Workshop On A Card

Multi photo of all cards and backs

A new series of 5 hybrid mini-workshops on different aspects of human-centered design from £25 per workshop.

These workshops are designed to maximise time spent together talking and sharing ideas while minimising the personal stress and tiredness of spending too much time online. They are based on this three part framework:

  • By post (greeting cards with core ideas on front, instructions on back and space for your notes in middle)
  • By podcast (20 to 30 minute download audio podcast explaining concepts and examples by Alastair Somerville)
  • By Zoom (60 minute online encounter to explore ideas and share future goals with other participants)

All the workshops are based on my experiences of working in accessible design, UX and Service Design as well as academic research and lived experiences described in a range of books. All the workshops are based on ideas of how to be as human-centered as possible within the constraints of working within organisations and delivering specific products and services. How to be humane and humanise systems from a personal perspective thru respecting the diversity of perspectives of people you work with and for.

These workshops are open to anyone and do not require specialist knowledge. They are particularly designed for people who feel powerless within or in the face of large organisations. Human-centered design, for me, starts by centering on the personal perspective and building knowledge and skills that are shared outwards into teams and thru communities.

There are 5 workshops:

  • Emotional Design
  • Wayfinding
  • Network Thinking
  • Good Dissent
  • Active Listening

You can book to attend just one of them or all of them. The topics mesh together but it is not essential to participate in all of them.

Emotional Design

Emotional Design card - 3 ideas of Affirm, Associate and Accommodate

Emotions are too often treated as if they were an error state in both User Experience and Service Design. However, they are an essential part of human sensemaking. Human-centered design that is founded on emotions is not humane.

How we design with emotions is something I find interesting. This workshop uses some work in healthcare to talk about respecting emotions and aligning information and service provision with them.

Wayfinding

Card with four part process of Alignment, Boundaries, Centered and Direction

I do a lot of map-making and wayfinding work for museums and public spaces. How humans think about journeys and how they act during those journeys is hugely important. The ideas behind Wayfinding are important both in physical and digital places. How people plan, move and get lost needs understanding so as to provide the optimal information before and during their journey.

This workhop uses a simple ABCD form to talk about some new ideas from neuroscience and cognitive accessibility.

How people make maps is fundamental to more than journeys: it also helps frame how we learn.

Network Thinking

Network Thinking card with four ideas of Alignment, Loose/Diverse, Stories/Summaries and Dense/Divergent

How humans take vast amounts of sensory information in and transform it into new ideas and actions matters. New research, by people like Lisa Barrett Feldman, shows how the brain’s use of differing forms of networks compress and abstract information. Aligning our processes with our brains seems a more human-centered approach.

Network Thinking is a model for building learning and project processes that depend upon diversity, storytelling and divergence. It is a response to the normalising bias of Design Thinking which prioritises the needs of a small group.

Network Thinking is embedded into all the workshops.

Back of all the cards is a description of the Network Thinking framework

Good Dissent

Good Dissent card and ideas of sceptical generalist and persistent specialist

Good Dissent comes out of a series of 2020 workshops on developing tools to enable positive change in organisations. Rather than thinking of personal resilience as skill to survive institutional failings, the use of communal dissent to find small ways of creating ripples of both connection and change amongst people.

Using ideas from Charlan Nemeth and others, this workshop looks at positive dissent thru speaking up but also reflects on bad dissent and recognising how dissent and change are stopped by people with power and privilege.

Active Listening

Active Listening card and 3 ideas for better listening: hold a space, pause and check your self

The final workshop is on Active Listening and some ways of creating better opportunities to listen.

This workshop comes out of both usability research work in accessibility and information architecture of conversation workshops. The three part process is a based on elements of Non Violent Communication, structured enquiry and Jungian counselling theories but it is about taking simple actions and recognising your power to listen.

Want to attend?

I have not set dates for these workshops yet but assume they will be in June and July over a 2 week period.

They will be run for UK and European audiences at this time: this is more to do with the reliability of the global postal delivery system than anything else.

Zoom encounters are 9am (London) have proven popular before now with 8pm (London) as an alternative.

The planned cost is £30 per workshop (including card, podcast and Zoom encounter) but with discounts for early booking, group bookings and for attendance of all 5 workshops that drop price to £25.

If you are interested then email me a.somerville@acuity.design and I will add you to my mailing list.