Facilitation Tips

Planning a universal design workshops


Setting the purpose of the overall workshop is the most important first step

What is to be the output and why?


Consider how much time and resources you will need

What is your available timeframe?


Choosing the appropriate participants depending on your purpose is crucial

Who are they and what is important for you to know?


Create a workshop plan depending on your purpose

You can use sorting functions on the front page to generate your workshop plan, or choose one of the preplanned ones


Do you need to plan for some inclusivity and accessibility considerations?

o   What are the abilities of your participants? (see inclusivity tips in each method)

o   What is their age?

o   What is their expertise?

o   Any language considerations?

o   Have they participated in a workshop or an interview before?


Choose the appropriate environment for your workshop

Where will you achieve the right atmosphere?


Consider which materials you need

e.g. pens, post its and templates, see for each method


Make sure to run through your workshop plan and consider where you need:

o   Breaks

o   Buffers

o   Back up plan

During a universal design workshop


First impression is key!


Make sure to accommodate any special needs and that everyone is comfortable before getting started


Build and maintain trust and remember to consider

o   Introduction of purpose and the overall workshop agenda to align expectations and make participants feel valued

o   Inspire a positive mood with your energy and inclusive attitude

o   Make sure participants feel heard and respected


Establish a sense of authority by means of your expertise and confidence to ensure participants listen and are productive


Consider your appearance through body language and tone of voice


Introduce each method clearly and make sure that everybody understands what to do before inviting them to start working

o   Consider dividing complex methods and introduce bit by bit as to not overload your participants with information


Make sure to continuously monitor the progress and atmosphere of your workshop

o   Does everyone know what to do?

o   Do they need a break?

o   Are you reaching your goals?

o   Are you on time according to your timeframe?

o   Do you need to adjust your workshop plan?


When the agenda has been completed thank the participants for their participation and, if you have time, ask if they have any final thoughts or feedback.


It is important to keep the timeframe - try to avoid going over time

Documenting a workshop

 The importance of documentation is often understated so make sure to plan for how you intend to collect your data for synthesis after the workshop



Are you able to have a co-facilitator that can take notes and help distributing/collecting material and templates?


Templates are a way of organizing and collecting data in real time, saves you a lot of work afterwards (see templates for each method)


Take clear pictures of everything you deem relevant for future work

If you are asking your participants to sketch during your workshop, it’s a good idea to ask them to describe in written text what the sketch represents (you might forget afterwards)