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Good Design Faster: New Techniques for Creative Ideas – Wednesday, November 10

Last year’s top-rated workshop on innovative design

Leah Buley

Leah Buley
Experience designer, Adaptive Path

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What’s the breakdown of the day?

Morning: Exploratory Brainstorming and Designing

Start the day Leah Buley’s way by getting the creative juices flowing. Pick up that pencil and put it to the paper and get some ideas out there.

You’ll blast right into exploring ideas using simple sketching techniques. Leah tells us that our design tool choices either enable us or paint us into a corner. Since we don’t want to spend the rest of the project working around our tool’s constraints, we need to pick something that will get the results we’re seeking. This is why we sketch.

The morning is all about exploring design ideas and methods for articulating our concepts. Too often, we are stuck with our first design ideas. With Leah’s library of clever ideation frameworks, you’ll find the better solutions just waiting for your discovery.

Afternoon: Sketchboards & Soft Skills

Now it’s Big Picture Time. Literally. Leah will roll out the huge wall–sized sheets of drawing paper, giving you the space to get those ideas out. This is the process of sketchboarding—a powerful group technique for evaluating the best and worst of your design concepts. With all the ideas in one place, you can bring out the best of each, which will inspire the group to explore options you would never see on your own.

For the remainder of the day, you’ll construct your facilitator toolkit. Leah will walk through what it takes to make a design workshop successful. She’ll demystify the workings of a successful group-based critique, turning it from a bitch session to a productive, energizing exploration of your design’s potential. You’ll learn to help your teammates wear their black hat—a permission-based technique for ripping a design to shreds—so you can discover its faults and learn how to make it even better.

Before you know it, the workshop will end and you’ll suddenly realize how much richer your facilitator toolbox has become. Don’t schedule any meetings for the rest of the week—you’ll want to use that time to get right to work with all the new ideas you’ve generated.

Does your team face these problems?

  • You feel like, even though you’re working in good faith, others are stonewalling you because they don’t like or understand the emerging ideas.
  • The executives beg for innovative designs, but don’t know what it takes to start “being innovative.”
  • Every time a new deliverable appears, the political infighting slows your design process to a grind.
  • Late–discovered constraints and requirements constantly plague your work, forcing undesirable quick hacks and patches.
  • You keep asking yourself, “Are we doing our best work? Is this the right design for our customers and our business?”
  • Once your team picks a design direction, they never validate it or poke at it to discover what will break down the road.

Why good design faster?

Innovation is now a favorite executive buzzword. “Go forth and innovate” is quickly followed by “Can you show us your innovations next week?” We need techniques to come up with innovative design ideas quickly.

Discover new design ideas, make them a reality, and do it fast!

We choose the first design we think of. Too often, we choose a design because it’s doable, not because it’s our best.

Creating innovative designs requires an innovative process. That’s why we’re excited Leah Buley, experience designer extraordinaire, will share her ground-breaking, proven techniques for Design Sprints and Sketchboarding in her full-day workshop, Good Designs Faster.

You’ll learn Leah’s secrets for quickly exploring a range of design alternatives, moving from back-of-the-napkin sketching to mapping out your design's interaction, flow, and form. The design exercises she’ll show you are guaranteed to get your team’s creative juices flowing, while you keep everyone focused on the users’ needs.

How will good design faster change your team?

There’s something miraculous that happens when you start a project right. Suddenly, everybody is on the same page, working towards the same goals. All the politics and craziness—that normally pulls the design work apart from the seams—goes away, replaced by the energy of collaboration.

Learn and practice the mad skills of a design facilitator.

Your team will now have a shared understanding of the design decisions you’re making. You’ll have the tools to resolve the questions that arise about implementation and the issues that pop up about the edge cases.

Leah’s Design Sprints will help your team generate design ideas while also surfacing those hidden requirements and constraints; the kind that don’t usually rear their ugly heads until late in the project cycle. Because you’re seeing the potential roadblocks earlier—before the project has built up too much momentum—you’re in a better position to devise innovative solutions, not the usual bubble-gum-and-rubber-band fixes that haunt your team until eternity.

What makes this workshop exciting?

The techniques in the Good Design Faster workshop are so bloody simple; you’ll wonder why you never thought of them before. What makes them so revolutionary is that you do them so quickly, using an approach that gives immediate attention to creative solutions behind the design problems you’re facing.

“I can’t wait to get back to the office and put together a design workshop with my team.”

While the feeling of being stuck is frustrating, the feeling of becoming unstuck can be exhilarating. You’ll have new techniques to move your team forward on some of your gnarliest design problem.

Both experienced designers and those folks just starting out will love Leah’s techniques for pushing the way we think about our designs. You’ll revel in her quick and easy brainstorming techniques, helping you see your design from multiple perspectives. Move beyond the obvious first doable solution to ideas that break your barriers to innovation.

Why did we pick Leah?

While we’d heard of Leah’s work, first at Barclay’s and then at Adaptive Path, we really weren’t aware of her talents until we saw her present at the IA Summit a few years back. We’d walked into her session—the largest room at the conference venue—to discover the only place to sit was on the floor, right up near the front. It was that full.

Nobody knows design sprints and sketchboarding like Leah.

Within moments, we knew why. Her delightful presentation style, along with her in-depth expertise, made for an intoxicating session. We just couldn’t get enough.

At the same time, we’d been hearing great things about the approach Adaptive Path was using for their design workshops. Teams everywhere were telling us how it was pushing the envelope on their design capabilities, delivering better results than ever before.

When we heard that Leah had put together a one-day comprehensive seminar on how to facilitate these workshops, we knew instantly we wanted it on the User Interface Conference program. Last year, at UI14, was the workshop’s debut and she hit it out of the park. It was the top rated session of the year.

We’re bringing it back one more time, just for you. Don’t miss it. This one is sure to sell out.

What’s the next step?

If Leah’s workshop isn’t quite what you’re looking for, explore the other 7 workshops. There’s also a whole day of Featured Talks with all the UI15 experts.