A workshop formed by User Experience Architects in the phase of requirements gathering is a meeting or a series of meetings, depending on the size and budget of the project emphasising interaction and exchange of information among a number of participants.
Before the workshop:
· Invite the people that are related to the project (if it is possible from different departments; all can add value to the discussions).
· Make a list with the willing outputs from this workshop i.e. define related personas to the project, discuss all the sections the web pages should have, prepare questions to capture as many project requirements as possible, understand all the aspects of the project in detail.
· Organise exercises for the workshop as: card sorting method, exercises aiming to group design of conventions (i.e. site navigation bars, search facilities), or create priority lists to get all people interested in the workshop.
· Review all the information you have gathered so far for the project.
During the workshop:
· Check the list with the willing outputs from this workshop to make sure everything is achieved (do not hesitate to make alternations if you get valuable input during the workshop).
· Explain the scope of exercises to the participants. If the number of the participants in the workshop is large, form smaller groups. Make sure to gather all the outputs at the end of each exercise.
· Try to encourage all the people to speak and participate during the workshop sessions.
· Be a good listener. Do not try to lead the conversation by expressing your opinion, but leave the other people participating in the workshop to express their thoughts, sometimes argue with each other. “The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.” (Linus Pauling)
· In the end ask if they have anything else to add, that has not mentioned at all.
· If there are moments that no one is speaking try to find efficient ways to start the conversation again i.e. suggest something really radical that can raise controversial opinions.
After the workshop:
· Group the information you have.
· Check if you accomplished all the tasks from your list.
· Analyse the data you have gathered.
· Continue to the next step (that varies to the project i.e. organise a new workshop, create Personas, design User Journeys).