This document will serve as a helpful guide for navigating a team through the UX Them workshop. Much like a user interview guide, the items detailed below are not concrete rules or step-by-step instructions; they are guidelines that allow for minor deviations in the process, which will happen as every team is different.
Below is a template comment you can use for the meeting invite.
Hello! You are invited to participate in creating a UX Theme workshop for <Stage:group> 🎉! **Session info** 👉 Everyone: please review the information in (this issue), which will be our guide throughout the process. **Homework (Due <date> by EOD)** 👉 <PM Name & Designer Name>: As the Product & Design DRIs, we need your help gathering a few links prior to the session. Please review the (Homework section) for more details. __________________________________ Workshop itinerary Introduction (5 min) Goal statement definition (15 min) Theme clustering (45 min) --- Break --- (5 min) Theme refinement (45 min) Playback & wrap-up (5 min) Note: The session may not take the entire time, though it is recommended to come prepared in the event it goes the entire 2 hours.
Once the Product Manager and Designer have supplied the required information move on to the next step. Note: You may have to remind the participants to supply the information if they have yet to do so in a timely manner. The workshop cannot be conducted unless this information is provided.
The activities will take place entirely in Mural. Only
Step 1 - Warm-up: UX vision definition and
Step 2 - Cluster inputs into theme bundles require setup before the workshop.
Follow the links provided by the PM.
💡 Tip: Not every direction page is consistent. You’ll likely find a mishmash of some or all of these sections within a Stage Group or Category page. You may even see inconsistencies across categories within the same Stage Group. Do the best you can in gathering the most relevant goals for each.
Move on to Category Goals:
When complete, the mural should look like this:
Follow the links provided by the PM for the relevant feature issues. Only copy issues with the UX label applied.
💡 Tip: Keep the sticky notes in their respective color grouping unordered. Do not arrange them by any pre-existing method (existing epic, product roadmap, group: category, etc.) The goal is to break down our existing organizational method used in GitLab for this exercise.
💡 Tip: Ensure participants have enough space below the sticky notes to create theme bundles. At least ½ of the horizontal area should be blank.
Next: Follow the links provided by the Design DRI for relevant insights and JTBD.
When complete, the mural should look like this:
Welcome everyone to the workshop; introduce yourself and anyone acting as a co-facilitator. Here you should mention the roles and responsibilities of everyone on the call. Restate the purpose of the workshop as well as reinforce that this is collaborative.
“The goal of today’s workshop is to leave with a stronger sense of a UX direction, goals, vision, and a prioritized list of themes. For your group”
“This is a safe space and saying ‘I don’t know` is encouraged. That’s why we are here, to define the known and identify the unknown.”
Share your screen and walk through the itinerary in the workshop issue. When complete, stop sharing your screen allowing the participants to focus back on their screens of the Mural board.
Before we get started, are there any questions?
Ask everyone to open the Mural file (share the link over the Zoom chat), and introduce the first exercise.
💡 This exercise is part warm-up, to get everyone talking and part exercise for creating UX Themes.
💡 Teams may struggle with this, but it is okay. All that is required is statements on sticky notes so they can complete the goal/vision statements after the workshop.
“Looking at the first exercise in the top left you will see the stage and category goal and direction information. This was copied from the direction pages and should be referenced for this exercise.”
“Next you will see a set of prompts to use to help define the vision and goal statement, talking amongst yourselves, try to add statements that you can use to help in your definitions.
“This is going to be our reference point for this year and act as our north star when scoping our work. Let’s take about 10 minutes to brainstorm. If you need more time then that is okay.”
“Does that make sense, any questions?” okay, I will start the timer now.”
⏲️ In Mural Start the timer for 10 minutes
ℹ️ Watch as statements are added and ask probing questions, “Why is that important, tell me more about…” etc
At the end of the time, ask if the participants need more time.
If yes, add 5 more minutes but no more than that.
Based on the number of stickies generated, you'll get a sense that more time is needed. Because this information is meant to guide the direction, it's okay if it's not 100% perfect.
ℹ️ What's essential is that there's enough information to allow the workshop to progress. It's perfectly okay to mention that the team can return to this async later if necessary.
🟢 Move on to the next activity
ℹ️ This is the most critical part of the workshop as generating themes relies on this activity to be done carefully. If teams have mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive theme bundles, you'll know this was successful.
📖 Read the Step 2 instruction in Mural out loud and ask if there are any questions.
“I’ve transferred the inputs you linked me to in the workshop issue. Now working together, we are going to group these stickies thematically based on the user need they are addressing”
⏲️ In Mural Start the timer for 45 minutes
As clusters start to form, you or the co-facilitator should copy and paste the
Beneficiary, Job, Outcome text block below so teams can begin filling out that information.
ℹ️ Watch out for large clusters. Also, ensure the participants are keeping the scope in mind. (Design work can be completed within (1-3) milestones, including solution validation).
ℹ️ Watch out for inputs within clusters that aren't solving the same problem.
ℹ️ If teams are struggling, propose using the job map template as a guide for the exercise.
A team will rarely complete this activity within 45 minutes. Once the time is up, assess the team's progress and plan for a 5 minute break.
💡 To reiterate, this is a vital step in the process, and you should not move on without defining clusters.
❗️ If you reached the end of time and the team has not finished:
❗️ If you reached the end of the additional 30 minutes and the team has not finished:
🟢 Take the planned 5 minute break
This can be an intense process, and participant engagement will fade as the session continues. Including a break is critical for participants to remain focused and engaged in the session.
🟢 Move on to the next activity or continue the prior activity if incomplete.
📖 Read the Step 3 instruction in Mural out loud and ask if there are any questions.
⏲️ In Mural Start the timer for 45 minutes or however much time remains, ensuring to reserve at least 5 minutes at the end for a recap and next step directions.
Theme statement: DO THIS LAST for every theme. You will need all the other info before constructing the theme statement.
ℹ️ To help with theme statements, Ask, "If I know nothing about this product area, would I be able to tell what this theme is addressing at a glance?"
Business objective: ensure teams don't get caught up in this aspect. This can be filled in after the Theme issue is created; however, it is still an essential part of the process.
Confidence: Use the chart in Mural to have teams assess their confidence. Remember, we do not want to start design work on themes with low confidence.
Have the team look over the themes once they are done.
Briefly summarize the activities in the workshop, and celebrate the team's progress. Something to the effect of:
“Today we created goal and vision statements, bundled work into themes, refined themes and generated the inputs to prioritize them in your roadmap!"
🏁 Ask if there are any questions about the next steps and end the meeting.
We advise following up with the team in the workshop issue a few days after the workshop has concluded. We want to ensure the activities and concepts are fresh so teams won't have to recall every instruction from the workshop; The more time passes, the harder it will be for a team to complete their themes.