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Group Design Workshops: Jumpstart your product development

A Group Design Workshop is our interactive brainstorming process. But it's more than a typical brainstorming session.

A client said, "It helped uncover new features as well as interesting twists on existing features. Some make market sense now, others may in the future."

We invite people from many disciplines in your organization (plus customers) to discuss ideas they already have and work collaboratively to come up with new ideas.

Drawing ideas makes the difference

Each group of participants focuses on a task and a persona (user type). They discuss assumptions and requirements, then draw some of their ideas. Having to make these rough UI sketches makes them think harder and generate more complete ideas. (Don't worry, we don't grade on drawing ability.)

These sketches get us to initial prototypes much faster. Download a full description of the Group Design Workshop (PDF).

Group Design Workshops are good for hardware and software design

Here are two examples of successful Workshops.

This design led directly to the home page for a redesigned Web site.   Wood microphone mockups led to more realistic prototypes and final designs.
Sample group-design drawing
 
Microphone prototype: click for design details

 

The process  

Participants work in small groups. They discuss user tasks from the personas, share their assumptions sketch out solutions to them and share the results with the other groups.

We invite people from tech support, engineering, marketing management – those with information about the product or the users. This is important because everyone has design ideas. This session lets them discuss those ideas and what they've learned about the business, the product and the customers.

A simple example: "There won't be horizontal scrolling... Well, I was assuming that, anyway." Good thing we were all working together so he could tell people what he'd been expecting for so long.

Another participant said, "Enjoyed the process... informal... non-judgmental... free exchange of ideas."

Previous Workshops  

We've done workshops for many clients including ACM, Bit9 BuildingGreen, Dictaphone, Otter Group, Thomson Reuters, Authoria, Philips Lifeline, SiteScape, Skillsoft and others.

 

More information: Download the full description of Group Design Workshops and share it with your colleagues (pdf, 53 kb). Contact us to find out about a Workshop for your project.