Workshops are an excellent, people-centered way to get work done. From a participatory session that replaces a standard meeting, to a full-blown, multi-day experience, workshops get teams and clients to explore options, analyze alternatives, and come to consensus.
But successful workshops don’t happen by accident. They’re time- and resource-intensive to plan and deliver, and require particular skills and knowledge. UX practitioners are uniquely positioned to develop and facilitate excellent workshop experiences. However, workshop approaches and how-tos aren’t often taught in school or on the job.
The Art and Science of Workshop Design gives participants a flexible framework for building and facilitating workshop sessions – ranging from better meetings to multi-day collaborative experiences. Starting with the foundations of workshop design and delivery, participants will learn how to leverage design thinking methods to create collaborative sessions that are fun and effective. They will explore design activities, tools, and techniques, and develop their unique facilitator’s stance. Participants will have the hands-on opportunity to create and practice leading an exercise, and will leave with a customized Action Plan to take the next step – which may be leading a working session on the job or delivering a workshop at a future conference.
The workshop is itself structured as a template that models and demonstrates workshop design. The presenters will peel back the layers of each component to show how it has been built, how it contributes to workshop goals, and how it can be adapted to different types of meetings and groups. This layering also enables the workshop to offer value to participants at all levels of experience: the foundations and main components of workshop design will be made clear for beginners, and each topic and activity can be engaged at either higher or deeper levels.
Participants will receive a workbook they will use throughout the day and which will be a valuable resource as they plan and carry out their own workshop sessions.
- Topic highlights include:
- The narrative arc of a workshop
- Establishing the participation contract (e.g. agenda, expectations, “Yes, And”)
- Many roles and skills (vision, logistics, activity design, facilitation)
- Managing participation (opening and closing the “fourth wall,” engaging all voices)
- Well-Being in the workshop (healthy snacks, physical movement, centering)
About the speakers
A creative leader with roots in sculpture and graphic design, Bern delights in combining the aesthetic with the usable. She has developed award-winning experiences and holds two patents in color-selection methods. Whether launching a business-changing product or revamping a company division, Bern relishes the juicy problems that can only be solved when designers and change agents collaborate.
Dedicated to empowering women to design and code, she can be found on weekends teaching user experience, prototyping, and facilitation. Bern founded and leads the Los Angeles Chapter of Ladies that UX and currently sits on the Board of AIGA Los Angeles.
Stacy Surla has created and led workshops for government, industry, and the UX community for over 20 years. Drawing on her experiences as a performance artist, UX practitioner, and teacher, Stacy helps people transform meetings into more engaging and effective ways to get work done. Recent workshops include a bootcamp-style training for Lean UX delivery managers, a team-driven workshop for integrating UX into Agile, co-planning the annual IA Academic and Practitioners Roundtable, and a workshop on designing and facilitating workshops. As with all her work, she integrates design thinking, Lean UX, and user-centered methods to put people at the heart of each effort. Stacy is Vice President of MetaMetrics Inc., an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland iSchool, and was a twice-elected officer of the Information Architecture Institute.