-authored the McGraw-Hill Catastrophe Preparedness series, a set of books focusing on social network, collaboration, and risk management challenges in the preparedness professions.

Thanks in advance for having read this much about me, and Skilful Minds. I’d love to connect with you on LinkedIn or  Twitter.

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