Green Hatting a Website

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Green Hatting in the Six Hats, Six Coats metaphor is about the conceptual perspective of a system.  Edward de Bono calls this the creative hat.

Green Hats take the feedback provided by the other five hats and look for the an opportunity to improve the quality of life, right a wrong or prevent the end of something good. In the Green Hat perspective designers evaluate goals, networks, data, processes, people and times that could, should or would exist. Green Hat conceptual design is used by the Yellow Hat contextual design team.

Like the other hats, the Green Hat is worn with each of the Six Coats. The basic question is what is the greatest benefit we can offer.

Green Hat, Green Coat: What is our meaning?

Green Hat, Yellow Coat: Why are we navigating?

Green Hat, White Coat: Why do we need data?

Green Hat, Black Coat: Why do we process?

Green Hat, Red Coat: Why are we personas?

Green Hat, Blue Coat: Why do we need convenience?

Green Hat also has a reverse purpose when variances occur in the transacting system. Green Hats decide how to handle a opportunity which is to insert a new product or service for the system to accomodate the exception. The buck stops here.

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Yellow Hatting a Website

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Yellow Hatting in the Six Hats, Six Coats metaphor is about the contextual perspective of a system.  Edward de Bono does not have a hat for this perspective.

Yellow Hats take the conceptual design provided by the Green Hats and look for the niche market. In the Yellow Hat perspective designers evaluate goals, networks, data, processes, people and times that require products or services within the conceptual domain. Yellow Hat contextual design is used by the White Hat logical design team.

Like the other hats, the Yellow Hat is worn with each of the Six Coats. The basic question is what is the most unique product or service we can make available within the conceptual domain.

Yellow Hat, Green Coat: What is our unique product or service mantra?

Yellow Hat, Yellow Coat: Where are we navigating?

Yellow Hat, White Coat: Where is our data?

Yellow Hat, Black Coat: Where are our processes?

Yellow Hat, Red Coat: Where are our personas?

Yellow Hat, Blue Coat: Where are we convenient?

Yellow Hat also has a reverse purpose when variances occur in the transacting system. Yellow Hats decide how to handle a deviation which is to select a new product or service for the system to accomodate the exception or to escalate it up to the Green Hats.

White Hatting a Website

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White Hatting in the Six Hats, Six Coats metaphor is about the logical perspective of a system.  Edward de Bono calls this the optimist’s hat.

White Hats take the contextual design provided by the Yellow Hats and exprore it to its full extent. In the White Hat perspective designers optimize goals, networks, data, processes, people and times to theoretical limits. White Hat logical design is used by the Black Hat physical design team.

Like the other hats, the White Hat is worn with each of the Six Coats. The basic question is what are the logical limits within the context.

White Hat, Green Coat: How do we achieve maximum value for the customer?

White Hat, Yellow Coat: What are we navigating?

White Hat, White Coat: What is our data?

White Hat, Black Coat: What are our processes?

White Hat, Red Coat: What are our personas?

White Hat, Blue Coat: What is our peak performance?

White Hat also has a reverse purpose when variances occur in the transacting system. White Hats decide how to handle a variance which is to alter the system to accomodate the exception or to escalate it up to the Yellow Hats.

Black Hatting a Website

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Black Hatting in the Six Hats, Six Coats metaphor has is not primarily about security, although it could be included. Black Hatting is about the physical perspective of a system.  Edward de Bono calls it the pessimist’s hat.

In the Black Hat perspective engineers determine the economics of goals, networks, data, processes, people and times. As part of the economics they will choose goals, hardware, databases, software, personas and performance metrics and place constraints on the logical design created by the White Hats. Black Hat design is used by the Red Hat implementation team.

Like the other hats, the Black Hat is worn with each of the Six Coats. The basic question is what logic can we support economically and where do we cut back?:

Black Hat, Green Coat: What is our business model?  Margin.

Black Hat, Yellow Coat: How do we navigate?  Compromise.

Black Hat, White Coat: How is our data organized?  Denormalization.

Black Hat, Black Coat: How do we process? Deoptimize.

Black Hat, Red Coat: How do we serve our personas? Satisfice.

Black Hat, Blue Coat: How do we meet performance requirements? Juggle the other hats.

Basically, Black Hat is about taking the ideal system and bending and trimming it until it is a design that can be implemented with the resources economically available. Black Hat also has a reverse purpose when exceptions occur in the transacting system. Black Hats decide how to handle an exception which is to reject the exception or to escalate it up to the White Hats.

Black Hatting is not for the faint of heart. It involves negotiation with the White Hats and often having to settle for less than the best. However, as the resources represented by each of the Six Coats is democratized and made freely available, the Black Hat job is becoming increasingly simpler for websites. Of course, this is not the case for all systems.

