Practical UX Weekly

– What do you think about when you hear the word workshop? Maybe it’s a group of people coming together to achieve something special. Or maybe it’s when you see a group of people with whiteboards, Sharpies and Post-its, huddling around table or a wall to talk about their ideas. It can be all those things and more, but the best workshops are focused and have achievable goals and learning outcomes. In this video, we’re going to break down the practice of designing a workshop. I use five steps for designing workshops. Step one, understand. This includes a title, goal of the day, the topic, why it’s important, how we’ll do it and handouts that could support the workshop. The handout I’m providing is what you can use to fill out the project or workshop brief. Step two, logistics. Understanding the audience, the room, any AV requirements, the number of participants, the role and responsibilities of the facilitators, materials needed, and any constraints to be aware of. Step number three, design the workshop. This is where you’ll begin getting your initial ideas and content out. You can use the storyboard template in the exercise files to get you started. Here’s a Pro Tip, don’t worry about the timing yet, think about the high level content and learning outcomes you want to share. Step four, design the play by play. This is the minute by minute start to finish of the content to be covered. Start by breaking down the content into bite-sized lessons, along with the activities of each session. I typically set up my workshops to last one hour. Half of it consists of lectures, and the other half of it is for hands-on activities. This divide between lecturing and activities will depend based on your workshop outcomes and goals. For example, if you’re teaching something that covers a lot of content, you also want to make sure your audience can practice what you just taught. Or if you’re doing a design audit, or a design sprint, you do far less lecturing and far more activities. One product that I absolutely love for learning new practices and methods for design thinking, is lumaworkplace.com. It’s a paid subscription, similar to LinkedIn Learning. It’s got the world’s best recipes, methods, classes, and templates to help empower everyone to innovate through the practice of human centered design. Step five, the outcomes. What are the desired outcomes for each session and activity? So here are some Pro Tips. Do a dry run, you’ll catch many errors you didn’t see because you were too close to the work. Send a pre and post-survey. This can save you a ton of time as you’ll be able to capture information to carry into a session, and to get feedback to improve it for later. This keeps the workshop moving swiftly. I like to use a QR code for post-surveys, and budget in 10 minutes at the end of the session. This will help make sure you get the feedback you need to make the next session better. Facilitate your heart out. Developing a workshop can be a very gratifying experience. You get to work the room, add value, and bring people together to achieve something. So have your emotional radar on, add coins to your mindful meter, and turn your focus feature on high. This is your show, own it and have fun. To work through your own workshop, use the workshop preparation handout and you’ll be on your way. If you have more questions about designing a workshop, feel free to connect with me, even find me on LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter @abridewell, or you can join my Practical UX Weekly LinkedIn group. Thanks for watching, and I look forward to seeing you next time.

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