Design-led Research Workshop

In 2017 I authored and facilitated a design workshop for a group of students at the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice, Poland. The two-day workshop was designed to give the students an opportunity to try out new methods of working.

We focused on the design-led research approach structured around the proven Google Design Sprint process.

workshop photo
Photos by Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice.

I designed the workshop as a hands-on introduction to the design-led research approach that we successfully use at Science Practice on an everyday basis.

In short, a design-led research approach is a version of lean UX with extra emphasis placed on prototyping as a means of eliciting user feedback.

workshop slides — test fast

In design-led research we aim to create rapid low-cost prototypes as early as possible.

A prototype can be anything that helps to communicate and test a given design: a user journey, a wireframe, a click-through mockup, a video, or a role-play experience.

The trick is to choose the right prototyping methods to reach most realistic results for least effort spent.

Selected prototypes will be used as stimulus to elicit user feedback in design-led research interviews.

workshop slides — examples of stimulus workshop slides — spectrum of prototypes

Our workshop programme was organised into five steps:

  1. Define the problem
  2. Turn problem into question
  3. Plan user research interviews
  4. Prototype a design solution
  5. Validate solution in user research

Each step included a dedicated intro (theory + examples) and a practical task assigned to workshop participants.

During the workshop, my key goal was to help students discover the value of rapid low-cost prototyping. We spent almost 50% of workshop's time designing prototypes and figuring out how to best use them as stimulus in user research interviews.

workshop slides — stimulus storyboarding workshop slides — tools we like to use workshop photo

I facilitated two versions of this workshop.

In December 2017 I led the original 2-day version with design students at the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice.

In May 2018 I led its shorter 4-hour version at the OpenVis Conf in Paris.