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At an onsite wireframing workshop with a client late next week, I'd like to do as much as possible to get them involved as a combined team rather than just dictating, lecturing, or performing for them.

I have one idea for an activity (courtesy of a great workshop I attended led by Kevin Hoffman), which is as follows:

Pick one pagetype. Each group member gets a piece of wireframing paper and has 10 minutes to lay out a wireframe for that pagetype. When 10 minutes has elapsed, combine people into groups of two. That duo now has 10 minutes to merge their wireframes together into one combined wireframe. When 10 minutes has elapsed, combine duos into four-person teams. Each quartet now has 10 minutes to merge the two duo wireframes together into one combined wireframe. Repeat this combination/merging process until the wireframe is whittled down to one page by the entire group. Talk about it!

I'm looking for some more frameworks like this that I can use over the course of two days to get everybody's input and to keep people interested and productive. Any ideas? Thanks!

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That workshop activity sounds great. I would tend to throw a hallway test in there somewhere if possible, once the wireframe is through a couple iterations. This can add a whole new dimension to the exercise and is an important part of the process. –  drawtheweb Jan 17 '13 at 17:18

5 Answers 5

You may want to check out these (free) resources. They all have many ideas for design thinking activities. I'm not sure if there are any specific to wireframing, but even if not, they may give you some inspiration:

ps. I had a third link, but apparently I'm not allowed to post more than two as a newly registered user. Search for "bootcamp bootleg".

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Check this presentation out, http://vimeo.com/37861987 by Todd Zaki Warfell, he describes some key methods around what you're trying to do.

I'm not sure about the activity/workshop that you've attended but a key component of a Design Studio (which is essentially drawing many wireframes) is learning how to critique the work of others. By critiquing your team collaborates exposes implicit assumptions and learns about different ideas and constraints. This is especially great if you have a multidisciplinary team involved - design, business, technology - folks who have an impact on the whole project.

Here's a sample method you could use,

0) Do some Pre-work ahead of time. Define the Personas and Scenarios you want to use. Define Business goals (increase conversion rate to increase revenue on this widget) to achieve and design principles to apply (e.g. we must use skeuomorphism - the more realistic the better). Completing this step helps your team understand the underlying research and goals and so they can trace back and justify their wireframes using this foundation.

Actual workshop - I don't know how big your team so this depends on team size.

1) In a group of 4 - 6 people (not too small and not too large) give them out the materials in step 0, let them read over. Answer any questions. Now announce the timing - they have 5 minutes to sketch something out on the 6 up fast. This is all done individually

2) Once the 5 minutes is over, announce critique - each member of the group critiques another person's design for 2 minutes. Everybody participates. No personal attacks permitted. Judging criteria based on research done in step 0 and any other project related factors.

3) After the lessons are learned - get the individuals to sketch again for 5 minute then critique.

4) Repeat step 3 but instead of sketching on 6-ups do a 1-up and critique.

5) Converge and do a group final sketch/flow of the 1-up done in step 4.

Present your final design at the end of the workshop, what you learned and how your design meets or exceeds the user goals and business requirements.

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I've implemented my version of Design Studio at Verisign at least 8 times in my 9 months of being here as the head of UX. Take bits from it what you need and adapt them to fit your client.

http://uxmag.com/articles/introduction-to-design-studio-methodology

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It would be more of a late-stage activity in the workshop, but I would incorporate some paper prototyping activities. This would be best once you have some wireframes.

It moves people beyond just drawing pictures to really investigating how the wireframes will work. I usually separate them into at least 2 groups. Each group prototypes one "interaction". They then run the other group through their prototype. Switch roles.

Best resource I've found on paper prototyping is Carolyn Snyder's book and website, http://www.paperprototyping.com/

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The website http://goodkickoffmeetings.com/exercises/ is probably your best bet.

also,

The book Sketching User Experience has some great quick exercises for sketching (wireframing) and problem solving. It might have some really great exercise's to get people loosened up and in the right frame of mind for wireframing. Since a big part of sketching is loosing some inhibitions, loosening up, and exploring.

Side Note: I also feel it has some great ideas for interview questions.

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