Design Workshops: Brainstorm Better With The Design Studio Method | Michal Mazur | Skillshare

Design Workshops: Brainstorm Better With The Design Studio Method

Michal Mazur, UX Designer | Design teacher | Podcaster

Design Workshops: Brainstorm Better With The Design Studio Method

Michal Mazur, UX Designer | Design teacher | Podcaster

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13 Lessons (51m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:25
    • 2. Class Project

      3:12
    • 3. Why is workshopping effective?

      7:02
    • 4. The Design Studio method

      4:57
    • 5. Step 0: Warmup

      2:10
    • 6. Step 1: Sketching

      3:56
    • 7. Step 2: Pitching

      3:45
    • 8. Step 3: Critique

      2:50
    • 9. Step 4: Zen Voting

      5:51
    • 10. Tips for facilitation

      5:31
    • 11. Working with workshop outcomes

      2:51
    • 12. Running Design Studio remotely

      5:37
    • 13. Final thoughts

      1:18
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About This Class

Have you ever attended a brainstorming meeting that was all over the place and have not yielded any viable ideas? I have, many times, and I felt it was a complete waste of time - more of a distraction rather than aid. That's why I decided to search for better ways of brainstorming and stumbled upon this method called Design Studio! I have been using it over the last 7 years for both client and internal workshops

In this class I will share this method, which will be useful to creatives of all sorts. It will help you and your team brainstorm in a more guided and thoughtful way!

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This method will work magic in digital product design, however workshop facilitation and collaborative methods are useful in any creative field. Good design thrives in diverse environments, so the method will be especially useful in situations when collaborating with people different than you can bring value to your work.

You can use the Design Studio method when brainstorming concepts for:

  • Designing a new mobile application or a single feature,
  • Designing a new logotype,
  • Searching for key visuals for your marketing campaign,
  • Or even choosing a snack set for your birthday party! ;)

Here are a couple of projects, where I used the Design Studio method to generate ideas, which later turned into real-life digital products:

