A设计工作室是一种UX研讨会结合了分歧和融合思维: it allows UX professionals to explore a wide set of ideas and also create a shared vision to move forward within a short amount of time. It incorporates brainstorming, critique, and prioritization into one condensed session. Therefore, running an effective design studio requires a multifaceted UX facilitator who is comfortable leading ideation activities to generate ideas, guiding attendees throughdesign-critiquediscussions, and using prioritization techniques to build consensus on possible design directions or valuable features.

Though facilitating an effective design studio requires practice, the benefits of design studios are worth the effort for a handful of reasons:

  • Design studios include diverse perspectives.People from different teams or departments, with various backgrounds and experiences come together to share knowledge and solve a problem.
  • Design studios fit into tight timelines and fast workflows.A design studio typically condenses ideation into the span of a few hours or less, meaning it can fit easily into Agile environments or lean workflows.
  • Design studios are collaborative.与会者共同努力提出想法,确定主题并创造一支球队。每个人都有贡献 - 因此,每个人都会增加买入项目的成功。

What Exactly Is a Design Studio?

The specific methods used within a design studio can vary, but the workshop itself tends to follow a common framework of four high-level segments:

  1. Sketch:Each attendee brainstorms several individual ideas in order to generate a wide set of concepts. (This is the divergent part of the process.)
  2. Present and critique:工作室参与者将他们的想法彼此展示,然后有机会提供反馈和批判彼此的想法,识别这些想法的优势和弱点。
  3. Converge:Together, the group sketches a collaborative idea, making modifications or combining the strength of several ideas.
  4. Prioritize:Participants identify common themes or elements and determine which ideas are highly valuable.

The activities conducted can be adapted for timelines, group dynamics and environments in a variety of ways. Below, each of these four segments are explained in more detail, with corresponding examples of specific methods that could be used during each part.

Part 1: Sketch


Generate a wide set of ideas in a short amount of time around a known and well understood problem statement.


During this first part of a design studio, the facilitator leads the group through a timed sketching activity, such as charrettes, that results in a large amount of brainstormed ideas. It is critical to give participants a quantity goal rather than a quality goal, so that people without design backgrounds do not feel intimidated at the idea of drawing. The time constraint also keeps participants from censoring ideas too early, or pausing to think in too much detail about their ideas.

Method to Try: "Crazy 8s"

Try using the “crazy 8s” technique to help individuals generate ideas. It’s a sketching activity composed of three rounds.

Round 1: 8 ideas in 5 minutes

Round 2: 1 big idea in 5 minutes
Each person works individually to sketch one big idea in 5 minutes on a new piece of paper. You can build on a previous idea or combine elements of several ideas from the previous round.

Round 3: 1 storyboard/Wireflow.在5分钟内
Building on the “big idea” from round 2, each individual uses a new piece of paper to sketch a storyboard on of all the key steps related to that idea that a user needs to take.



  • Reiterate and check that everyone understands the problem statement for which the group is exploring solutions.
  • Give participants fat markers and constrain space to 1/8 page cells to discourage too much detail in the early sketches.
  • 在素描期间劝阻谈话。组合协作前的个别浓度导致更多的想法和更多的创造力。

Part 2: Present and Critique






Edward de Bono developed the六个思维帽子method in 1985. It is a discussion framework that defines six metaphorical hats which represent different modes of thinking, therefore enabling participants in a group to think and discuss ideas together effectively. A set time interval is used for each hat, allowing participants to have a focused discussion of each idea.

Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats method provides six lenses through which participants structure discussion and critique of ideas. (Image source: http://www.debonogroup.com/six_thinking_hats.php)

The hats can be adjusted to whatever set of lenses is most appropriate and relevant for a group. For example, Google incorporates a modified set of thinking hats into its design sprint.

Google incorporates a modified version of the Six Thinking Hats into its design-sprint method. (Image source: https://designsprintkit.withgoogle.com/)


  • 如果您有多个组,请在每个组中指定一个人的中性帽(Edward de Bono的6个思维帽子的蓝色帽子)。此人确保讨论停留在所选镜片内的定时段。
  • Use one hat at a time (as opposed to assigning different hats to different people at the same time) so that the discussion stays focused and objective.
  • 使用红色和绿色粘性点实时捕捉每个设计的优势和弱点。

Part 3: Converge


Take the strongest elements of various ideas and combine them into a new idea.


一旦每个想法的最强的区域identified through objective critique, allow participants to brainstorm as a group in order to continue driving the vision forward. Now is the time to create a group concept that incorporates those elements into a collaborative idea. Have each team work together to develop an idea based off of the strengths of previous individual ideas.


If participants get stuck, share the SCAMPER method (by Bob Eberle) to provide a framework for evolving or combining many elements. Ask them to think critically about how they can apply each of the following concepts to the set of ideas that have been presented:

  • Substitute: Replace an element of the idea with something else.
  • Combine: Join two or more elements or ideas to create something new.
  • 适应:修改一个想法,以便它解决了它以前没有解决的问题。
  • Magnify or Minimize: Make one element of the idea more or less prominent.
  • Put to another use: Think how the idea could be used differently than what was originally imagined.
  • Eliminate: Remove ideas or elements that are not relevant or valuable.
  • Reverse or Rearrange: Think creatively about how to turn an idea on its head or modify the order of its elements.


  • 不要在这个阶段抛出想法。想想它们如何进化或组合成变得更加相关或更强。
  • If there are several small groups, have teams go through another round of presentation and critique with each other at the conclusion of this phase.
  • 提醒与会者他们没有创建一个单一的最终解决方案。相反,他们只是帮助改进在设计工作室研讨会结束后继续探索的整体设计方向。

Part 4: Prioritize




With a variety of ideas on the table, the facilitator needs to lead the group through some sort of convergent activity that solidifies the design direction resulting from the workshop. Otherwise, individual teams might walk out with the incorrect assumption that the concept they created is the final design. It’s critical to lead the group through an activity that defines and prioritizes common themes and elements and allows the group to document reasoning (and open questions). This process creates a record of the group’s logic to serve as reference for when development begins.

Method to Try: $100 Test

Collaboratively identify common themes or elements that surfaced throughout the designs. Give groups a collective “$100” (or any other monetary value) to spend on the list of features or concepts that have emerged from the workshop up to this point. Have the group decide together how to allocate value across the list of features. During the discussion, the group should capture reasoning for each amount allocated across the list of features. (See more about methods for prioritizing UX ideas, including the $100 Test, in this short video.)

The $100 Test allows participants to collectively assign value to common themes or concepts, and creates a record of the group’s logic and discussion for later reference. (Photo from an exercise in our full-day course on Facilitating UX Workshops。)


  • Using the concept of monetary value (as opposed to arbitrary points) triggers a higher level of investment in the discussion.
  • 尝试使用道具(如假币)来帮助讨论。如上图所示,硬币堆叠是每个元素或想法的共享值的视觉提醒。



For deeper coverage and more methods, including hands-on expereience, we have a full-day course onFacilitating UX Workshops.