Archive | January, 2017

Facilitating design workshops a.k.a. how to plan a Kick-off meeting that doesn’t suck

11 Jan

Source: Smashing magazine Becoming A Better Facilitator

Start with

  1. OUTCOMES & GOALS – What is the purpose of the Workshop?
  • Who?
  • What do they already know that they can contribute with?
  • also, anticipate how to avoid pitfalls: managing preconceptions, 1-2 persons dominating conversations


Rather than a Meeting, Kicks-offs can be “WORKING MEETINGS

Top Advice: Be yourself. Find a style that works for you. But don’t be afraid to try other styles and stretch yourself (ie rather than always being a good listener, being more bold)

Range of types of activities
Open: Free discussions
Semi structured: Framework, guiding questions
Structured: Activity sheets, guided activities

Mixed activities
Hands on: energizing to move around, and to “see” things taking shape
Individual: some people think better alone, larger range of ideas (early ideas don’t steer the convo)
Team breakouts: sometimes necessary in order to get fast progress


1 Facilitator + 1 Note Taker
Don't transcribe everything, instead record Key decisions → Actions 


Source: Good Kickoff Meetings 


“Frontload” – interview your stakeholders before the meeting

Exercises during the kickoff
“Values / show & tell” – provide examples (for example, if going to discuss Value of Visual design, provide examples of beautiful typography, grids)
Assemble (visual) materials, examples that participants can respond to during the kickoff
Involve participant by having hands-on prototyping activities


Design principles ftw

5 Jan

Huge directory of design principles

Screen Shot 2017-01-05 at 3.52.30 PM.png

The next thing in interaction design? Designing system behaviours

5 Jan

In Smashing Magazine a great article about how AI will change design:

The article references a source “Interaction designers vs. algorithms” by Giles Colborne, and following the rabbit hole of links, blogs on cxpartners about…

Interaction design in the age of algorithms

User experience in 2017 – what will happen?


My takeaways:

  • The role of the designer is to facilitate and look after the output, working together with engineers about inputs versus outputs. What is it ultimately that the user wants to know, learn, achieve?  What inputs matter the most?
  • Conversational interfaces. Human-like without being misleading, without bad manners. Look at chatbots, which ones are seamlessly being accepted? (obviously not MS Clippy)
  • Mobile is the future (great to have confirmation of what I already felt!)

Platform thinking, not screen design


Right now I can’t find the source where I uncovered this, but…

  • 2017 is about Designing systems. 2016 was about User Experience. 2015 was about …(already forgot… hopefully I manage to track down the original source)