Meet Your Teacher

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Michal Mazur

UX Designer | Design teacher | Podcaster

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hi, my name is meow and let me welcome you to my Skillshare class. Brace on better with the design studio method. I am a Senior UX designer currently working for a company that builds applications for startups from all around the world. I work with designing particular features, particular applications from the very beginning. Quite often I run workshops with clients. Over the last seven years. I've run over 70 workshops with clients and with internal teams. And in many of them, I found out that brainstorming is really tricky. Because if you just gather a couple of people in the room and they just start bouncing ideas off each other and generating random ideas. Well, it doesn't really worried because you don't have any concrete outcomes of meeting. It's like these. That's when I discovered the design studio method and I used it many, many times to make sure that any brainstorming session that I run is structured. It has particular inputs, particular outputs. And I facilitated with a discipline that makes sure that everybody stays on point, that everybody is focused. The design studio has a couple of principles that I will explore in the next lessons. I will share with you a structure on how to organize your own design studio method, on how to run an effective brainstorming workshop with your colleagues or with your friends. I will let you know how to conduct it in a physical setting and in a digital setting. Over the next 11 lessons, you will learn how to prepare, run, and conclude a design studio workshop. You will now be able to run brainstorming much more effectively. You will yield amazing results because you will build on the diversity of people that are coming together as a group to design solutions for particular problems. And you, as a facilitator, will need to make sure that everybody stays on track. And this class will help you do exactly that. I'll see you next lesson. 2. Class Project: All right, So after completing this course, you will have a challenge to do. You will have a class project to complete. And I would like you to think about the project that I will just brief you now about throughout the whole course, throughout all of the lessons, I want you to make some notes to think about how you would complete your first design studio workshop. I would like you to find a project, to do an idea. Maybe it's a homepage for your portfolio website. Maybe it's a logo, maybe it's a new feature to an application you are designing. Or maybe it's just a fantasy project, just something to think about the practice, your design skills, and just to test out the design studio method. For the workshop, you will need at least two people. Probably the ideal number is about three or four people. And I'd like you to pick those people to be as diverse a group as possible. So you might want to have people from different ethnic backgrounds, from different ages of different skills and specializations. May people from different countries, if possible, the more diverse the group did better. And in the next lessons, you will get to know why it's really crucial for the design studio method itself. Now you won't need to have a lot of gear, lot of things to prepare. You might just need some blank sheets of paper. You might make some Sharpies appends, some sticker sheets like hello dot ones will be useful as well. I'll, I'll tell you why later on the worry, you might need those, but you will just do fine without any of those really, you might just want a computer and perform the design studio, the full design studio workshop online with using tools like my row and Balsamiq Cloud or just my arrow or you can, you can basically use any other collaboration tool you might just use Zoom or Google Meet for, for actually connecting with people online. And you might want to use something visual like Miro or, or even Figma to generate some ideas for the design studio workshop. For the class project, I would like you to do one full round of the design studio workshop. So you take one idea like the homepage of your portfolio, do one iteration of it. And then the second one, you will get to know what it means in just the next few lessons. Don't worry. I want you to do this one round and post any drawings that you have, any. And I'll sketches like like these ones. It can be really rough. It will be really rough. It doesn't matter. I want you to post some ideas that you generated by using this method. And perhaps a couple of bullet points of what worked for you. What didn't work for you? What were the most important challenges that you faced in conducting a workshop like this? Now, I can't wait to see some of your projects, but let's dive into the content first. 3. Why is workshopping effective?: Right, so let's start by defining what a workshop is and why workshopping is really beneficial for creative work. First of all, at least for me, a workshop is a meeting of two people. It might be a physical meeting and maybe a remote meeting. I think it's quite hard to use workshop with yourself, so you need at least two people. Second of all, there needs to be an agenda. You don't really want to have too many meetings without an agenda, without any plan, because otherwise he might just be wasting time discussing and discussing and discussing ideas, but never really getting to the point of making any decision and workshopping with a particular agenda that's well prepared with the right method for the right purpose. You might really structure the meeting in the way that it provides clear value to you and the whole team and you don't waste even a minute of it. Second of all, any type of workshop has particular inputs, in particular outputs. In design studio, the inputs will be all of the knowledge and experience of people that you invite to the workshop. And the outputs would be sketches, would be ideas, would be foundation for the next stages of your creative work, whether it's a website or a mu, just a new feature for a mobile application, whether it's a logo or a new illustration, or maybe even a sketch for some of the scenes of your new movie or a YouTube video, you might want to use this method for so many different purposes. A workshop needs to be facilitated. Typically, there will be one person who is responsible for the facilitation of a workshop. That person will keep the time. We'll make sure that all of the methods, all of