Winning UX Workshops

A presentation at Houston UXPA in March 2018 in Houston, TX, USA by Austin Govella

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From “ Winning UX Workshops ” by Austin Govella, Mar 2018 • Based on the forthcoming book, Hacking Product Design (O’Reilly) WINNING UX WORKSHOPS

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From “ Winning UX Workshops ” by Austin Govella, Mar 2018 • Based on the forthcoming book, Hacking Product Design (O’Reilly) Collaboration 
 Structure Facilitation 
 Stages Agenda When someone comes to you with a question, you reach into your years of experience, your education, and your own bank of knowledge. As a design expert, you answer questions from a design perspective.
It's like when you visit the doctor. You tell them, "it hurts when I do this". Immediately, the doctor shifts into medical expert mode and offers a diagnosis and a treatment. To a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Edgar Schein, former MIT Sloan School of Management professor and prominent thinker in the field of organizational development has a term for when you respond to a situation as an expert. He calls this "process consulting".
When you react as an expert, you work through your expert process to find the expert's answer. You revert to expert mode out of habit, before you even think to ask if expert mode is the right way to approach the problem. When you approach a project and look for ways to collaborate, you have to set aside your design expertise. Collaboration is not a design problem. Collaboration is a collaboration problem. Before you activate your design expertise to bear, you have fix the collaboration problem.

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Austin Govella is an Experience Director with Avanade Digital where he helps enterprises reinvent how they connect with employees and customers. Austin Govella has designed successful user experiences for the web and mobile since 1998. From “ Winning UX Workshops ” by Austin Govella, Mar 2018 • Based on the forthcoming book, Hacking Product Design (O’Reilly) The Back-Channel Download the slides from Slideshare: https://www.slideshare.net/austingovella/winning-ux-workshops ag@agux.co

@austingovella

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Practical tools and activities to improve collaboration on product design teams 
 Product designers today can piece together several frameworks and have a new website or app up and running in a matter of days—as long as everyone on the project has the same vision. Implementing a product is no longer a problem, but shared vision often is. From “ Winning UX Workshops ” by Austin Govella, Mar 2018 • Based on the forthcoming book, Hacking Product Design (O’Reilly) Hacking Product Design Collaborate with any kind of team in any kind of organization 
 Author Austin Govella , an Experience Director with Avanade , introduces structured activities that help teams improve their collaboration habits. Along with   soft skills, your team will learn how to hack your   process to facilitate better collaboration.

Sign up to receive updates about the book: 
 www.HackingProductDesign.com

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From “ Winning UX Workshops ” by Austin Govella, Mar 2018 • Based on the forthcoming book, Hacking Product Design (O’Reilly) Introduction Collaboration Has A Structure Collaboration has a structure. First you frame the question, then you explore and discuss, then you decide on a collective answer

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From “ Winning UX Workshops ” by Austin Govella, Mar 2018 • Based on the forthcoming book, Hacking Product Design (O’Reilly) Introduction Say four things frame collaboration: 1. What you're doing 2. What you'll end up with when you're done 3. Why it's important 4. How you will do it If you're sketching interfaces, set the foundation by saying: 1. We will sketch the screen together 2. When we're done, we'll have a wireframe we've all agreed on 3. Sketching together will make sure we agree on what we're building and why 4. We’ll sketch individually and then share Frame The Question Say four things frame collaboration: 1. What you're doing 2. What you'll end up with when you're done 3. Why it's important 4. How you will do it If you're sketching interfaces, set the foundation by saying: 1. We will sketch the screen together (what you're doing) 2. When we're done, we'll have a wireframe we've all agreed on (what you'll end up with) 3. Sketching the screen together will make sure we all agree on what we're building and why (why it's important) 4. We’re going to sketch individually on paper and then share

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Introduction Framing Creates The Collaborative Mindset Well-framed discussions activate the principles of collaboration. Telling your team what you're doing, why, and how creates a shared vision for the conversation. 1. Plants the seed that they will participate and shifts thinking from observer to collaborator. 2. When you tell them what they'll end up with and why it's important , they understand why they should care and encourages them to invest in the discussion and pay attention. 3. When you explain how you will do it , they know what to expect, so team knows they can trust you while you work toward the end goal. From “ Winning UX Workshops ” by Austin Govella, Mar 2018 • Based on the forthcoming book, Hacking Product Design (O’Reilly) To tell everyone what you're doing might seem like a lot of build-up to just sketch a screen. It's important build up. When you let everyone know what the collaboration will look like, you set three, important expectations.
First, you plant the seed that they will participate. This shifts their thinking from observer to collaborator. They imagine themselves contributing to the discussion, even taking the marker into their own hands. Second, when you tell them what they'll end up with and why it's important, they understand why they should care. This encourages them to invest in the discussion and provides incentive to pay attention. Lastly, when you explain how you will do it, they know what to expect. For example, if they expect questions before you sketch, they won't wonder why you're talking about the user and the task instead of sketching a screen. When the team knows what's going to happen, they know they can trust you while you work toward the end goal of walking out with a wireframe that everyone agrees on. Well-framed discussions activate the principles of collaboration. Telling your team what you're doing, why, and how creates a shared vision for the conversation. Specify that everyone participates when you explain how you will do it, and you include everyone. Including everyone implies everyone's input will be trusted.

