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81 contributions to Facilitator Club
Design Thinking workshop for 9-year-old kids
Hello, I want to create a workshop for kids in my son's classroom. Could you please suggest some ideas for topics that I can cover and ways to make it fun and engaging for them? Thank you! 😊
New comment Feb 16
1 like • Feb 9
I use standard design thinking techniques with my kids and others and they love it. I haven't needed to change the activities at all. What changes is the topic you focus on, choosing something of interest to the kids. Can you identify a topic or thing they're interested in and maybe have ideas to improve? You could use the LDJ to identify improvements to the thing. It could be a video game they play. The classroom they're in. How the teacher assigns homework.
Tips for Virtual Facilitation
Would love to hear some tips or strategies used to keep audience engaged during virtual facilitation.
New comment Feb 5
0 likes • Jan 31
The dynamics of virtual workshops are very different from in person workshops. In general, you need to be clearer with instructions, can run fewer activities in the same amount of time, and need to work harder to keep people engaged. I have a longer write up about remote workshops on my blog that goes into the different dynamics and tactics you can use to manage them:
Workshop for ideation
Hi there! I'm very new to facilitating workshops. I'm a UX designer working in a product company and would love to hear feedback. I have planned a workshop (after lots of research) to help a couple teams and major stakeholders to feel like their ideas are heard in-regards to improving our current app navigation. 1. I'm starting with the sail boat exercise. And from the top voted "When it comes to our navigation what is weighing us down" activity, I will reframe the main one into HMW. 2. For the top HMW I will ask everyone to come up with as many ideas as they can. Choose top 5 (bin the rest) and randomly stick on wall. 3. categorise them (to encourage everyone to read them) 4. vote 5. rearrange to with top voted on top. I'd like for it to take an hour. I don't know if it's worth taking it further like crazy 8s or wireframes. Would love to hear any feedback!
New comment Sep '23
1 like • Sep '23
Since the area of focus for the workshop is redesigning the nav, you might skip the HMW and go straight to sketching. In a sense, your HMW is something like, "HMW redesign the nav to [solve this problem]." Have each person share one of their negative and positive things from the sailboat exercise. That gets everyone's ideas into the room, so everyone can be on the same page. After everyone has shared, ask everyone to sketch how they would redesign the nav. Share and discuss what's the same and different across all the sketches. Then, as a group, you can sketch a single redesign based on everyone's input and all the discussion in the room. I've used this method for lots of sprint kickoffs around a specific feature and it gets everyone heard, aligned, and invested in the solution. So, for a workshop with 10 people: - Sailboat - brainstorm positive things about the nav - 3 min - Each person shares and discusses one of their positive stickies - 10 min (1 min/person) - Sailboat - brainstorm negative things about the nav - 3 min - Each person shares and discusses one of their negative stickies - 10 min (1 min/person) - Each person sketches how they would redesign the nav - 3 min - Each person shares and discusses their nav sketch - 10 min (1 min/person) - All together, sketch a nav redesign - 10 min (With intro and outro and instructions, this timing is tight for an hour. If sailboat and discussion takes too long, you can skip individual sketching and jump straight to sketching the new design all together.) Generating positives and negatives with the sailboat and then talking about them does the heavy lifting here. This is where you make sure everyone gets to share and feels heard. But you still want to walk out with something concrete everyone can point to and feel like they were successful. That's why the sketching at the end is so important. It not only gives you a design that most people will agree on directionally (that you can refine individually after the workshop), it makes the team feel like the hour was productive.
0 likes • Sep '23
And I didn't mean to totally take your workshop in a different direction. Communicating asynchronously like this can be difficult when discussing nuanced things like workshop design and your group. Happy to jump on a call if you'd like to chat about anything: Book time with Austin Govella
Reading list
Hi, I am very green on facilitation and I am looking for some recommendations to add to my reading list- you can never learn enough right?!
New comment Sep '23
1 like • Sep '23
The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters By Priya Parker Mind blowing. I’ve been running workshops since about 2005, so I didn’t expect to learn that much. I was so cynical, so wrong. Parker deconstructs why we gather, where , and how in a way that’s easily accessible and immediately applicable. As I finished each chapter, I found myself questioning assumptions and common routines that have guided my practice for ages. And then I went and rethought birthdays, dinner parties, dinner… You have to read this book. It tears everything down and shows you how to rebuild, so your workshops are perfectly optimized and outcome-oriented.–Planning, Facilitation, Remote Rapid problem solving with Post-It Notes By David Straker Although the title mentions sticky notes, Straker walks you through archetypal problems and activities for solving them. Using sticky notes as a conceit, he shows you what to focus on, how to run activities, and offers tips and tricks for troubleshooting, as well. And of course, rapid problem solving with Post-it notes might as well be be a synonym for collaborative workshops.–Facilitation Collaborative product design By Austin Govella I don’t want to be that guy, but I specifically wrote this book to help teams with diverse levels of experience and backgrounds collaborate better. Collaborative Product Design collects 11 practical tools and hundreds of tips from the trenches that help teams collaborate on strategy, user research, and UX, ideally suited for agile teams and lean organizations. It provides flexible framing for core methods and offers specific guidance for running remote workshops.–Planning, Facilitation, Activities, Remote Game storming: A playbook for innovators, rulebreakers, and changemakers By Dave Gray, Sunni Brown, and James Macanufo Chapters 1 and 2 contains the best description for how to structure a workshop. Because of my personal style, I find the majority of the activities in the book less useful as recipes to follow. (They may resonate 100% with you.) However, the activities show how to design activities for specific outcomes, as well as the range of possible activities you can guide participants into doing, from serious to playful.–Planning, Facilitation, Activities
Seeking two co-facilitators in Houston for local event — Sat, Sep 30
Saturday, September 30, I am presenting at a local event being jointly produced by the Design Thinking and Innovation, Houston Product, and Houston UXPA groups. The event runs from 10 AM - 12 Noon. It's an interactive event where we'll have some short presentations on facilitation tips and then break into groups to learn two activities participants can run with their teams: I am looking for two co-facilitators to help manage groups. Each co-facilitator would probably have one group, but if turnout is higher, you might have two groups to support. I will pay $50 for your time. Happy to have experienced co-facilitators, or if you're a new facilitator, I can walk you through how to run the activities and manage your group ahead of time, and then you can get some practice. Please email me at if you are interested. I would appreciate the support in making sure this even runs smoothly.
New comment Sep '23
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Austin Govella
316points to level up
Author, Work the Room, a book on facilitation. Https://

Active 52d ago
Joined Jan 19, 2023
Houston, TX
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