the steps run smoothly and everybody keeps on track and stays focused on the goal to create the outputs that you really need. So you might wonder, what's the actual benefit of doing it this way of workshopping instead of just sitting down at the desk myself and just walking through my ideas alone. Well, there is a couple of benefits, especially if you work in a company with other people. Maybe you walk on a digital product that you have developers, PMs, designers, marketers, all working together to create a good digital product. Well, a meeting of all of these people with a particular structure will be faster. It will be a faster route to yield any results that will be useful to you later on, other than exchanging e-mails. So, uh, messages on slide, people get distracted. Workshop is a place where you get focused as a team and you exchange ideas together. Workshopping is also great for achieving team alignment. To have better communication, to actually build relationships within the team. Because if I do my siloed work, you do your siloed work. We all work separately and then try to pull all of the things together from all the different facets. It doesn't really work that well. Quite often, you need to have a single perspective as much as it's possible. You might want to have contribution from all of the members of your team, of your creative team, even if they don't work as creatives. As full-time, you might want to have their input. And then all of you will feel owners of this particular project which is really valuable in teamwork and business environment. When you have a workshop with a couple of different people. And there is a facilitator who keeps the time, who makes sure that the agenda gets fulfilled. Well, that's really powerful because the facilitator has a sort of a superpower, right? They can control people that normally, even in a small company, there might be some pressures that are if you're with a CEO in a room, while they might get some power, they may want to dominate the discussion. But well, if you're the facilitator, you're running the meeting. And you say if it's alright to pursue that idea or that idea, Do we have time for any digressions or should we keep cracking on to make sure that the workshop is actually working to our benefit. So the facilitation is really, really important. And if you have people from different functions of your company in the same room, you might have some technical perspective, you might have some marketing perspectives and creative perspective. And all of these different ideas and sets of experiences will create something, an idea, a solution that's more holistic than any single of these functions would create. So it's really important that you invite people from different functional professional backgrounds to the session to bring the value to the workshop, bring value to the ideas. And the last point is diversity. You want to have the group in the room as diverse as possible. I mean personal background sign mean ethnic backgrounds, age. Perhaps her experiences, hobbies, passions, anything. The more diverse the group, the better for the workshop. It's really, really important. Otherwise, you will just all create similar solutions to the same problem with the same perspective. And that's not what this method is about. This method is about bringing the value out of diversity of people in the room. So how can you make sure that the workshop, any workshop that you run is of top-notch value, is really well done and will bring value to the ideas the next stages of your creative process? Well, first of all, you need to have a proper structure. You need to plan it out. Second of all, you need to invite the people that, you know that will bring value to the table, that will bring some interesting new perspectives and new ideas. People who are different than New. You need to set the expectations right for the session and need to plan out what you will actually achieve at the end, you might want to plan for three or four different problems for a one-day of workshopping no more because it will take the time and it will take the toll on your energy. Believe me that this type of workshop is quite tiring so you don't want it too much in a day. But to make sure that this workshop runs smoothly, you or any other person needs to be a facilitator. A facilitator needs to keep at a time, keep the agenda, keep everybody on topic, otherwise, the workshop might not be as effective as possible. So keep all of these points in check. And I'll make sure to tell you a bit more about how to structure this particular type of workshop in a way that it brings value to your business, to your creative process. So in the next lesson, I'll tell you a bit more about the method itself. 4. The Design Studio method: Now that you know why workshopping is really valuable as a means to collaborative work. Let's dive into the design studio method to for you to understand why it's really, really useful and how it can bring value to your process. The basic principle of a design studio workshop is that you generate lots of ideas, but they are put to paper. They are not just in our heads. They are put to paper or pixels. If you run the workshop remotely, it's quantity over quality. So you don't want to have something really detailed and polished at the end of the session. You want some rough sketches, just some rectangles and scribbles, something that would transport every idea, every viable idea that you guys have in your minds to paper. So that at the end of the session you have a collection of ideas to work from in the next stages. The second principle is that everybody gets a chance to speak. The discussion will not be dominated by one extroverted person or somebody at an executive level. But everybody will get their chest to speak up, to share their ideas and to share their feedback. So in a normal discussion or unstructured meeting, you won't have that possibility. Always. Introverted people will always be somewhere in the back, maybe not willing to share their ideas while the extra more extroverted people will dominate the discussion. In design studio, we don't want that to happen. We want everybody to share ideas. I first discovered the design studio method in a book that I read called prototyping the practitioner's guide by Todd Zackie waffle. I read it probably eight years ago and since then I've been using this method on over 40 or 50 workshops with clients and internal teams to make sure that we generate ideas in a way that is structured and it will