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From “ Winning UX Workshops ” by Austin Govella, Mar 2018 • Based on the forthcoming book, Hacking Product Design (O’Reilly) Introduction Every discussion produces one of two outcomes: 1. A single thing 2. A list of things If you sketch with your team, collaboration may end with a single sketch. If you identify users, you may end with a list of users. You capture outcomes in several formats: 1. Words 2. Diagrams 3. Sketches 4. Worksheets or canvases Finish With An Outcome Collaboration means the team comes to a consensus on some issue. Working together, the team makes a collective decision, and you explicitly capture the outcome. Whether you're collaborating on goals and vision, users, journeys, or interfaces, the end of every discussion produces one of two outcomes: 1. A single thing 2. A list of things If you sketch with your team, collaboration may end with a single sketch. If you identify users, you may end with a list of users. You capture outcomes in several formats: 1. Words 2. Diagrams 3. Sketches 4. Worksheets or canvases

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From “ Winning UX Workshops ” by Austin Govella, Mar 2018 • Based on the forthcoming book, Hacking Product Design (O’Reilly) Facilitation Needs A Frame And A Finish

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From “ Winning UX Workshops ” by Austin Govella, Mar 2018 • Based on the forthcoming book, Hacking Product Design (O’Reilly)

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From “ Winning UX Workshops ” by Austin Govella, Mar 2018 • Based on the forthcoming book, Hacking Product Design (O’Reilly)

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From “ Winning UX Workshops ” by Austin Govella, Mar 2018 • Based on the forthcoming book, Hacking Product Design (O’Reilly) Introduction Facilitation Has Four Stages

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From “ Winning UX Workshops ” by Austin Govella, Mar 2018 • Based on the forthcoming book, Hacking Product Design (O’Reilly) Introduction Open + Generate In the open, the team generates options. Open stages start with open-ended questions: 1. What different kinds of users might use this app? 2. What kinds of content can we include in this interface? During the open stage, anything goes. You want to create lots of inputs to fuel the later stages. The more options the team generates, the better the outcomes. During the open, you facilitate activities like brainstorming. In the open, the team generates a bunch of options and ideas. When you open, you "get people thinking and spark their imaginations". The Design Council calls the open "a 'phase of divergent thought', where... team members keep their perspectives wide to allow for a broad range of ideas and influences.” Open stages start with open-ended questions: 1. What different kinds of users might use this app? 2. What kinds of content can we include in this interface? During the open stage, anything goes. You want to create lots of inputs. In the following stages, the team will analyze and synthesize these inputs. Ideas generated during the open fuel the later stages. The more options the team generates, the better the outcomes. During the open, you facilitate activities like brainstorming.

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From “ Winning UX Workshops ” by Austin Govella, Mar 2018 • Based on the forthcoming book, Hacking Product Design (O’Reilly) Introduction Close + Decide Close is the opposite of open. where the team decides on the outcome to document during the Finish . During the close, you ask deciding questions: 1. What ideas are more important? 2. What ideas are more feasible? 3. What ideas do we like the most? During close, facilitate activities like prioritization and voting.
The close creates the team's shared vision about what is important, what was decided, and what to carry forward. Close is the opposite of open. Instead of generating lots of options, you hone in and identify the final choices. The team makes decisions about the outcome. When you finish the collaboration, these decisions let you document the final outcome. You move from working with inputs to choosing the outputs. During the close, you ask deciding questions: 1. What ideas are more important? 2. What ideas are more feasible? 3. What ideas do we like the most? During close you facilitate activities like prioritization and voting. The close creates the team's shared vision about what is important, what was decided, and what to carry forward.

