There’s something noble in being practical in your work and to be able to cut through the BS and deliver results as fast as possible. It was also a necessity for me, because I’ve always worked in fast-paced environments with rapid changes and time could be a deadly enemy, or a force you could use to thrive.
Like my Workshop’s description says, UX Design contains a lot of methodologies and principles that require a lot of hands, a lot of time and huge budgets. Unfortunately, in the real world you are called to solve problems and provide answers in no-time and with tiny budgets, often being the sole designer in your organisation.
In other words, you’ll read a lot of UX articles in medium about methodologies with fancy terms that are probably being used in companies with 2-3 designers and design managers and user researchers in the same squad.
I wanted to talk about the process of what happens when you’re in a smaller design team or you are the team. The workshop hours were 10:00 to 17:00 and I remember thinking: “this will be easy, I’m doing it everyday anyways, how hard can it be”?
I soon realised that planning for a 7-hours long workshop, isn’t a piece of cake.
Doing it as your job and communicating it to others, are two very different things.
So I started planning my workshop by spending some time thinking about who is this workshop for. Who will come and what is her background and experience?
Based on my assumptions, I designed a content map in my mind (you see how easy is to get all fancy with terms, I just created one of my own) and started writing down what exactly do I want to show. Which methodologies would make more sense to talk about and then apply them on a real project.
Once I had that, I started gathering material. The templates I was using to gather insights, the scripts for user interviews and the notes I was taking during the interviews, especially the parts that were describing how bad some of these interviews went and why.
As an example project, I’ve decided to use a smart-home iOS app, which can control the lights, the music and the temperature in multiple rooms/houses.
So when I knew what I actually wanted to talk about and based on the time I had, I created a Workshop map that looked like this:
I started with introductions because I had to identify the level of the people in the room. Then I continued with a little history about UX for the people who were just starting out, a brief introduction to theory and what we would learn during my workshop.
I was honest with them and I explained that this was just my process, based on my personal experience and it’s definitely not a bible.
I designed the actual slides of the presentation in a way that was helping me and my UXers, highlight the basics of each step, something like a reminder plus a couple of hints & tips to help them complete each activity. That helped a lot with keeping the focus on me and not the slides while I was talking.
By the end of my workshop, I wanted people to have a clear image about how I approach a new project, what are the most common mistakes I used to do and how to avoid them.
I had a great time telling my story, I met new people and I’ve learned a lot from them as well.
You can find my presentation here:
You can also download the templates I used for conduncting Stakeholder Interviews, User Interviews and Competitive Analysis. I've created them on my iPad and I like to print them when I don't have my iPad with me and take hand-written notes.
You can get them here, I hope you find them useful!