bring us most valuable outputs. Base structure of the design studio method is quite simple. It's just three steps and then you repeat the same three steps and add a fourth step in the second round. Now let's go through the steps one by one very quickly, and I will dive deeper into each of them in the next lessons. The first one is sketching. You want to spend about 510 minutes per one iteration on sketching as many ideas as possible. Everybody does sketching in their own settings and are on their own paper. Or if you do the workshop remotely on their own computers. But the idea is remember to generate quantity over quality. So you want some very basic scribbles like while, something like this, right? No more than this. The next step is pitching. It's one to two minutes per person where you can share your thoughts and your rationale behind your sketch presented to the rest of the participants. And everybody go one-by-one presenting their ideas and there is no time for question. Now, third step is critique. You have a fixed amount of time for everybody to share their feedback on any of the sketches so that you can relate back to some goals that you have said in the beginning of the session. And you can say, well, this sketch doesn't meet the criteria that we set or the purpose of why we are generating these ideas. But this solution is really, really nice. So you have five or six minutes for everybody to share their discussion. And the purpose of this is that in the next round, you can input this feedback back into your sketches and create new sketches with the feedback and with the, with the inspiration of all of the other participants. After the three steps, you basically rinse and repeat. You go through the same steps all over again. But now with the inspiration and feedback involved. Now, after you do this, you jump into this step. The last step, which is Zen voting. Now, voting is just you as a group selecting the best ideas that all of you have sketched throughout round 2. So this is basically the structured, it's four simple steps, basically seven if you count, if you count the two rounds together. And after these ones, you move on to the next problems that you want to solve. So if you're designing oil up where a web application or mobile application, you might want to design particular screens throughout the day within a couple of sessions of design studio. If you're working on branding, you might want to design the logo type first, there may be some key visuals, illustrations, and maybe focus on some base topography or, or general visual style. So this might be used in many different contexts. But before we jump into the details of all of the particular steps, let's go into how to organize a warm-up. 5. Step 0: Warmup: Okay, so let's say you invited a couple of people for sketching session for design studio workshop. How to get them in the right mindset. How to make sure that the creative part of the brain is warmed up and ready for the challenges ahead. There are couple of methods for it. And sometimes you may, you may go to the more conservative ones and sometimes you may go for the crazy ones depending on the people that you have in the room. Sometimes you might have people who are not comfortable with drawing or the thing they can't draw. But really the type of study you would be joining in a design studio workshop is very, very simple. You don't need any skill for that. One particular technique that works quite well. At least it worked for me quite well a couple of times is something called squiggle birds. The idea is that you draw a squiggle. Let me draw one. Let's take a piece of card. It's a marker. Draw squiggle. Then you pass it on to the person next to you. And their task is to create a, an, an animal out of it. It's called squiggle buds. So typically he would draw birds. So let me turn this one into a bird. Right? So now we have a bird right? Runaway its legs are quite, quite awkward, but that's fine. That's perfectly fine. So now everybody has drawn a squiggle bird. You may go on to the next exercise. You may want to draw a couple of squiggles on one card and then pass on to the next person so that they can draw multiple buds. So it takes a couple of minutes. And this simple exercise kind of break the ice because it's quite fun when he show each other the bus that you drew. So it's really, really useful to get this sort of simple warm up before you dive into the actual sketching of the design studio. Let's see that in the next lesson. 6. Step 1: Sketching: So the first step of the core design studio structure is sketching. It takes typically from five to ten minutes, depending on the complexity of the thing that you want to draw, the want to generate solutions for. It doesn't really take much. If you do it in a, in a physical setting, you take a couple of cards like the one we used for the bird. May want to reuse the one on the other side to recycle. You take a couple of markers and it's really important for those to be marked as they can be Sharpies, they can be something thicker as well. Don't really use pens. And I'll show you, and I'll show you why. When you take your pen and you draw something, let's say I want to draw a little card with some, whether an image and with some texts, right? This is very schematic. So when I show you like this, it's fine. You can see, you can see what I drew. But when, when I am in a workshop setting, I'm in a conference room with a real with other people. Will I show something like this? Nobody can see it. But if I use, if I use the marker. Else, completely different story right now you can see that there is a place holder for an image here. It's kind of like the standard thing for, for an image placeholder. And then maybe some lines. If I draw a layout within those five minutes, I want to generate as many layers as possible. So when I create a layout, it doesn't take me long to show how I want to organize the page. Right? So let's, let's imagine that I have a page for I don't know, probably really state. So I can search for houses, four flats. I have a grid of houses here with a nice photo and a description and probably price. And then I can filter by using, by using the button here that would show me filters. So this is my simple sketch. It took me 20 seconds. So you can see that within five-minutes even off sketching in a collaborative setting, you will have something like this and you will have a couple of ideas there like this. You might have so many different sketches of things that you would generate, right? And