We aren’t just designing shapes and lines and planes and pixels. Our designs often have words in them.
One of the most under-rated skills I’ve found that pays real dividends is learning how to think about what you’re writing and how those words matter.
Running a workshop or design sprint with your cross-functional team can be one of the most worthwhile uses of your time.
Nothing beats getting everybody in the same room, problem-solving and working together. There is no faster way I know of to clear up assumptions, debate a variety of viewpoints, and grow empathy for other parts of the design + build process that you may not be involved in than a good old face-to-face working session.
However, getting all that goodness out of your workshop or sprint is predicated on the idea that everybody in the room is willing to be open and collaborative. If there is some hostility to the idea of your sprint, nervousness or anxiety about the meeting, or other floating elephants in the room, you won’t get the most out of your workshop.
To combat this, one way I like to kick a stakeholder workshop off is by using Hopes and Fears.