If you’re not familiar with design thinking or have never facilitated a workshop before – you’re not alone. Read these frequently asked question to get your head in the game.
No. Anyone can facilitate a Design Jam using the toolkit. However it's essential to have a designer participate in your event and you might need their to help you prepare some materials.
If you don't know a designer you'll need to find one in your local network. There are many third parties which can help you to find a freelancer such as Upwork or YunoJuno. There is likely to be something similar near you.
You should have at least 1 designer per team – ideally 2. When selecting designers try to find people that have experience participating in or facilitating co-design as they will make sure the team keeps a good workflow. They should also be knowledgeable in UX, UI or Product Development and be comfortable with design softwares like Sketch and Marvel to turn the team's sketches into digital prototypes.
Even experienced designers will need to be briefed ahead of the Design Jam. Make sure to plan one or two meetings ahead of the big day. Rely on the tool guidelines to rehearse activities and prepare for prototyping. Make sure that they have a good overview of how the event will run and what you expect from them.
We think one day is the perfect amount of time for a Design Jam which covers all the topics in the toolkit. We've also ran half-day sessions which can provide a great taster. We've found that anything longer than a day doesn't provide the returns to effort we would expect.
We also understand time can be precious. If you're struggling to find a full day or half-day then we recommend running three separate sessions of 1-2 hours – one to Discover, one to Ideate and one to Prototype.
You can host a Design Jam anywhere that has enough space for you participants. Try to pick a room with clear wall space where you can pin up materials for discussion and some tables with comfortable chairs to work at. It's also good to have a TV or projector which you can use to deliver presentations. Some whiteboards or flip charts will also come in handy.
A Design Jam is a flexible format which can be used for small or large groups. As a minimum we recommend 5 participants working together as one team. For larger groups you should split participants into teams of 5-10 participants and you may wish to enlist a co-organiser to help you run the event.
Any materials you will need, including downloadable worksheets, are listed within the guide notes for each tool. Many tools require materials to be printed and you should do this ahead of time. Make sure that you have sufficient copies for your participants and in the right format.
Our tools are currently available in English but we have plans to make other languages available soon. If you would like to translate a tool yourself you can find editable files in the downloads section which accompanies each tool.
Keeping your participants well fed and watered will have significant impact on their design output. Make sure there are plenty of healthy snacks and drinks available and schedule time in your agenda for regular breaks.
We encourage sketching because it enables people to communicate and collaborate quickly. It is not a question of quality – with the right support anyone can draw. Sketching allows participants to see their ideas come to life and feel engaged in the creative process. As a group activity it also encourages thoughts and ideas to quickly proliferate (diverging) before they refine them to focus on a particular area (converging).
Designing mobile first is an industry best practice and we encourage all teams to ideate and prototype by focussing on how services work for this medium. Instead of making the challenge more difficult, designing for the limited space of a mobile screen helps people to realise the constraints and focus their thoughts, enabling them to more clearly communicate and collaborate with other participants. The aim is to produce feasible design patterns not just ideas.