UX Bristol 2012


How to Design stuff that Matters... FAST.

The idea of this workshop is to design stuff that matters...FAST. I'm not kidding - we issue a design challenge and then get groups to work through a number of exercises in 60 minutes:

  • Form Cross Functional Teams
  • Understanding the Problem
  • Empathy Mapping to understand users
  • Affinity map and prioritise candidate solutions
  • Business Model Canvas
  • User Journeys and Paper Prototypes
  • Elevator Pitches
  • DragonsDen QandA

This is a lot of stuff to get through in just 60 minutes so we use NERF guns to help keep time!


"If shot - die dramatically" is the rapid facilitation technique we picked up from Ryan Haney's gamification workshop in UX Cambridge.

This workshop is high pressure and great fun but it trys to make a serious point. We can get very precious about the amount of time needed for "up-front UX". This workshop demonstrates that "design cycle-time" can be massively compressed without terrible side effects! I would obviously not advocate only spending 60 minutes on commercial applications - but teams almost always surprise themselves with the quality, volume and innovation they produce under these tight constraints.


Writeup from UX Bristol
Get the Slides

This is a VERY interactive workshop. The slides aren't going to help much on their own!

Presented at


Nothing quite as satisfying as meeting old friends (armed with nerf-guns!). This was a chance to catch up with my long-standing friend and colleague Eewei Chen. Together, we ran a joint workshop at UX Bristol (an amazing event organised by another old-time UXer - my good friend Stuart Church)

A Different Challenge

I gave a quirky christmas flavoured adaption of this workshop to DMC - a leading design agency in Vienna.

The DMC crew were tasked with creating an iPhone app to help the Christmas shopping experience in Vienna.

When I first encountered DMC they were massive Agile skeptics. They were incredibly good designers - but they would seldom see their design vision realised in working software.

DMC are still great designers... but they are now massive agile advocates. They have seen first hand that this stuff works. The success of the one project they worked on with ThoughtWorks has given DMC the impetus to start making changes to process and approach across their organisation. Transformational :-)

Recommended Reading

I would highly recommend the following books where you can find more information on some of the topics discussed.