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Friday, September 24 • 1:00pm - 1:45pm
Innovating and Collaborating Remotely: How the UX Community Adapted

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Collaborative workshops are central to Design Thinking and innovation practices. Workshops bring multi-disciplinary groups together for unique perspectives and support divergent thinking by allowing participants to think visually, and build on each other’s ideas. Yes, workshops should be structured, but often the best outcomes result when the team goes off script. Thus, historically, creative workshops were done in-person.   
Of course, the global pandemic accelerated the need for many teams to conduct these sessions remotely. For better or worse, teams moved their in-person methods and protocols to the online environment. The good news is that there are some advantages to remote workshops. For example, online or asynchronous messaging in a workshop may make it easier for introverts to participate on a level playing field. Also, there is the potential for increased diversity in attendance.

But, there are challenges as well. There are plenty of studies showing that remote work has its limitations, and this may impact the outcome of creative, collaborative working sessions. For example, what effect does not being able to see body language have on our ability to gauge reactions to an idea? If visual thinking is key to innovation, what is the implication of leveraging online tools versus good, old-fashioned tactile paper and pen, or whiteboard markers? How does screen fatigue affect our creativity?

This presentation will take stock of our current collaborative ideation and workshop methods in the hybrid, remote environment we find ourselves in today. The talk will explore the implications of moving in-person workshops online, and present themes, best practices, and unique methods for remote Design Thinking activities. Insights are based on interviews with over 20+ UX leaders on the topic. Finally, the presentation will present a case study and lessons learned from a recent innovation project.

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avatar for Michael Hawley

Michael Hawley

VP Experience Research & Strategy, ZeroDegrees
I’ve worked for 20+ years researching and designing digital experiences. From my first jobs working with hospital staff to understand new software, to serving as Chief Design Officer at Mad*Pow, to my most recent position as VP Experience Research & Strategy at ZeroDegrees, I’ve... Read More →

Friday September 24, 2021 1:00pm - 1:45pm EDT
3 - Independence (Strategy)