I have been introduced to the art of facilitating workshops while working at Pivotal Labs as a design consultant.
For consultants, workshops are a powerful tool. They help us ramp up quickly on any topic, gather knowledge from subject matter experts, engage with our clients and align with our stakeholders.
I have had the chance to learn from seasoned facilitators, be exposed to many formats and techniques. I have also had the opportunity to lead my fair share of workshops, and coach designers and product managers on how become better facilitators.
My latest experiences as in-house designer at Adobe and design manager at Aircall, showed me that while being equally relevant for in-house product teams, these collaboration techniques are often either misused or underused. Used properly, they are a fantastic way to break silos and build on each other ideas. They can also help you create momentum and generate internal buy-in. Poorly managed, workshop will feel shallow and a big waste of time. …
Have you ever experienced a design review that went rogue? Everyone in the room has a different opinion about what the design should look like, nobody is happy with what they are seeing. Your design is being pulled apart in every direction, people tell you how to do your job and are endlessly debating wether they prefer the plain or outlined button. What was once a well- though-out solution now looks like Frankenstein’s creature: the perfect compromise between everyone’s opinion. Something that doesn’t feel right anymore and that you have no longer ownership on.
This article is my very personal take on how to avoid this situation based on my experience as an in house designer and UX strategy consultant. …