that's the magic. If people are focused on just sketching, there are no discussions, no conversations, they are just focused on sketching. It really works because it takes your mind into a particular state of flow. So you generate ideas. You don't worry about what happens next because there is a time. You set the timer for five minutes or ten minutes. Everybody can see the time. They get a little bit stressed, but it's positive stress because they are warmed up as we explored in the previous lesson. Now they can generate ideas that will, we, we all will be pitching in the next round, in the next step of the design studio workshop. As I mentioned, it's really crucial for us to generate quantity over quality. So Esau that my sketches were not polished. They were very rough, very simple, but that's, that's perfectly fine. This is why we are doing this. If I can share with you an expert tip for the session, it would be play some background music. Of course, if it's a remote workshop, it will be quite tricky. But if you're doing this in a physical setting, then just play a little playlist with some, with some subtle beads, may be some, some really subtle jazz music in the background so that there is no awkward silence. There is no sound of everybody scribbling. It's sometimes it might be uncomfortable for some people, so maybe just really, really subtle music on low volume will be quite useful. There's just an additional tip from me. Now let's move on to step two, which is pitching. 7. Step 2: Pitching: All right, So we generated some ideas, we generated some sketches. Now it's time for all of the participants to share their thoughts, share their sketches to the rest of the team, and to present their rationale. And that's really important because you don't just want to just say, Oh, I drew something here and something here. It's really important to give the context of why you chose those things over some other things. Now, let me grab the sketching quickly, show you what I mean by that. So let's say this is my sketch for property listing website. But so what I would like to share in a design studio setting with other people is that I put a big search, search bar here so that I can search for for any for any real estate is that I would like to rent or purchase. I have some filters so I can filter by price for, by, by the location probably and some, some other filters. And then I have a little heading that's showing me a list of neighborhoods in the city damn, searching for. So before I dive in to the particular flats or houses, I want to maybe just browse some, some neighborhoods. And then our week, when I click into one of the neighborhoods, I go into and see the list of properties. And when I click SEO, then it transports through the list of all of the neighborhoods in the city so I can browse and see the average price, average rental price. So this took me maybe 30 seconds. I want to have a couple of sketches. It will take me a bit more. And time management is really crucial here, guys. It's really, really important because if you run a workshop with six people and everybody takes three minutes to go through their ideas. Well, with the transition timing, it will amount to 25 minutes or 30 minutes, which is quite long. You don't want to waste that much time, that much in a really precious time to, for people to present ideas you want most of the time dedicated to sketching, to generating ideas. So timekeeping is really important here you have a timer for one or two minutes per person. This is really important. And if they go if they go over the time, well, that's bad luck in the afternoon, then they need to stop and then next person goes on to present. Now, for the timekeeping to work in this particular step, you need everybody to just listen, to, actively listen and look at the solution. You don't want any comments, you don't want any questions, you don't want anything. The next step will be for that. But now we are focusing on just pitching, on presenting each of our ideas, making sure that the rest of the group understands why we made these design decisions. And that's pretty much it for, for presenting. The way they structure that everybody is presenting. It's, it's for the purpose of everybody having a chance to speak up and present something without the feeling of being judged at the moment. This is really important because sometimes we have some reservations about presenting, about showing our creation to the world. Now, if you create a safe space for that, during the design studio session, people will be relaxed, will be presenting ideas, and we'll have more emotional space for creating new viable solutions. Now after this, there will be the feedback session. So let's, let's go to the next lesson and see what feedback looks like. 8. Step 3: Critique: The first step of the design studio method is critique. Critique typically takes five, maybe six minutes, and you want everybody in the room to be able to focus on the critique for this amount of time and not go over. There might be some discussions. People might still want to generate ideas now in the discussion about critique, but This is not about creating solution is just supposed to address what you've created or other people have created. Especially you want to point out the ideas that worked really well for the problem that you set yourself. You don't want any violent communication or passive aggressiveness. You don't want any of that. Feedback is really important because it gives us the chance to make ourselves, maybe make our decisions a bit better in the next round of sketching. So it's really important for, for the feedback to be valuable and relating back to the purpose of why we are here. So if let's say I'll take a sketch and I say, Oh, I don't like it. It's already feedback is not really critique. I just don't like it, right? But when I say, oh, actually, I think we should show flats and houses straight away and not just neighborhoods. Why do we neighborhood's mainly flats is straight away because somebody can dive into this page and just see the house and love it. And it's also a chance for us to maybe monetize on these featured, featured places on the homepage. Oh, that's feedback. And that's something that's really concrete that gives the foundation for the next iteration of sketching. And you want feedback like this, and not just people saying, I like this, I don't like this, and that's it. Now, you want, you want it to be very concrete and very positive. So most of the feedback should be positive saying which ideas worked well. I think that's pretty much it for the critique, for the feedback. The only last thing that you need to remember is that as a facilitator of a design studio, you can always jump in and stop somebody before the discussion goes out of hand. So if somebody gets to negative 2 violent in their communication, or on the other hand, the digression goes too far away into generating solutions instead of criticizing the solutions from round one. Well, the facilitator stops that, is aware of time and makes sure that the discussion goes in the right way. So that then you can go to the next round of the design studio. Because after the, after the feedback, you go to step one and you repeat these three steps again before you go on to the Zen voting, which is the last step. And that's something that we will discuss in the next lesson. 