Workshop Methods

I do a lot workshops, so I’m always on the lookout for facilitation methods and design games that work. There's loads of great places to find inspiration. See a list of my go-to sources below. Trusted and well-proven tools easily become favourites. Just as often I find myself adapting a tool or creating a new one to help solve the problem de jour.

To help keep track of all this, I've created a repository of my own, right here:

You'll find a categorised reference-list of tools, with links to more information. Where it's one of my tools, there's a more detailed write-up. Like this one, on Customer Archetype Mapping - a method I use a lot, especially when doing a redesign.

Here's a short-list of the best places I've found for finding workshop methods:

  • GamestormingToolkit for innovators, rulebreakers and changemakers. 
    It's also a book by the marvellous Dave Gray with Suni Brown and James Macanufo.
  • Service Design Tools
    An open platform of knowledge, for the design research community. Started by Roberta Tassi.

  • Universal Methods of Design100 Ways to Research Complex Problems, Develop Innovative Ideas, and Design Effective Solutions.
    Long title. Great book.

  • Oblique Strategies
    If you’re really blocked, or just want something different, try this. It’s a collection of aphorisms to help you think laterally by artist Brian Eno.



Credits: Jason Furnell

Sketchboarding is a rapid, sketch based, iterative design method for defining the blueprint of a product experience. A sketchboard shines brightest during the early stages of product design, when shared understanding is more valuable than a highly evolved design. Sketchboards are then used as an artefact of understanding, to help drive out more detailed discussions about requirement, estimates etc.

Jason Furnell has published a detailed write-up on how he uses sketchboards in the design workflow. This has everything you need to know about using sketchboards for yourself. There's even a video!

Shipping Products While Adapting to New Information

It was a pleasure to speak at UX Scotland this year. This talk extends previous work on design approaches and get's to the heart of applying theory in practice. I talk about how strategy adapts through doing, describe the mechanics at play, and tell honest stories of failure and success.

  • Find out about a universal design model applied to all kinds of products and services
  • Learn some tools, techniques and workflow that connect strategy with execution for better product outcomes
  • See how it all comes together through real examples
  • Hear about our mistakes, so you don't make them too.