User Research

One or two-day workshop

Learning from customers by observing them and talking to them are some of the most valuable tools for gaining deep insights. Yet sometimes we forget that interviewing is a skill we need to learn, because:

  • It’s based on skills we think we have (talking and listening)
  • It’s not taught or reflected on
  • People tend to wing it rather than developing their skills

Without top-level skills, research results may be inaccurate or reveal nothing new, suggesting the wrong design or business responses, or they may miss the crucial nuance that points to innovative breakthrough opportunities.

We’ll focus on the importance of rapport-building and listening, and look at techniques for both. We’ll review different types of questions, and discuss why you need to have a range of question types. We will explore other contextual research methods that can be built on top of interviewing in a seamless way. We’ll try some practice exercises for improving your own interviewing skills and do a full-day research and design activity “in the field” to make the lessons tangible.

Improving Your Soft Skills

Half-day workshop

Working successfully in today’s professional environments entails communicating and collaborating with a diverse range of individuals in other geographies, organizations, and disciplines.

In this workshop, we’ll start with the fact that even in our professional lives, we’re people first and workers second. We’ll take a hard look at what it really takes for people to get work done—working with colleagues, leaders, and users—and trying to deal better with ourselves! These are the skills you know you need, but no one has ever thought to help you improve.

I’ll share some of my own “muscles of innovation,” and work with you to identify and develop your own. We’ll explore how to improve and strengthen skills that you identify as crucial to your job. Each participant will develop a personal action plan with goals and specific next steps.

Unlocking Your Inner Creative

Half-day workshop

Whether or not you self-identify as a creative, modern work requires us to continually develop solutions to an ever-changing range of problems, from tactical processes to strategic innovations. This workshop teaches you how bad ideas can lead to good ones (and even help reframe the problem itself). Participants will learn how improv unlocks enormous creativity for both individuals and teams, and will gain an understanding of the creative power of listening to each other as well as ourselves.