UI Sixteen

User Interface 16 The UX & Design Conference

Kevin Hoffman portrait

Kicking Off Projects Right

Kevin Hoffman, Happy Cog | November 7 | 8:30 am - 5:30 pm

Take advantage of the team’s brain power. Learn to facilitate productive, insightful meetings, even when you’re not the ‘person in charge.’

Kevin’s Full-Day Workshop Agenda


The secrets to making your meetings effective

  • Kickoff techniques for productive team collaboration
  • Essential attendee roles in meetings where stuff gets done
  • How your role as facilitator will improve your meeting dynamics

User experience techniques for designing successful meetings

  • Workshop activities that foster group buy-in and consensus building
  • Tools like Likert Scales that turn subjective thinking into objective rankings
  • Simple math tricks that create a feedback loop for effective discussions


Steps for designing productive meetings

  • Highly-interactive meeting techniques that focus the team on key issues
  • Kickoff meeting sequences that uncover detailed design criteria
  • How to course correct when things start to get out of control

Be persuasive through effective presentations

  • Powerful techniques for presenting your design rationale and ideas
  • How to align your design with the business’s goals to ease adoption
  • Ways to tailor your presentation style to match your audience members

Discover Great Innovations Earlier

“It’s too late” should never stop a great idea. We’ll understand the problems we’re solving early enough and have our Aha! moment while we can still bake it into the design.

Great Ideas Come from Unlikely People

Others from our org bring unique perspectives and insights. We’ll use innovative, collaborative techniques to integrate their contributions into the design and to build something fantastic.

Get the Entire Team on the Same Page

The outcome of a successful kickoff: our entire team, in the same starting place, heading in the same direction. We can establish a shared understanding and language for the project.

Kick Off Your Next Project Effectively

Turn your next kickoff meeting into a productive, collaborative workshop. Explore how using standard UX techniques can quickly elicit new design ideas and critical requirements. Kevin will show you how your existing toolkit has everything you need.

Master techniques that bring your team to quick consensus. Kevin has great tricks to focus a group on the essentials that quickly resolve important decisions. You’ll see how to establish a common ground, while exploring the viewpoints each team member brings to the table.

Use simple mathematical methods to identify key success factors. Discover the magic of a weighted decision table, where you can turn objective differences of opinion into a quantified direct comparison. You’ll marvel as Kevin demonstrates this simple, powerful tool.

Harness your powers of persuasion. Kevin will help you refine your presentation techniques, sharing his tricks to deliver new ideas to diverse teams. You’ll see how game storming and visual facilitation methods will help your team explore your critical design problems.

You’ll see how to:

  • Put together an effective kickoff workshop. It’s not as hard as you think.
  • Get your team working together quickly with easy facilitator techniques.
  • Become a compelling agent of change for your team.
  • Beat down the defeatism and fear that comes from traditional kickoff meetings.
  • Grow your toolkit with visual note-taking and team collaboration activities.
  • Solve the tough design problems early when you’ve got the most flexibility.

The Magic of Kevin Hoffman

Kevin Hoffman portrait

You’ll be blown away, just as we were, by the incredible depth of Kevin Hoffman’s knowledge on running energizing, productive meetings. His completely unassuming ways makes him a fabulous and engaging instructor, as you’ll see in his fun and entertaining full-day workshop.

Kevin is the Director of User Experience for Happy Cog, who is one of the foremost and well respected web design firms in the country. He’s worked on amazing projects for Harvard, The Holocaust Museum, and Zappos.

In his work, Kevin’s employed kickoff meetings to create a culture for the project that goes beyond each organization’s culture. This establishes baseline levels for both the energy and commitment of the team that carries through the entire project. You’ll hang on every word as he walks you through the techniques and activities for your own successful project kickoffs.

See Kevin’s Tuesday Featured Talk

Meeting Design for the Design Process

Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2:30 - 4:00

We naturally want to eliminate unproductive meetings. But at what cost?

Podcasts from Kevin:

  • Facilitating Project Kickoffs 27:42