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From “ Winning UX Workshops ” by Austin Govella, Mar 2018 • Based on the forthcoming book, Hacking Product Design (O’Reilly) Introduction Analyze + Probe Once the team generates inputs, sift through to make sense of and learn more about the various options. Analyze is like looking through a lens to better understand the inputs generated in the open stage. Take every input in turn, and learn more about each of them. Ask questions that explore each option in more detail: 1. What is this made of? 2. How does this work? 3. Where does this come from? 4. Can you provide an example? Once your team has generated lots of inputs, you start to sift through and make sense of things. In the analyze stage, you want to learn more about the various options. During analyze, you ask questions that explore each option in more detail: 1. What is this made of? 2. How does this work? 3. Where does this come from? 4. Can you provide an example? Analyze is like a looking through a lens to better understand all of the inputs your team generated in the open stage. Analyze isn't the only lens. After analyze, you'll look at the options through a synthesizing lens. In analyze, take every input in turn, and learn more about each of them. Analyze to verify At first, when you ask a question to learn more about an input, you provide an opportunity for clarification. You invite people in the room to discover whether they understand something different. In a session I lead, one of a site's users was the "decision maker". I thought this meant the person who wrote the check. In reality, the decision maker was an engineer who verified a purchase met technical specifications. When we clarified the role of the decision maker, we identified a user we'd missed: the purchaser. The purchaser profile we missed during generation became one of our primary personas. Analyze to classify Understanding reveals ways each of our options are similar and different. This learning will fuel the next stage when we synthesize what we've learned.

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From “ Winning UX Workshops ” by Austin Govella, Mar 2018 • Based on the forthcoming book, Hacking Product Design (O’Reilly) Introduction Synthesize + Probe In the synthesize stage, you learn how various options relate to one another. During synthesize, ask comparison questions: 1. How are these options similar? 2. How are they different? 3. How are they related? Synthesize is the second lens to understand the inputs and explore how the inputs are connected to one another. During synthesize, you create affinity maps and and diagrams. Are the inputs related by time? Does one evolve to become another? In the analyze stage, you learn more about each generated option. In the synthesize stage, you learn how various options relate to one another. During synthesize, you ask comparison questions: 1. How are these options similar? 2. How are they different? 3. How are they related? Synthesize is the second lens you use to understand the inputs from the open stage. You use what you learned in analyze to explore how the inputs are connected to one another. During synthesize, you often create affinity maps, placing sticky notes into groups based on commonalities. You also create maps and diagrams. Are the inputs related by time? Does one evolve to become another? Are they different parts of a single process? For example, let's say you collaborate with clients to identify three types of users: 1. Prospective customer 2. New customer 3. Returning customer In analyze, you would learn how to identify each of these users. What makes a user a "prospective customer"? In synthesize, you would reveal all three are a single user, the customer, at different stages in their evolution.

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From “ Winning UX Workshops ” by Austin Govella, Mar 2018 • Based on the forthcoming book, Hacking Product Design (O’Reilly) Introduction Probes When you probe, you push the team to think differently. Like the open, probe is a period of divergent thinking to improve the team's understanding of the problem space. In probe ask questions to think of new possibilities. 1. What have we missed? 2. Are there other ways to think about this? 3. Can we apply similar things from a different context? Probe is a special stage that exists at both analyze and synthesize. When you probe, you push the team to think differently. In probe you ask questions that trigger the team to think of new possibilities. 1. What have we missed? 2. Are there different ways we could think about this? 3. Are there similar things from a different context we can apply here? In analyze, you push the team to think of additional inputs and additional ways of understanding the inputs you have. In synthesize, you push the team to think of ways to compare each input, new ways to relate them. Like the open stage, probe is a period of divergent thinking. Probe improves the team's understanding of the problem space.

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From “ Winning UX Workshops ” by Austin Govella, Mar 2018 • Based on the forthcoming book, Hacking Product Design (O’Reilly) Introduction Open, Analyze, Synthesize, Close

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From “ Winning UX Workshops ” by Austin Govella, Mar 2018 • Based on the forthcoming book, Hacking Product Design (O’Reilly) Introduction Collaboration Glasses With two kids, six and eleven, Harry Potter is big at my house. When the five-year old saw the collaboration stages, she shouted, "Harry Potter glasses!” Sure enough, it does look like Harry Potter glasses. I'd like you to remember the collaboration stages as a pair of glasses. You put the glasses on to collaborate with your team. Analyze and synthesize are lenses you use to look at the problem space, ways to perceive that world. The open and close are ear pieces that attach the lenses to your head. When you start to collaborate, put on your collaboration glasses to get a good view of the problem.

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Introduction From “Me” To “We” From “ Winning UX Workshops ” by Austin Govella, Mar 2018 • Based on the forthcoming book, Hacking Product Design (O’Reilly) Defensive learners
fous on “me” Offensive learners
focus on “we” Keep control Share control with the team Maximize “winning” Focus on learning Reduce negative feelings Trust your team Defensive reasoners ask: • How can I remain in control? • How can I maximize “winning” and minimize “losing”? • How can I reduce negative feelings? Negative feelings include embarrassment, threat, feeling vulnerable, or incompetent. Offensive reasoners ask themselves: • How can I share control? • How can I focus on learning? • How can I build trust on my team?