9. Step 4: Zen Voting: So the last step after you've completed the two rounds of step 1, sketching, step to pitching, and step 3, critique. You've done these two times. Now it's time to vote. Now everybody gets a couple of votes. Maybe it's five, maybe it's six. You want people to select the best solutions they came out during round two of sketching. It's important that it's round too, because from round one, people have improved their sketches, their solutions around two based on the feedback. So in the second round, they, their ideas were much more polished and you want to collect only them. Everything from round one gets discarded. I'm sorry, that's, that's quite brutal, but that's how this method works. He just used the staff from brown to because it's more polished, because it's more final. And you don't want too many ideas generated at the end of the session, you just want to select the best. And now, voting is the best way to select the best, right? Ideally. So you may have a sketch. It would be best if we deduce, pull up all of the sketches on the wall or on a table, on a big table so that it's visible for everybody. So if you just use something called path suffix in some countries and other GFA in other countries, it's called this white tag. It's basically sheets of stickers like this. It's like chewing gum. You can use this to stick your ideas on on wall. Doesn't take too much time. So when you have the sketches from all of the people in a visible place, you can go, go ahead and do voting. So let's say everybody receives five dotted stickers like this, right? So I get one stick. Lets say blue is my color. So I get five or six votes and I can distribute them however I like. So let's say I really like how this solution, obviously because it was mine. So I really like the search bar. I like it so much that I will give the search bar two votes. And maybe I'll give one vote to the button at the bottom, because, why not? So now I have two votes for search bar, a, one vote for, for the button. Now these solutions may be revolutionary, but I selected them and if, and if other people vote on these ideas as well. Then at the end of the session, it's obvious that these are something that should be explored in the proper design process after the workshop. All right, so this gives me a really nice context into, into why and where I should generate more ideas and where I should polish things to make sure that I get really good design. Everybody gets five or six votes. So they go ahead and distribute votes on, on all of the sketches at the NTU, collect the sketches. And if I can give you an expert tip, I always take photos of sketches along with the votes. Because if he didn't do that, sometimes the cause may get lost. You might misplace something a little stickiness with with votes my, my just fall off. So you want to take photos as soon as possible, especially when they're still on the wall looking nice with nice light. You want to have something that you will be able to use later on. And digital is always, I think, safer as a backup to the physical, physical cars which are quite easy to miss place. There's also one concept that I wanted to tell you about, and it's the power vote. A power vote is a vote that you would cost with something else, maybe like a little sticker like this. I don't know, maybe it's star or something more fancy than, than just a rectangle. But you use the power vote to signify a vote. That means a lot more than the other votes. And why it's useful, of course, it doesn't make it as egalitarians as possible. But you might have, when you're working in as agency, you might have a situation where you have five people from the agency working on a creative solution, and then you have one person from the client side. So obviously the client will be the decision-maker, the, the main decision-maker and the project because they will accept the ideas eventually. So they should get a little bit more leverage in this, in the voting session. So you might want to have a power Voc. So let's say, if the client says, Oh no, I really like this thing. Well then this thing gets included in the next parts of the process of designing the actual solution. Because the power vote was, was used here. You don't need to do this. It's just dependent on the setting that you have, but it's important that you take it into consideration to make sure that the, the voting power, the decision power is evenly distributed throughout the room if, if needed. So that's the core structure. That's pretty much the design studio method. You collect these sketches, you take photos, you maybe have a short summary for everybody in the room to tell them which ideas were the best. And then you move on to the next problem to solve. And that's pretty much the structure. Before, before we end, I would like to give you some more tips. So in the next lesson, I will tell you a bit more on how to facilitate such a workshop in an effective fashion. See you in next lesson. 