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Report on the UX Workshop - Futur en Seine 2014

By Pauline 27-06-2014

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On June 19th, the UX team at af83 conducted an introductory workshop to UX Design during the Futur en Seine Festival – Edition 2014. Here is a quick feedback on the session…

We had a wide range of participants: web developers, UI designers, marketers, UXers, innovation consultants, startupers, everyone was eager to learn new methods... and they certainly were not disappointed!

For the non-initiated, UX is just about interface wizardry and slick wireframes, so they were somewhat surprised when we introduced them to our program: user research in the field, identifying problems and user needs, brainstorming activities, affinity mapping, and creating a user scenario.

The workshop schedule was tight, so we quickly formed 4 teams lead by UX Designers, briefed them about the user research activities to follow, and left for the nearest Metro station. So, yes, digital definitely starts with field observation!

Teams could choose between helping solve ticket system problems or signage and way-finding problems. There was plenty to observe just before rush hour, people visibly struggling with different situations, so we had a lot of issues to discuss when we got back.

Based on the direct observations still fresh in everyone’s mind we brainstormed a wide range of possible solutions, first noting them in silence, then discussing them, grouping them by affinity, and finally filtering via dot voting.

The purpose was to pick one or more solutions and illustrate how they would solve user’s problems with a storyboarded user scenario. At this point participants were starting to understand the role of user research in a user-centered design process: answering real user needs based on observation.

At the end, every group presented their scenarios to each other and we discussed with participants what they’d learned from the workshop. Feedback was very positive, one of the desired outcomes was to get participant’s mindset to shift from “UX=wireframes” to understanding the full breadth of what User Experience Design entails and the benefits of adopting user-centered processes. A few were already planning on how to apply the methods in their own work... mission accomplished!

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