User experience is not a siloed practice. To collect knowledge and generate new ideas, it’s best to bring people together. This is the only way to create an integrated and unified user experience — let alone a consistent omnichannel design. But even when people come together with the best intentions, ideas and outputs don’t just simply happen. Oftentimes, the job of planning and even facilitating workshops falls upon the UX lead, who must design the flow of the workshop and plan collaborative exercises that will lead attendees toward a common goal.

“Plans Are Useless, but Planning Is Indispensable”

When preparing a UX workshop, it can be daunting to understand where to start. Sometimes it’s tempting to jump straight to the design of the workshop and the selection of workshop activities, rather than beginning with a clear goal and a focused strategy. Planning, however, is an indispensable part of creating and facilitating productive UX workshops.

Dwight D. Eisenhower understood the value of prep work. He once said, “In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” Likewise, workshop facilitators may often find that, even when carefully planned workshop agendas divert in real-time because of new information, the time spent planning is still crucial for effective facilitation.




The three building blocks are:

  • Goal:The desired outcome or end result of a workshop
  • 问题: The information that the organizer needs to gather in order to reach the stated goal
  • Processes:The activities the attendees will do in order to gather the required information

Additionally, there is a precise approach, outlined below, that helps articulate and integrate these three building blocks into a workshop agenda.

Six Steps for Workshop Planning and Execution

The process of planning and executing a UX workshop has six steps, beginning with understanding the purpose—or high-level goal of the workshop—and ending with a course of action taken based on the results produced by the workshop.

Step 1: Articulate the goal(s).


  • 协议:方向达成共识
  • Understanding:分享对主题的更深入了解
  • 一代:创造新的想法或思想模式
  • 强化:Building empathy between teams or strengthening relationships between parties



  • 谁是我们的观众?
  • What defines the ideal user experience?
  • What is the current state?
  • 将使用什么样的指标来衡量成功?
  • What user research do we have at our disposal, and what needs to be conducted?
  • What potential roadblocks exist?

Once documented, most likely there will be themes and patterns within these questions that can be grouped into segments; these segments will start to create a structure for the workshop.


在实际进行研讨会之前,规划的第三步以及规划的最后一步是由选择的研讨会活动或讨论,这些活动或与在问题中出现的每个主题对齐的讨论。此时反映了什么类型的进程 - 集团活动或讨论 - 将帮助小组迁移到解具体问题。一些例子:

  • 如果您需要帮助组合达成共识,您可能会选择强制排名或优先级练习,如DOT投票。
  • If you need to generate new ideas quickly, you might choose a brainwriting activity, a post-it notes exercise, or some other form of brainstorming.
  • 如果您只是需要了解整个组织可用的研究,您可能会有不同的群体进行简短读数的相关结果。

Step 4: Conduct the workshop.

The previous three steps of planning will adequately prepare you to guide the discussion, and understand if unplanned discussions that pop up are off-topic or meaningful tangents. Furthermore, once the outputs of th first three steps are translated into a formalized, shareable agenda, attendees will have a better understanding of the day’s goals when they can see where they are within the whole span of the workshop.


When the workshop is over, analyze the information collected during the group activities and discussions. Analyze these outputs and share artifacts with attendees and other key stakeholders.



The six steps for planning and conducting an effective UX workshop
While all of these steps are required to create and execute a UX workshop, building an effective workshop agenda deals with the first three steps of this process. The goals, questions and processes are the three building blocks that must be in place in order to deliver a successful workshop, and they serve as components for creating a focused and goal-based agenda.

The Output: Sample Workshop Agenda

With goals, questions and processes clearly aligned, you have a tool that will guide you in preworkshop stakeholder discussions, and in creating a fleshed-out, timed agenda. A sample outline built on this process might look something like the following outline.


您已经创建了一个集中的议程后,继续。You will need to develop timelines for each workshop segment, gather material needed to capture discussions and facilitate the activities, and consider additional logistical components, such as environment.