10. Tips for facilitation: Okay, Now that you know the structure of the design studio method, Let's go into a couple of tips on how to facilitate effectively and efficiently, how to make sure that the workshop will be a success. Because sometimes the method is not all that's needed for a successful workshop. Now the first is timekeeping. Timekeeping is really important. If you're in a physical setting, you might want to use like a proper physical time, like the time timer, which is really useful and working quite well because it's big, it's visible. Everybody can see it at the same time. Everybody can take note of the time or we have three minutes left. We have one minute left. Well, yeah, that's quiet. That's quite useful because everybody can see the timing and it creates more discipline around timing, more respect for the facilitator as well. But as a facilitator, you also need to remind people that time is running out, that you just have two minutes left and one minute left. If you run a session with 56 people, believe me, there will be discussions, there will be distractions, and the whole thing will stretch out. And it's just not, it's just not efficient. The second is making sure that everybody understands the design constraints. And what do I mean by that? Well, sometimes in if you are designing essay websites or applications in certain markets, you will have some limitations from the legal standpoint. You maybe you can't use any any dark patterns like showing that all the edges, two tickets left on this training, you must hurry up and just bite at the moment. Maybe there are some limitations in terms of technical constraints, mainly are designing a mobile application and something is just not doable. Maybe your team is not skilled in a VR developed land and you can't do VR features in your application. Maybe if you're designing a logo type, some shapes are too similar to the competition and you can't really use them. All of these constraints ideally should be discussed in the beginning of the session, placed in a visible settings so that everybody can refer back to them. The next point is creating a safe space for participants. Now, isolation this in the lesson about feedback and less than about pitching. Well, it's really important for people to feel safe because when you're sketching, you're creating something in real time and presenting in it. You feel vulnerable. You feel that you're showing a part of yourself. So as a facilitator, you need to make sure that people know that this is safe space for sharing ideas, that no one will be judged. The ideas might be judged and criticized and critiqued, maybe. But you don't want to criticize any of the people in the room. So as a facilitator, you need to make sure that if anything like this arises, you step in and you ended discussion so that everybody feels safe. The next point is about the ideas that you will generate. You want to generate ideas and not final solutions. You don't want your participants, especially if you're working on agencies, are there any work with clients? We don't want class to think that because you've generated a solution like this and this got a power vote. It means that we will use this particular shape in the final design. No. You are generating ideas. You are generating inputs for the proper design process. You're not generating the final solution. And it's really important to make sure that everybody understands it from the beginning of the workshop. The last point, and I've done this couple of times. You have more than six people in the room. That time will definitely stretch out, as I mentioned before. So if you have more than six people, divide them into groups. You can have divided, you can divide them into pairs so that instead of generating sketches and sharing with everybody in the first round, people share sketches within their pair or within their group. Then the next round is the group selecting the best ideas and sketching round two to make sure that the group produces one idea. So then if you have nine people instead of f, nine different solutions to go through, which takes a lot of time. You just divide people into three groups of three. And each group has one final solution that they want to present to everybody. So you have three solutions to present and not nine. So you save quite a lot of time. It's also quite, it's also easier because then you can mix people, mix and match people with different competencies, with different backgrounds to make sure that within the groups, the groups are diverse. Of course, apart from the whole group of the participants of the workshop being diverse, which is really important. These are a couple, a couple of tips from me to make sure that the workshop we'll get, we'll get quite effective. Of course, workshop facilitation is a big topic and I encourage you to read a bit more about how to manage people in a room, in a physical setting, in a remote setting to make sure that you get from the inputs through the method that you're working with to the output that you want to achieve. I'll see you next lesson. 11. Working with workshop outcomes: So let's say you managed to conduct the workshop. You used all of the facilitation techniques and tips that I shared with you. What to do with the stuff that you've generated from the workshop? Well, first of all, as I mentioned before, you want to take photos. You want to take stock of everything that you've generated. So you take all of these, all of these ideas, all of these generated ideas from the wall. Collect them together. And when you share the outcomes of the workshop, think about the audience that will work with them. If you as a designer, we'll just have to collect these ideas and then use them as input for your design process. That's fine. You don't need to create a report just for yourself. It would be probably an overkill. But if you are working with clients, you may want to have a summary of the workshops. So you want to have a short report that saying, Oh, these are the problems that we addressed in the workshop. These are the people who attended and these are the core features that we selected, the best solutions that we selected through Zen voting. As you see on this example, you might have a page and you want to point out particular features of a page. If this is another creative idea, this is logo or something, it probably would be a little bit more simple, but with generating layouts, homepages or maybe print designs, you may want to be quite specific because these sketches are rough as you can see. So if there is a filtering and sorting, well, you need to point out that this received some votes. If there is a little note on the side, you want to point out that these are solutions and they will work in this particular order, this particular way. Now the reason for this is sometimes the reports that might be shared with people who aren't present at this session. So every time you send out an email, you send out a document, it basically starts its own life, right? It can go in any other direction. People can share it via e-mail. People can pass it on, people can print it out and share with each other. So you want to make sure that everything that's in the report like this, it's actually quite specific and it underlines again that these are not final solutions. These are just ideas for solutions. So make sure that you think about the audience and the way that the report will be used. You may think that if you're doing workshops remotely than the outcomes would be a little bit different. That's right. So in the next lesson, let's jump into running a remote studio workshop remotely. 