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Maite Otondo

Design Researcher , Clearleft

About Maite Otondo

Maite is an experienced design researcher. With a background in anthropology and design, she makes sure we have a deep understanding of the people we design for, their contexts and ensures we keep them at the centre of every step of the design process.

Maite enjoys approaching wicked problems using applied ethnographic methods and systems thinking, and finding design opportunities to tackle them. She believes research is a fundamental part of the design process, so she always looks for ways to keep a balance between a project’s needs or constraints and gathering relevant insights that will help create better design.

Her passion for design research started back in the mid 2000s during her design degree. At the time, she discovered she was fascinated by the ways people engage with design and the impact it can have on their lives. A few years later, her curiosity took her to London to expand her knowledge and explore new perspectives by doing an MSc in Digital Anthropology at UCL.

Before joining Clearleft, Maite worked for over 10 years as a design researcher in different countries of Latin America and Europe. She was involved in a broad range of projects from physical to digital and lots in between. Also, she has academic experience as an associate instructor of anthropology and design in a top university in her native country of Chile.


Using scenarios to move from research to design

Design is rooted in context. The stories we use to describe a context can make a seemingly nebulous problem tangible or can ground an idea in reality. During this masterclass we will discuss a scenario-based approach for embedding real-life contexts and stories throughout the final stages of research and early stages of the design process.

This flexible technique can support different activities at different stages of design:

  • Communicating the context (people, process, environment) surrounding a problem
  • Aligning stakeholders around the problem area
  • Contextualise conversations around the opportunity and solution
  • Communicate a solution's value and ultimate purpose

You will learn when to use scenarios and how to create and adapt them to suit your changing needs. You will also learn practical tips and advice in order to help you apply this technique effectively.

Book Maite Otondo's masterclass


We have a range of passes available to suit every schedule.

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