I’m running a workshop with Francis Rowland at UX Cambridge 2011 on Speed Sketching:
We've all been there - we stare at something for a long time, but still a solution doesn't come.

This can happen to anyone who's working on a user interface or a way of visualising information, especially if we work on it for a long time. We can do our best to design for a good user experience, but something that isn't clear or doesn't make sense in the user interface can break that experience quickly.

Features become familiar, and we stop seeing them in the way that a new user might. Sometimes, we need a fresh pair of eyes, just to give us that boost.

We would like to propose a speed sketching session as a way to directly help people who are stuck on some issue like this. It is not a session where the participants are necessarily taught anything new, at least, not by us, and it isn't about sketching skills as such. Instead, it is about communication and interpreting ideas - something critical to good user experience design.

Following a structure that is (broadly!) like speed dating, participants are placed together in threes, with one participant presenting their problem for a given amount of time (usually 10 minutes). After that time, a whistle blows, and we rotate people around the roo:m one group stays at the table (always); another group rotates clockwise; the remaining group rotates anti-clockwise. Another participant gets to present and discuss their problem, and so on.

We have found that this allows better management of numbers and more opportunity for synergy between participants.

We manage the session, and keep everything moving along. Coloured stickers help participants (and us!) remember who should rotate which way.

We can help teams who need it, and make suggestions as necessary.

Given enough time, we would like to finish off with a couple of the participants talking briefly about any progress they have made.
Friday 11 November 2011 09:00 - 10:30 at Clare College.