12. Running Design Studio remotely: At the time of the recording of this course, the world is in the midst of a pandemic. So that means that many people are not going to the office, especially in the IT or creative sectors. Many people work from home and sometimes workshopping needs to be done remotely as well. So I wanted to share a few tips on how to conduct a workshop with the design studio technique. But remotely. I typically use tools like Miro and Balsamiq Cloud that allow me to work quite an real-time in the Cloud through the browser without the need of downloading any software. I use Balsamiq to quickly generate ideas to create wireframes. I typically create separate art boards for all of the participants so that everybody has their own space for sketching. And Balsamic makes it a really, really easy to just pull ready-made elements like dabs or navigation or anything else to the canvas and ditches quickly. Draw a screen where you don't really need to have any experience with visual tools before you just need to know how to copy, paste, and edit texts pretty much and maybe resize elements. That makes Balsamiq Cloud really powerful for a design studio sketch session. Or you want to generate as many ideas as possible, right? And a digital setting, it's quite easy. It's easier than in a physical setting because you can just pull one element and just copy it multiple times in round two, after you've all sharing your feedback, you can copy ideas from other solutions of other people, which is quite powerful as well because you just copy a solution, make your own, improve it in your own thinking. And it makes remote workshops actually a little bit more effective in that fashion. Obviously the energy in the room and the discussions, the ad hoc discussions are not there because you remotely, but everything else becomes quiet, quiet efficient. So I definitely would recommend using Balsamiq Cloud and then my Roo, my arrow is useful for any type of work or that you do collaboratively, remotely. And with Balsamiq, you can copy the ideas from Balsamic to my arrow. And then in my row you can do a voting session. You can use the native voting function of Miro to make sure that everybody gets to vote with the same amount and everything is timed perfectly because you can have a built-in timer in my role as well. So using these two tools for remote workshops and especially for design studio, is really powerful because it gives you the chance to emulate the behavior from the real world in a completely remote setting. Now, digital tools are less reliable than just pen or marker and, or Sharpie and paper, right? They are less reliable because sometimes the surface has gone down. Sometimes people get troubles logging in and certain browsers. So make sure that you have a backup plan if these tools for some reason fail the NVP. So the minimum viable version of your workshop may be just sketching and sketching on paper and then just showing ideas to the camera. It's also a solution. You don't need to use the McLeod Cloud tools, cloud applications to conduct this sketching. So you can do, you can do it like this and always have a backup plan if you want to do a remote session with the design studio to use other tools or to just do it like, like that. Also makes sure that before the workshop itself, you send out some tutorials and access for people to the tools that they would use. Balsamic and Myra are quite simple, but sometimes you need a couple of minutes or maybe half an hour to get familiar with the interface. So share all of the tutorials that you're going to have shared the access with the participants to three days before the workshop so that they can get prepared and get quite comfortable with designing in these tools. Now the last point is that remote workshops are quite tiring. They are actually more tiring than the ones that you have in the physical setting. Why is that? Well, first of all, you need to stare at the screen. Of course, if you have sketching on paper, it's quite easy because you get your mind off the screen. And we work with screens now remotely for most of the time, which is quite time for our eyes, for our brains, brains to process. So make sure that you have quiet quite a lot of breaks, short breaks, but some longer breaks as well. And I also don't recommend having a workshop of more than four hours a day. I know that doesn't seem very long, especially with the brakes, but believe me that after four hours, people are completely drained of energy. They, they won't think of too many viable solutions. People get tired, and especially with wearing headphones, it makes it more tiresome as well. So please keep that in mind and maintain the energy of the participants in the right way. Because it's your responsibility as a facilitator. As you can see, running remote design studio is possible and it can be even more effective in some aspects. So make sure that you keep in mind this possibility as well. 13. Final thoughts: So you've made it through the class. Thank you very much for watching the class, for sticking with me, for your passion to explore new workshopping methods and to explore ways of collaborating in brainstorming a bit better. So the next time you host a brainstorming session and you may want to use the design studio method. Now that you know what structure you should follow, now that you have some facilitation tips from me, you know how to run it in a physical setting and in a digital setting, you're pretty much ready to host your own session. So go back to Lesson 2 for a brief description of the class project or you scroll down and see the description. And while waiting to see the outcomes of your own design studio workshop, make sure to send some photos of some screenshots of the ideas that you've generated. And maybe show a couple of bullet points with some feedback about the method itself. But the challenges that you face, it's really interesting for me to see how it went. So go ahead, hostile and workshop. And I just want to thank you again for watching this class, for sticking with me and maybe we'll see you in the next classes. Thank you.