Blue Hatting a Website

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Blue Hat in the Six Hats, Six Coats metaphor deals with convenience.  Blue Hat is the first impression your traffic gets–convenience of goals, networks, data, processes, people and times.  When it comes to the web, if any of these aspects of convenience are not met you are going to lose traffic before anything is captured by your website’s system.  Let’s look at each of these aspects in turn.  Edward de Bono calls this the data hat.

Blue Hat, Green Coat:  When are the the goals of the site clearly communicated.   This is the message your evangelists are getting out and getting out often.  Be it an SEO or a customer.

Blue Hat, Yellow Coat:  When is the site navigated?  If your audience is getting a garbled presentation on their browser, they are not going to stick around to figure it out.

Blue Hat, White Coat:  When is the data accessed?  Tables of data that obfuscate information through redundancy cause users eyes to glaze over and their index fingers to click the back button.

Blue Hat, Black Coat:  When are the processes activated?  Maintain a sense of orientation as any action is executed or the user will abort.

Blue Hat, Red Coat:  When do the personas use the site?  Don’t be innovative if your users are averse to innovation.

Blue Hat, Blue Coat: When is performance required?  If you are taking too long to load flash or dowload data and traffic is cutting and running it’s time to consider communicating in different formats or increasing bandwidth.

This is Blue Hat for a website.  Blue Hat metaphors are equally applicable in any system you are working with be it business, government, not-for-profits, media or technology.

Blue Data, Red Data and Black Data

In my Six Hats, Six Coats and Six Ring metaphors I have been discussing this diagram:

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It can also be presented as follows:

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It has been a challenge to the traditional Data, Information, Knowledge and Wisdom hierarchy by introducing not one, but three forms of data.  I call them Blue Data, Red Data and Black Data.

Blue Data or Reflex Data is data that affects the system, but is not necessarily captured at all. It influences a transaction, but requires techniques external to regular data capture to record. Some of the most subtle aspects of design influence this level of a transaction.  This is when a customer leaves a website because the Flash presentation takes too long to load.

Red Data or Intuitive Data is registered by the system, but does not generate any exceptions or variances. Although the data affects the bottom line it does not register in the cognitive-physical or cognitive levels of the system.  This is “business as usual” data.

Black Data or Exception Data is registered by higher levels of the system.  This is data that calls for physical-cognitive response outside the domain of normal operation.  An example would be a customer having to make two orders of nine units and one order of seven units because the system cannot capture more than nine units in one transaction.

I believe that for the Data, Information, Knowledge and Wisdom model to be complete it has to recognize the significance of Blue Data, Red Data and Black Data. For business to truly be successful, it not only has to ascend the DIKW hierarchy, it has to descend the hierarchy below the traditional definition of data and recognize all of data’s facets.

And what is Information, Knowledge and Wisdom, but higher forms of data?

Six Rings

In my last post I revealed a ring metaphor that positioned Transaction, Intuition, Data, Information, Knowledge and Wisdom. Now that we have made the transition with a majority of the concepts from tetrads to hexads, we can now explore how the Six Hats, Six Coats metaphor can be shifted into the Six Rings metaphor. First, lets call up the Six Hats for review:

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As I discussed earlier, Conceptual is the Creative perspective, Contextual is the Compatibility perspective, Logical is the Reliability perspective, Physical is the Economy perspective, Mechanical is the Intuitability perspective and Operational is the Convenience perspective.

And now let’s take this metaphor and shift it into the Six Rings metaphor:

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As you can see I have given Creativity the highest order and Convenience the lowest.

With that done, let’s take another look at the Six Coats metaphor:

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Motivational is the Goal focus.  Spatial is the Network focus.  Formal is the Data focus.  Functional is the Process focus.  Personal is the People focus.  Temporal is the Time focus.

Now let’s take the Six Coats metaphor and shift it to the Six Rings metaphor:

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In the Six Rings metaphor I give Goals the highest order and Time the lowest order.

As you can see in these representations of the Six Hats and Six Coats as rings, there are other implications when we look at the Mix Thirty-Six:

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When we look at the Mix Thirty-Six the Blue Hat, Blue Coat requires the least cognitive effort, while the Green Hat, Green Coat requires the greatest. However, the Mix Thirty-Six describes a team and a network. Leadership and communication can follow different emphases and paths between Green Hat, Green Coat and Blue Hat, Blue Coat. And the best Green Hat, Green Coat and the best Blue Hat, Blue Coat has worn the entire Mix Thirty-Six. We will explore this more in future posts by introducing additional metaphors.

Further reading: Six Hats, Six Coats , Mix Thirty-Six and TIDIKW