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).
- 强化：Building empathy between teams or strengthening relationships between parties
- What defines the ideal user experience?
- What is the current state?
- 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：
- 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.
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 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.