2020 Pre-Conference Workshop
Topic(s): facilitation and research
The traditional way to practice jazz improvisation is to “imitate, assimilate, then innovate”. It’s a tried and true practice that helps jazz musicians learn the building blocks for creative expression by learning from the masters, developing their muscle memory, and eventually developing the confidence to take risks and find new ways to improve their craft and create space for brilliant ideas.
Jazz musicians thrive in ambiguous situations, using them to communicate deeply with others, to get to a third place of creativity where new ideas take flight. User research facilitating requires us to do the same — only, we don’t really have an established practice for imitating and assimilating. Many of us don’t often have the chance to watch others ‘perform’ at facilitating user research, or see how skilled facilitators actually developed their facilitation skills.
Like jazz, there certainly is an art to good research facilitation, and its components are learnable. We can get better if we know what and how to practice. Using methods from jazz improvisation, this workshop will break down the qualities of great user research facilitation into bite-sized methods and techniques. Participants will:
– learn the components of good facilitation
– learn exercises for each component
– practice each exercise throughout the workshop
– design a personal practice routine
Finally, participants will improvise together, taking part in the age old practice of creating with others by letting form unfold in real time. Through this workshop, participants can become artful, confident facilitators and uncover more research insights than they ever knew they could!
About the speaker(s)
Rachel Price is an information architect, user researcher, and jazz musician. With a background in information science and saxophone (eventually they do intersect), she focuses on crafting thoughtfully structured information environments informed by the human experience. She is currently a Senior Information Architect for Microsoft Docs, applying IA principles at scale to a substantial compendium of developer documentation.
Rachel is also an educator at the School of Visual Concepts in Seattle, Washington, a speaker, and a workshop facilitator. She holds a Master of Library & Information Sciences from the University of Washington.