Vision Design Workshop

Product Design
Project Overview
The head of design asked me to design and lead our first multi-day in-person workshop for our annual design team meetup in Lisbon, Portugal. To get started, I worked with our design team to select a workshop topic by conducting a brainstorm and voting on available topics. We ultimately landed on a much anticipated and exciting navigational redesign of our communication product. 

Results: a multi-day workshop; 2 initial designs; 4 user tests;
My Contributions
My Role: Worksop designer, facilitator, and user research coordinator

For this workshop, I determined our daily activities based off our design goals and questions and designed our workshop and agenda both in Figjam and in-person to meet the needs of remote participants as well as in-person participants.

Team: 1 Facilitator (me), 6 in-person designers, 2 remote designers
Senior Product Designer
November 2020 - Current
I worked with the head of design, our designers and the relevant product managers to determine the top 3 goals of our navigational redesign. This informed the questions that would guide our workshop and the appropriate workshop exercises that would help us answer them. 

Combing our knowledge base

The first day in the workshop went off without a hitch. We were all on the same page about what we were accomplishing and felt good about establishing an awareness of our current knowledge base. After running through our existing relevant data points, I conducted an assumption smash exercise, which consists of posting up all of our relevant knowledge on the posterboard. We then segment them into what is actual fact versus assumption. From there, we then add additional segments on the bottom two quadrants. Under the Assumptions side, we add a segment called "needs validating" that prioritizes the assumptions that we care about. We also add a segment under facts called "Additional gaps" to capture any other areas we need to collect more data or facts about.

Narrowing the scope further

The next day, after brainstorming, there was concern from some of the participants that our topic was perhaps more broad than it should be. Listening to these concerns, I reconfigured our agenda for the day on the spot and had us revisit an elimination exercise to continue to narrow our scope. Voting again helped me address the concerns and build confidence for some of the skeptical participants. 

Wins and Learnings

This workshop not only drove us towards a solution that is continually being iterated upon and tested with additional customers, but it also served as a great team-bonding activity. It was our first in-person workshop and with that also came some major learnings, including, but not limited to: managing a few low-quality user testers that made it through the screening, managing vocal skeptical participants, managing participants with different product knowledge, facing shrinking working hours with delays, late starts, and longer activities than expected. 

Wins and Learnings, ctd.

As warned by my NN/g Facilitating Workshops course instructor, with this experience, I learned that workshops never go as planned. In this workshop, I really began to flex my improvisational skills by adding or adjusting activities as needed.

I also learned the value of deploying certain exercises that are tailored to specific common personas within participants. These exercises help the group navigate topics while also navigating different personalities (e.g. the skeptic, the overtalker, the distractor, the quiet one, etc.) that may hinder the group’s speed, productivity or final consensus.

I’m proud of this workshop because not only was it our most successful workshop to date (in terms of having a final solution and testing with actual customers), but it was my first multi-day workshop that I designed and facilitated. It was not perfect, but I learned a lot and I continue to learn through each workshop or exercise I facilitate.