Tips and Tricks
A collection of tips and tricks for planning a Universal Design Workshop, running a Universal Design Workshop, and documenting a workshop.
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?
- What are the abilities of your participants? (see inclusivity tips in each method)
- What is their age?
- What is their expertise?
- Any language considerations?
- 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:
- 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:
- Introduction of purpose and the overall workshop agenda to align expectations and make participants feel valued
- Inspire a positive mood with your energy and inclusive attitude
- 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
- 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
- Does everyone know what to do?
- Do they need a break?
- Are you reaching your goals?
- Are you on time according to your timeframe?
- 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).