Retrospect 146. Stammtisch: Design Studio & How to start a new job as “UX team of one” and survive

In February 20 UX and Ixd fans decided to spend a very interesting valentines-evening at the Metalab. Design Studio Presentation

Design Studio – Jörg Linder

Jörg – @japhyat – presented the Design Studio method and we tried out the method.

Design Studio - Sketching
It’s sketching time…
What’s a Design STudio?
(Jörg Linder)

Design Studio it’s a workshop technique for collective idea generation (in our case: sketching) that has been used in Architecture for quite some time (to my knowledge). It became popular when the method of Agile Development required to create solutions to a problem much faster.

It work’s like this: First you have to set up a workshop and a group (about 7 people seems to be the best number for this). The group should not consist only of designers, but be composed of all kinds of disciplines that are occupied with the problem to be solved (marketing, customer service, IT, …).

After an introduction to the method you’ll need to have some kind of material that allows the participants to empathize with the target users. You could use personas for this. Then you’ll have to explain the problem (what do you want to achieve?).

After that, a first round of sketching takes place. Each participant creates 4 different and very rough sketches on paper alone during a short limit of time (5min eg). The sketches should of course show a way on how to solve the problem.

After this first round, everyone presents his or her sketches and answers to questions from the other participant. This round of critique is also timeboxed (eg. 2 minutes per presentation).

After that, a second round of sketching takes place. This time, the participants can either continue with their own ideas or build upon/include the ideas of the other sketchers. In this round, only one sketch per participant is created. The time for this round is also limited (5min eg.).

After sketching round 2, another round of critique takes place (same procedure as first round).

After critique nr. 2, depending on the size of the group, it’s possible to do group-wise sketching. For example, a group of 3 participant could work on one sketch together. Again, they can use parts of other sketches explained during the critiques.

Afterwards you can do one more round of critique and sketching (this time doing one sketch together with the whole group).

Again, please remember that how many rounds you can do depends on different factors like group size, time constraints, the width of the problem space (design constraints) and so on. But basically the idea is that you will move from many very different concepts to one big concept that can incorporate many of the ideas that were generated in the group. It’s better suited for design work than brainstorming, for example, in that it works by synthesis and not by exclusion: The participants will build on ideas by others and use them.

If you’re interested, here are some links that will help you getting started:

Here you can find the slides from my presentation: Design Studio (PDF)

How to start in a new job as “UX team of one” and survive?

After the Design Studio workshop we started discussions about various topics. One was about how to start in a technical-led company as the first UX engineer – and what should be considered?

During the discussion we came up with the following recommendations:

  • People should be educated
  • You can choose one “champion” on whom you spend your efforts to start building up allies, else you likely exhaust yourself
  • You should understand how they currently work
  • Ask what they are seeing, where they see problems and possible improvements
  • Involve the people (e.g. bring the boss into the user context analysis)
  • Involve engineers in the experience themselve (e.g. usability testing, design studio session)
  • Be clear on why they hired you
  • For Quick Wins:
    • Guerilla usability tests and showing the main issues
    • Ask support team about the main pain point and work on that
    • Ask sales team, why they are selling/not selling. Why are customers quitting? (To which competitor do they leave?)
  • Make the engineers aware that UX is important. BUT appreciate what they have done because they have thought about the current result already.
  • Socializing (lunch, coffee, beer)

Recommended Events

Currently we recommend the following events:

  • UXcamp Europe Berlin 3.6.-4.6.2017 – volunteers can apply now! (Registration not open yet and usually sold out in minutes!)

Job Offers

Jobs are available at Tieto (contact Bernhard) and Uniqua.

Vienna is Part of the IxDA Community

And finally we want to share with you the nice video done by the IxDA … and if you pay attention you will see Vienna too …

Interaction Design is … from Interaction Design Association on Vimeo.

Save-the-Date – next Stammtisch: 14.3.2017

Join us on Meetup or on our Mailing-List.
If you want to join our Slack channel contact me.

MobX Conference: Vergünstigungen für

Aufgepasst: Am 13. September findet in Berlin die mobX statt, eine Konferenz zu den Themen mobile experience & Usability:

MobX – your premier annual conference for Mobile User Experience, small screen Interaction Design and usable interfaces on smart devices.

This conference is for all you creative minds out there who deal with User Experience, interfaces and interactions in mobile contexts. It’s not primarily for developers (but we do love you, nonetheless). MobX is for all those who love small, mobile interfaces and smart experiences, good usability and consistent behaviour.

There are a multitude of mobile gadgets, phones and tablets out there, with a mind-boggling variety of interfaces – with often dubious usability. We operate small screens in cars, trains and planes and elsewhere.

Or is there no such thing as a mobile device, as some say, just mobile context? A star-studded line-up of international experts and mobile thinkers will give us their take on this and other key topics. (And there will be time to party as well!)

Join us in Berlin and learn from the best. sparen dank Jan Jursa (einem der Veranstalter) €100 bei den Tickets. Dazu einfach beim Bestellen der Tickets den Codes “interactiondesignAT” eingeben. Danke Jan!