Another year is almost at its end, and I’m genuinely unsure where all the time this year has gone! Before 2018 disappears completely, I thought it’d be good to look back at some of my highlights from the year, and to talk a little bit about what I see ahead.
This is the second in a series of posts where I cover tips I’ve picked up that have helped me attend, organise and facilitate better meetings. The first post covered attending meetings. This second post will cover organising meetings.
As designers working in a team with others, we know that a fair chunk of our time will be spent with other people – gathering information, generating ideas and debating problems – in forums like meetings, workshops or sprints.
With that in mind, I always think it’s crazy how we spend so much time learning about our design craft, yet when it comes to learning about how to negotiate the often tricky world of meetings, workshops, sprints or even informal catchups with our colleagues, we are often left firmly in the dark, and having to just ‘learn on the job’.
This is a guest post by the lovely Anja Mayr, senior UX Researcher for smart Helios, a digital innovation lab for Europe’s biggest private hospital group. She has been working as Service & UX Designer/Researcher and Innovation Consultant in digital product development & agencies for the past 7+ years. Follow her on Twitter or LinkedIn.
Hopes and Fears, as described by Yaël in her post, is a great exercise for kicking off workshops and design sprints. It sets the stage by bringing out everyone’s expectations – aspirations and concerns alike, and helps us address and keep in mind these points throughout the journey.
One fun way to make this exercise more memorable and establish even better understanding among participants, is using the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® (LSP) facilitation method. Yes, this means playing with Lego bricks, or, more precisely: thinking with your hands!
Picture the scene. I’m sitting at my kitchen table at home, trying to unenthusiastically spear a piece of chicken with my fork. I’m mid-impassioned rant to my girlfriend, fork now waving wildly in the air;
“And I didn’t even get a thank you!! Not even a tiny, measly thank you, after all the work I put into that. They just don’t care at all. I can’t take this anymore.”
Rewind a few hours. I had worked like crazy all week to deliver designs for an important presentation. I had poured every ounce of effort into making sure we hit the deadline, suffered through numerous changes as strategies leading up to the presentation shifted, and had one unhappy girlfriend who had been forced into living with a extremely grumpy zombie.
The presentation was now over, and though it had gone well, I was left feeling pretty upset. We’d delivered, well against the odds, a really important, time-intensive piece of work, yet nobody at work took the time to thank us for our efforts. In fact, the converse had happened – our manager had gotten all the credit and didn’t bat an eyelid.
The sad thing is, that I bet most of you can relate to this story. Feeling under-appreciated or not recognised for your efforts by your team, manager or wider company is a common theme that I hear again and again, and that I’ve personally experienced in multiple companies.